RUSS JOHNSON | UX

RUSS JOHNSON | UX



Hello, I am an enthusiastic UX / UI / Design professional with over 16 years of experience. I am currently employed by Win Technologies (Part of the Betway Group) as UX Lead.



Show projects

Betway Casino

Responsive casino portal for Betway

Challenge

The Betway Casino lobby is the post registration customer experience for the Betway Casino product. In March of 2013, Betway underwent an extensive re-branding exercise.

Part of the rebrand included moving the Casino product offered by Betway away from a download / executable experience to an entirely web based one - a fundamental shift in the business that ran the risk of alienating core customer base as they would then be expected to adjust to an entirely browser-based experience.

Unfortunately, a sub-optimal temporary website was rushed out the door to fulfill this requirement.

Shortly after joining the company, I reccommended that we revisit the casino product as a matter of urgency.

Solution

I led an effort to redesign Betway Casino experience that aimed to:

Provide an experience that would wean existing users off of our clunky, anachronistic download client

Address the many usability and responsiveness issues of the legacy product

Be robust enough to serve as a white label solution to allow for easy adaptation for multiple markets / languages

Provide a proof of concept platform for the Betway Universal Navigation System (B.U.N.S)

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Country Manager

Visual Designer

Lead Front End Developer

Process

Location

KICK OFF SESSION

Focusing on users at the very beginning of a project sets a solid user-centred foundation for us as user experience practitioners.

To this end, I compiled a series of questions to be answered by the stakeholders to ensure technical issues, business aims, user and project objectives were collated and combined prior to taking the next step.

See More Apr 2013
Location

USABILITY AUDIT

I formulated a usability audit of the temporary product to highlight my concerns regarding its effectiveness.

See More Mar 2013
Location

USABILITY TEST

I Conducted a contextual usability test & report with a view to further communicating to the business my rationalisations for wanting to revisit the temporary product.

See More Apr 2013
Location

USER JOURNEYS

Conducting interviews with product owners and consulting with our analytics department provided valuable insights into user's behaviours which I could then translate into validated user journeys.

See More Apr 2013
Location

CARD SORTING (open)

This exercise helps us learn how users group content and the terms or labels they give each categoryand in doing so, aims to establish the content heirarchy of the new site.

What soon became clear was a clear distinction existed between game-types and user-admin functions.

Apr 2013
Location

REITERATIVE WIREFRAMING

Wireframing the journey for both the acquisition process as well as the gameplay lobby continued soon thereafter.

Using a Build > Review > Reiterate production cycle meant I was confident we were on the right path as the project progressed.

See More May 2013
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

Working closely with a UI design member of my team, as well as a representative from the brand team, I oversaw the interpretation of the wireframes into brand-sensitive, annotated designs.

These documents serve as a point of reference for our production team as well as forming the basis of our constantly evolving online brand deployment guide.

I was also highly engaged during the development / testing process to ensure that all interactions functioned as expected.

See More Jun 2013
Location

LAUNCH & RECEPTION

This project was developed as a white label solution for all Betway Casino products which will be progressivley rolled out across 15 languages.

Since launching in Belgium (Dutch, English & French), we have seen a marked increase in sign-ups and revenue, as well as an overwhelming number of users migrating to our web based casino lobby who were previously using the download client.

See More Aug 2013
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Betway Sports

Sports betting platform for Betway

Challenge

The Betway Sports Betting portal for desktop is the flagship product for the Betway brand. The current incarnation of the sports betting portal had been deemed ostensibly no longer fit for purpose by the business as it lacks the appeal and features offered by many of our competitors.

User interviews & qualitative customer analysis made it clear that finding specific sports, events and markets was becoming increasingly frustrating for our users as the volume of content on the site expanded. This was due largely to the restrictive navigation system arrayed down the left hand side of the site.

It also lacked a coherent and consistent betting/transactional user journey that our competitors offered. Considering that our users (and sport's bettors in general) weren't brand loyal, it became increasingly apparent that a considered level of consistency with other betting experiences would be beneficial to our users and sympathetic to our predicted user journeys.

