As reported last week, Bovada updated not only its website but its proprietary sportsbook software.
Bodog and sister site Bovada have been known for their top shelf software but the last significant update was four years ago while other industry websites were making advancements such as responsive design, which were must haves for a tech company used to being on the cutting edge.
Below is player feedback on the pros and cons of the software update as posted in the Bovada software feedback thread at the SBR Sportsbook & Industry forum.
What players like
- Visual appearance - the aesthetics of the software have been well received.
- Responsive website that resizes to mobile devices.
- User details and a help link pinned on every page, reducing the number of clicks required to access account information and to contact customer service.
SBR poster adila1401: "Looks to be a more simplified look, more user friendly, larger icons and more graphics. Let's see how it feels in a week or 2. I'm sure they did enough testing before implementing the new interface. Live betting interface looks the same."
SBR poster MoMoneyMoVaughn: "I think it looks pretty good. Sort of more of a Bet365 feel."
As with any major software update there are three core challenges for a website or web app.
1) Bugs: Things that only show up in high volume use and in rare cases not initially observed during testing.
2) User interface complaints: Are there user scenarios where the action is more difficult to accomplish? How many clicks does it take to get
to the center of your wager confirmed once logged in?
3) Change: A percentage of users will always be adverse to change and learning new ways to do the same action. This has been observed publicly with ESPN’s recent redesign as well as with SBR’s own website changes. Bovada will need to filter out feedback with the groaning in the winds of change.
- View All not functioning 100% of the time to show all games for a given sport. The first four games are shown by default for MLB, but upon pressing view all, the page refreshes but still shows the same four games. SBR has confirmed that view all does not function 100% of the time.
SBR poster Scubasteve86: "Ugh, can't find out how to view all the games... It just refreshes back to the same 4 after you click view all."
SBR poster Ghenghis Khan: "You have to click sports, mlb, game lines, view all. sometimes it works most of the time it doesn't."
- Frequency of mobile sign outs. On the mobile sportsbook software prior to the responsive update, two Bovada players claimed that they could close the application and return to it a few minutes later without having to re-enter their Bovada credentials. Now the players claim that closing the running app for as little as two seconds logs them out.
SBR poster Badgerguy: "When on the mobile app, if I close the app for even two seconds and then open it up again I need to sign in again and find where I was. "
Bovada management has confirmed that these bugs are being worked on by their technical department. A patch is expected in the next week.
What players don't like
- More clicks to reach some markets and place a wager. Markets that contain more than four games on a given day can only be accessed by clicking "view all". SBR has reached out to the users with this feedback to ask if with the exception of view all, they find the bet placing process or navigation to be more click-laden. By SBR's count, it takes three clicks to make a wager with a fourth click to confirm the submission, which is one click ahead of the industry average.
SBR poster DOM_Toretto: "I like the old version better, but I'm usually adverse to change. It could grow on me, but I feel like it was easier to jump around from sport to sport and league to League before."
SBR poster Ghengis Kahn: "I can deal with their website, though I have to click so many more times than before."
User Feedback on Change (Non-Bugs)
- Differences to placing parlays and round robin bets
- Games closed for betting not listed.
- No easy place to see the maximum bet amount.
SBR poster 2buckluck: "I haven't really figured out the parlays and round robins... was really easy with the tabs they had before , now it's all top down / drop down menus, kinda annoying."
SBR poster Scratch: "Is there a way to view all games, even ones that are closed for betting? I liked this on the old format, as I could see if a particular game had already started."
SBR poster Krashman: "They need to show max bet amount somewhere."
What Bovada has said about the software and mobile betting
SBR: What are some of the added features players can look forward to with the responsive design?
Bovada: The new site is now in line with more modern website navigation and so will be more intuitive generally. There are also a number of additions that will make newer bet types easier. Our ‘in-play’ betting features are hugely enhanced and cross-sport parlaying is now much simpler.
SBR: What percentage of players place bets on mobile devices vs. traditional desktop views?
Bovada: Mobile is on a constant upward curve so any figures are almost immediately surpassed – records get broken on a daily basis.
(SBR estimates that 56% of Bovada's player traffic is on mobile devices. This is consistent with the percentage other head of sportsbooks have been given.)
SBR: Did Bovada design the updated software in-house, or was an outside company contracted that players may know of?
Bovada: All in-house.
Q: Are there plans for the poker software to be responsive as well?
Bovada: For now, the download poker client has not changed.
Players who would like to share their feedback with SBR can write to email@example.com.