Mkodo, a Pollard Banknote company, has published a study on android widgets regarding their customisation and limitations for lottery brands and their apps.
According to the firm, widgets provide a solution for lotteries to concentrate information for user consumption, allowing them to receive key content without being required to launch the app.
This is achieved through one of four different types – information widgets (show information from within an app); collection widgets (show a series of items of the same type); control widgets (enable users to interact with an application); and hybrid widgets (aspects of multiple types included in their design).
Mkodo also noted that another main benefit of widgets is customisation, as different content can be displayed depending on a user’s preferences.
The customisation can be displayed in a configuration dialog box once a widget is placed on the home screen. It can contain several lottery brands to choose from as well as display information regarding upcoming draws and jackpots. The user could have separate widgets for different brands.
The resizing of a widget can customise content too as the larger it is, the more information can be displayed.
Size is pre-determined by the developer, but if enabled widgets can be resized using drag handles by the users themselves. This allows users to resize it to fit their screen as well as fine-tune the level of content they wish to see.
Deep linking is another area of customisation as this can allow a user to skip directly to the information within the app. For lotteries, this could allow patrons to directly buy tickets or view information about a live draw such as jackpot amount or winning numbers.
As for widget limitations, Mkodo noted one noticeable drawback is the lack of gestures they are compatible with.
Some gestures are reserved for the home screen itself, such as horizontal swiping, meaning the only other two possible for widgets are touch and vertical swiping.
Mkodo concluded by saying that widgets offer a ‘great way to extend the functionality of an app’, as well as elevate player engagement.
The company added that showing a player relevant information in a widget may prompt the user to enter an app ‘more frequently,’ and that this functionality could increase gameplay especially if information is shown about live games or favourite dealers for other betting and gaming apps.
Last month, Mkodo published a white paper called ‘Digital Insights,’ the first of a two-part series offering lottery operators insight into best practices in UX design when creating their digital products.