The fact that our sports offer is built and maintained by a 3rd party provider presented a further challenge.

Solution

I led an effort to redesign the Betway Sportsbook for desktop experience that aimed to:

Realign the primary navigation to counter the ongoing navigation issues our users were experiencing

Provide a more immersive, brand sensitive, full viewport experience for our users.

Integrate the "IN-PLAY" experience into the overall sportsbook experience (at present it is treated as a separate brand).

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Expert Users

UI Designer (3rd Party)

Developers (3rd Party)

Process

Location

USER & STAKEHOLDER INTERVIEWS

Spending the first two weeks of this project interviewing a group of 10 current subscribers as well as sports betting experts from within the business allowed me to gain invaluable insights into the behaviours of our users.

This process also provided a measure of effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction which would be used as a baseline for the new site.

Jun 2015
Location

CURRENT OFFER EVALUATION

I formulated a usability audit of the current sportsbook to highlight the concerns regarding its effectiveness and identify problems to be avoided in the design of the new site. This was completed independently by stakeholders and user candidates.

See More Jul 2015
Location

WIREFRAMING & LEAN TESTING

Using a combination of Balsamiq to create wireframes and Marvelapp to create working prototypes which were then made available to the workgroup and our test users meant we could collaborate continuously with minimal downtime between iterations.

See More Jul 2015
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

I am now overseeing the design and implementation of this project in collaboration with a 3rd party provider (derivco)

Aug 2015
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B.U.N.S

Betway Universal Navigation System

Challenge

Feedback on the legacy casino.betway.com product revealed that many user account-based-tasks were accessed using a design pattern that was both hard to find and not conducive to a pleasant overall experience. Issues included:

On smaller resolution screens, the intractable modal window pattern was causing some information to appear offscreen

The temporary site took up a considerable amount of screen real estate whilst blocking out the game selection area when open

The temporary site had very limited scope for expansion and there was a Business requirement for the addition of a promotions section

The temporary site was not compatible with mobile devices

Solution

I led an effort to redesign the universal navigation system that aimed to:

Offer users a less intrusive way of accessing their account information

Reduce overall size and prominence of the navigation bar in order to put more focus on the main content

Distribute main functions into a left hand menu that featured primary product navigation and a right hand menu that featured user/account centric tasks

Provide a scalable solution that is optimized for desktop and mobile users

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Country Manager

UI Designer

Developers

Process

Location

DATA ANALYSIS & HELPDESK INTERVIEWS

Quantitative data revealed that many users were ignoring most of the options in the modal window and only clicking on 'contact us'. Users were then expecting the helpdesk operators to assist them with user-functions. Interviews with our helpdesk operators confirmed this.

We hypothesised that this was due largely to the garbled, poorly presented options in the modal window.

Jun 2013
Location

REITERATIVE WIREFRAMING

Using the new casino experience we were designing concurrently as an aesthetic and behavioural touch-point, I began to explore a variety of ways in which we could rethink the behaviours of the navigation pattern that would help us achieve our goals and simplify the experience.

I researched navigation approaches used by competitors and other complex web products. Throughout this exploration, it became clear that a set of mutually exclusive side navigation bars would be the most effective approach for our product as it allowed us to differentiate between product navigation and account-based (logged in) tasks.

See More Jul 2013
Location

USABILITY TESTING

Having developed a clickable prototype, I set asside two days during which I commandeered 20 individuals from around the business to serve as test candidates, taking care to exclude anyone who had prior exposure to the project thusfar.

Providing them with a pre-determined set of questions and tasks, I set about validating our hypotheses, making the necessary adjustments to the overall design as a result of the feedback provided.

See More Mar 2013
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

Working closely with our UI Design team, we set about polishing the navigation’s visual treatment taking steps to align it with our brand.

We iterated on how to best draw attention to pages that were selected vs. not selected, and how to use the space as effectively as possible whilst maintaining a focus on the business critical elements (ability to link to games).

