Who should drive? You or us?
That’s a big question and one that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.
The short answer is: you drive.
You’re here to play the games you love, were here to facilitate that. So our core function is very similar to any e-commerce business, where you search, find, buy (or in our case ‘play’)
If you look at the greatest websites on the Internet, they all share one thing in common: they serve their function perfectly.
Take Google, in the early days they were criticised for just having a search box on a white page. But Google’s function is to find websites related to your search query, so why have homepage cluttered with noise?
Same principle applies to Amazon and eBay. You want something… They help you find it.
A websites core purpose should be embodied in everything it does. For e-commerce, it is navigation and helping you make decisions.
So what’s the function of a casino?
Tom, Mike and I (founding team) have collectively put a lot of thought into this and here’s what we came up with:
“Were here to help you find and play the casino games you love.”
If the core mission is to help you find the games you love to play, then our mission is to make it as easy for you to do that.
To fulfil that mission, we’ve gone down the e-commerce road. The difference between iGaming and e-commerce is pretty straightforward:
• shout a lot
• give away free money as a hook for you to join
• make navigation a secondary priority
• sell on how much you can win
• navigation to items
• clear description of items
• value sell (be clear on the merits of items)
• ‘if you liked this, you may like that’ – item associations
Our hybrid approach.
Of course, you want bonuses and you want to win. But on another level, I expect you want to be entertained. After all, playing games, where you can win some money, raises the stakes and makes things much more entertaining.
But, there’s more to it than that.
Really good e-commerce website help you to make balanced decisions within your own frame of reference about which things to buy.
The same principle applies to casino games. Different people like different things and the key is to make easy to find what you want to play.
The Oshi website
We’ve built version 2 of the website from the ground up. We took an e-commerce approach to the whole thing, beginning with the site structure.
The difference between us and an e-commerce site is; we navigate you to games, they navigate you to items.
We looked very closely at different types of e-commerce website but the user flow didn’t quite work. In other words making an Amazon type site into a casino just would not work.
But… We noticed that real estate websites and car sales sites would typically have up to 1000 items in them. This is about the same as a casino.
So, we looked at theme templates from sites like ThemeForest and found some real estate themes from which we based Oshi 2.0
Were just at the beginning of this journey and our roadmap is full of interesting projects ( see the roadmap blog post )
The developments which come to mind are:
• ‘you played this, you might like that’ suggestions
• Instant video previews of games (see y8.com )
• detailed categorisation, showing you things like game theme, type of music, colours.
• Reward system for engaging on the website
As you can see, everything is about navigation and engagement. We give you the tools, you make the decisions.
As these projects come through, I’ll give you more detail on how they work
Just a quick post from me,
I had been working with Neteller on something called AffiliateFest. It was held back in 12th of October 2015 and as you can tell by the title, it was geared towards affiliates.
I’ve been spoken at loads of conferences over the years and thing that annoyed me is the lack of follow-up and tight content planning between the organisers and speakers. With that in mind we had the really heavy stuff in the morning, with more varied and lighter content in the afternoon. We also asked everyone to sign an NDA, which meant the speakers could be a lot more open about things.
In turn, we all shared new information and I think that helped make the day far more relevant and useful for the affiliate attendees.
Here’s a short video just giving a recap of the day.Read more
For my first post I figured I’d wait for something noteworthy to talk about – like that the fact that we just launched oshi! today.
Now that we’re live and purring along, this seems like a good time to take a breath and reflect on where we are and where we’re going.
The where we are is pretty simple – we’re at the beginning. And I like to think of it as a beginning as anyone who’s worked on enterprise sites for long enough knows, it truly is a journey. Often what was started with, what was envisioned and what actually happens years down the line are rarely in-line. But that’s a good thing! Ideally it means that site has changed, evolved and adapted to meet the requirements of its userbase and remains relevant years later.
This leads nicely into the where we’re going bit. Like I mentioned above, oshi! is a journey and we’ve just taken our first major step. The site is up, we have good basic functionality, and a great suite of games to start with. But it’s still a first step. Already we have a ton of features planned that we believe you’ll enjoy and are pretty unique to the iGaming space. This is where the journey gets interesting as we plan, prioritise and work on upcoming features.
So what are these features? I know on the forums and in other blog posts we (read: Nick 🙂 ) have been promising lots of great functionality and the ability for you to engage with us and guide our roadmap. This, like winter, is coming. Although I don’t have a Northern accent, I am, like Nick and the rest of the oshi! crew are, committed to being as open and transparent as possible about what we’re doing and what we’re planning. This will just take a bit of time to implement.
To this end I feel part of my role is to ensure we deliver on these promises. Not just to deliver on features, but to deliver on an open and updated roadmap, and to deliver on the two-way communication between oshi! and the community.
It will be interesting to look back on this in a couple of years time and see how things changed from there!