Graphic design is an essential element of online casinos – but it might be even more important than you first thought, functioning as its own visual language to communicate with users effectively. With this in mind, let’s dive in.
As any designer knows, the primary concern of any online platform is that it is easy to navigate, simple to understand, and, most importantly, that it actually works! This is just one element of wider user experience and user interface (UX/UI) design. In online casinos, perhaps the most important consideration is the buttons that make up the game mechanics. When users enter the online casino at Paddy Power, for example, they are met with clearly labeled tabs that categorize the different games – from slots to bingo, poker, roulette, and so on.
Within each category page, each game is displayed with an interactive icon, giving the player an instant feel for the game, and taking them straight to the game with one click. Further to this, there is an ‘i’ icon – the universal symbol for information – to give players further details for the game at hand, and a heart icon so that the game can be ‘favorited’ for playing at a later date.
Looking at the games themselves, the buttons are what – literally – makes the world go round. In the slot games, for instance, you’ll often see that the ‘spin’ or ‘play’ button is the largest in the game. As stated by Gizmodo, the play button is one of those road signs ingrained in all your daily rituals, and so one of the most recognizable buttons on the planet, instantly showing players their first step and visually indicating what the button actually does.
Further to this, the way users increase and decrease their bet is by using ‘+’ and ‘-‘, up and down arrows, or ‘rewind’ and ‘fast-forward’ symbols during gameplay, again instantly showing players what the buttons do without the need for clunky written explanations.
Background and symbols
Whilst the purpose of the buttons is to visually show players how to make the games work, the purpose of the background and symbols is to develop a new visual environment. Not only this, but the design of the visuals helps to make the gameplay more immersive and further the narrative that plays out throughout the game.
More technically, this is because visuals have the power to evoke certain feelings in their audiences, alter perception, trigger memories, and make it easier for our brains to process the context of an environment.
To achieve these things effectively, there are several different design techniques used in online casino design, particularly 2D animation, 3D animation, particle effects, and motion graphics. The technique – or combination of techniques – leveraged largely depends on the type of slot at hand. For example, traditional slots will often have fewer moving parts, whereas video slots have the functionality to support more complex designs and transitions.
Overall, it is clear that online casino design has its own language – a visual language. As summarized by ProAlley, “symbols are the heart and soul of graphic designing”. Buttons and other signposting elements show users where to go and how to play the game without the need for words – and, the visuals of the games immerse players into the environment on a sensory level. These elements work together to help create games that are both functional and fun to play.