See More Apr 2013
Location

LAUNCH & RECEPTION

Subsequent to the re-launch of the casino.betway.com product, we have noticed a steep drop in the amount of calls made to the helpdesk to assist with account admin tasks.

This project has now entered a secondary phase. This will focus primarily on relocating the access points for B.U.N.S to either a contextual drop down menu or a horizontally arrayed set of links.

See More Aug 2013
Close

Betway Plus

Promotions + loyalty portal for Betway

Challenge

Feedback from our users indicated that they were becoming increasingly frustrated with having to access the promotions available to them on separate products. We were also becoming increasingly concerned at the amount of calls our helpdesk were having to field in relation to our loyalty reward scheme.

At the time, we were relying heavily on touchpoints in the brands themselves (casino, sports, bingo) to educate the users on the intricacies of the Betway loyalty scheme. The fundamental flaw in this plan was largely due to the fact that most of the information was only available to registered (logged-in) users.

I argued that a loyalty scheme as robust as ours coupled with a representation of our attractive offers could be a powerful acquisition tool, and by hiding it behind a logged-in experience was a missed opportunity.

The obvious solution was a user agnostic portal that would house all promotions (many are still available to logged out users) available to a player as well as serve as a single point of reference for educating current and potential users on the finer points of our loyalty scheme.

Solution

As this was a new part of the brand and not an ammendment to an existing one, the priorities for the business were:

Provide an experience that would address the issues users were having with locating promotions across a number of brands.

Provide a more robust presentation layer for our loyalty scheme and supporting documentation.

Ensure the experience provided can exist alongside the other sub-brands.

Suggest way in which ALL promotions can conform to a SINGLE design pattern across ALL brands.

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Business Sponsor (director)

Brand / UI Designer

Promotions Team

Business Analyst

Developers

Process

Location

COMPETITOR ANALYSIS

Working with the product owner, we analysed the loyalty schemes of other online gambling providers and those of businesses unrelated to our industry to identify commonalities and gain further insights into how best to present what is arguably a complex business / user transaction.

Jul 2015
Location

WIREFRAMING

Promotions and their constituent parts vary greatly across brands / compliance requirements. As such we had to devise a presentation layer that was robust enough to accommodate a large or small amount of content whilst being able to exist alongside similar containers in a grid.

I proposed devising a fully responsive module that could be stacked with an unequal amount of content in each instance of it appearing on the page.

See More Aug 2012
Location

USABILITY TESTING

Using paper prototypes (time was of the essence), I set asside two days during which I commandeered 10 individuals from around the business to serve as test candidates, taking care to exclude anyone who had prior exposure to the project thusfar.

Providing them with a pre-determined set of questions and tasks, I set about validating our hypotheses, making the necessary adjustments to the overall design as a result of the feedback provided.

Sep 2015
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

Working closely with the UI design member of my team, as well as a representative from the brand team, I oversaw the interpretation of the wireframes into brand-sensitive, annotated designs.

See More Oct 2015
Location

LAUNCH & RECEPTION

Uptake on promotion opt-ins has increased dramatically since the launch and calls to the helpdesk regarding our loyatly scheme have dropped off as well. This project has now progressed to a tertiary phase wherein we are in the process of designing Betway Plus branded macro-promotions for both desktop & mobile.

This project has now entered a secondary phase. This will focus primarily on relocating the access points for B.U.N.S to either a contextual drop down menu or a horizontally arrayed set of links.

See More Nov 2015
Close

Admanager

An advertising-spend admin tool for Unilever

Challenge

The AdManager v.02 platform is a web-based application that allows Unilever product managers to submit advertising acquisition requests to a centralised team who then upload information provided into one centralised system for the purposes of analysing expenditure and production trends. This application is used exclusively by Unilever's advertising and production department who number in excess of 300 individuals.

Although the pre-existing system (AdManager v.01) proved effective inasfar as the overall functionality worked in accordance with business requirements, users were becoming increasingly frustated with the poor level of usability the system offered. In some instances, the interface was causing valuable data to be lost due to browser crashes. It was my task to provide a user centered design based solution for an improved version of the product to address these issues and provide a more robust, concise interface for the product mangers.

The fact that this was project was being developed for high profile, high value client of The Mill and my contribution was the first step in the process meant that I was going to be subjected to a level of scrutiny I was unfamiliar with at the time.

Solution

The priorities for the business were:

Propose a validated experience that would address the issues users were having with the stability of the legacy product.

Propose innovative solutions to ensure the strengths of the legacy system were not disposed of in the new version

Ensure the experience was relevant and usable to all user archetypes

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Business Analyst (Unilever)

Development Team

Process

Location

USABILITY AUDIT (legacy)

A selection of users were led through an audit of their currently available system so as to identify perceived shortfalls and potential areas of improvement. Discovery is a key component of the user centered design process as it allows the us the opportunity to better understand the business objectives, user demographics, & business objectives of the client.

I had previously developed a high-level usability review questionaire that stakeholders then completed individually and then reviewed as a group. I prefer doing exercises in this manner as I have found in the past that top-down-group-think can result in less confident members of the focus group being unduly influenced by more vocal/senior members of the group. This exercise served to highlight many of the concerns people had with the legacy system and what they percieved as top level requirements for the new system.

See More Mar 2011
Location

USER ARCHETYPE DEVELOPMENT

Our previous session highlighted the fact that we had three distinct user types / journeys to cater for, based upon their function within the Unilever team. With this in mind, I set abought distilling these user-types into three distinct archetypes, who would in turn provide a useful reference point for any acceptance critrea as we moved forward with the project in an Agile environment.

I then conducted a simple card sorting exercise with the group to establish what functionality requirements were shared and which were particular to a specific user type. The idea being that we would bubble shared requirements to the forefront of the final UI, while providing quick, clearly signposted access to the more niche functional elements.

See More Apr 2011
Location

WIREFRAMING & LEAN TESTING

Wireframing primarily allows you to define the information hierarchy of a product, making it easier for you to plan the layout according to how you want your user to process the information and make the right choices.

Working with the client work-group, I devised a series of wireframes which could be paper-tested on the target users which were then re-iteritavely refined based upon the insights and feedback provided during the testing sessions.

See More May 2011
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

In conjunction with Unilver's internal design department, I then proceeded with the design/branding of the final product. The fact that we had conceptual sign off already meant the development team could get on with the business of developing the working framework as well as building and testing any new functionlity that was required.

The design sprint took place concurrently. Finalised design elements were subsequently slotted into place upon approval. This reduced the lead time for release milestones considerably.

See More Jul 2011
Location

LAUNCH & RECEPTION

Once launched, we then continued with our validation exercises. Observing users in context and assigning tasks while recording the results afforded us even greater insights into how our audience used the system. These discoveries were then placed into the product backlog and subsequently allowed us to tweak the product further. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with productivity and user satisfaction increased across the board.

Nov 2011
Close

The Mill

Video PlayBack tool

Challenge

The Mill, parent company of Beam.tv, tasked us with developing a web based platform that allowed it's producers to compile an editable, annotated list of video assets for quick dissemination to their clients.

The Clients would in turn receive an email that allowed them to gain access to a formatted page that allowed them to view, stream, comment-on or download said assets. Acceptance criteria for this application stated that it needed to include multi-device support, multiple user controlled views and the ability to download files either individualy, or as part of a batch-process.

Solution

As this was a new part of the brand and not an ammendment to an existing one, the priorities for the business were:

Propose a validated experience that would address the issues users were having with the stability of the legacy product.

Propose innovative solutions to ensure the strengths of the legacy system were not disposed of in the new version

Ensure the experience was relevant and usable to all user archetypes

Team

Other team members in the the project workgroup:

Product Owner

Business Sponsor (Mill)

Development Team

Process

Location

REQUIREMENTS GATHERING

The fact that this peice of kit would be used by a number of The Mill's internal departments meant that each department had thier own specific user requirements and visions for the product; gathering these requirements was an obvious priority.

Performing stakeholder interviews meant I came away with a thorough understanding of their specific and overall expectations for the product. The challenge then became getting the varied departments to sign-off on an Information Architecture that was mutally agreeable to all stakeholders. This was acheived by getting said stakeholders to engage in a card sorting exercise which allowed them to better understand the interdependencies of the various requirements and how they would be prioritised based upon consensus opinion.

See More Oct 2012
Location

SKETCHING

Due to the varied requirements and sometimes disparate views of what the final vision of this project would entail, I thought it wise to develop some of the abundant ideas and concepts discovered in the requirements gathering phase into some lo-fi sketches.

This process affords us the ability to a) Give us an opportunity to collate our ideas into something tangible as a reference for the next, more detailed design phase, and b) allows us to get stakeholders on-board with our vision from an early stage.

See More Dec 2012
Location

WIREFRAMING & LEAN TESTING

Now that we had tacit agreement on the overall direction of the project, I took the information gathered in the previous sessions and started translating them into a wireframe deck. These were then used as a paper-prototype for testing purposes on our sample group of end-users.

This proved an invaluable resource in validating our initial presumptions. Any learnings gathered from this process were soon reiterated into the wireframes. Constant communication regarding the findings of this process with the stakeholders meant that their expectations of the end-product were managed as well and ensured we were on the right track. This process can prove frustrating as a designer as you o run the risk of becoming overly invested in your latest iteration, however it is my experience that these tensions deliver the most robust and well thought out product in the end.

See More Feb 2013
Location

DESIGN & BUILD

It was decided to forego a formal design phase as the wireframe documents were considered sufficient as they more than ably reflected the minimal branding requirements of the client.

The key to a successful handover for UX practitioner to development team is a shared understanding of the way users intend to interact with the site. I also used this opportunity to fine tune user interactions such as mouse-over states and error handling prior to launch.

Mar 2013
Location

LAUNCH & RECEPTION

Unfortunately I moved on from beam.tv before we undertook user testing of the live site, however I am reliably informed that the response has been overwhelmingly positive across all platforms and devices.

See More May 2013
Close

BBC World Service

Senior Designer

Challenge

The BBC World Service Future Media department is responsible for supporting all the BBC language web sites including advising on the strategic and editorial direction of these sites, determining their design and presentation, and creating and maintaining the technical infrastructure and multi lingual publishing systems.

Whilst employed by the BBC, I worked on what was known as the 1024 Rapid Delivery Project which undertook to re-version the 17 BBC language sites from 800x600 to a more up to date, functionally and aesthetically advanced 1024 resolution version of the various sites. The project required that all these re-launches happened in accordance with a strict, short term timeline, using Agile project management methodologies.

Duties

Provide support to the Design Manager
Administering the efficient day-to-day running of the World Service New Media design team ensuring efficient allocation of resources and that designs are completed to standard, time and budget. This included managing the performance of members of the design team and the allocation of work assignments.

Setting and monitoring design standards and style across the numerous language services
The editorial remit of the BBC requires the highest quality standards are introduced by guiding and directing the work of the design team (i.e. critically assessing design elements created by others) and also maintained by keeping Design Guidelines up to date, usable and accessible to all members of the team, including editorial team members. This included working with the BBC Global News division in developing the brand for cross promotional material in multiplatform environments.

Mentoring and supporting junior design staff
I was expected to provide art direction to all designers working at World Service Future Media and contribute to the inspiration and knowledge of the team as a whole.

Specify and implement improvements to the UX/ UI of the in-house content management system
In conjunction with the development and editorial teams, it was my responsibility to suggest, with a view to streamlining and improving the user experience of the CMS used by the editorial teams. This included briefing and following up on third party design and development teams who were often called upon to produce add-on applications (online image editors, image map creation tools, audio soundslides).

Brief, train and provide usable documentation to the editorial team
Any additions or enhancements to the UX/UI of the website modules or the CMS needed to be communicated to the editorial team.

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