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Modernizing mobile: Pro·Line case study

by Natalie Belliveau

When undergoing a recent modernization of its Pro·Line website, ProlineStadium.com, Atlantic Lottery was faced with a challenge. They knew status quo was not an option. How could they think differently to bring about real and meaningful change for players?

“Pro·Line really operates in a competitive environment. We heard from customers that it was quite painful to do their research on their mobile devices,” said Jean Marc Landry, vice-president of innovation and renewal.

“When it was designed a few years ago , the Pro·Line website was desktop only, but now 60% of our traffic comes from mobile,” said Mike Reithmeier, product manager for alc.ca.

Despite the popularity of the online features, the majority of Pro·Line sales come from retail locations. “We were hearing from players that there were a lot of pain points in players’ in-store experience, and lots of obstacles. We wanted to improve the overall experience,” added Reithmeier.

Knowing that putting the player and their experience first was the key to success, the Pro·Line team decided to use agile methodology to get the project done quickly and well. Agile methodology is often used in software development projects, but it can be used by any company or any line of business. It focuses on the collaboration of a small team, often cross sector.

“Adopting an agile software development methodology means being able to deliver in a fast and nimble fashion,” explains Julien Saulnier.

Saulnier was the scrum master for the project or, more simply put, the facilitator of the agile development team, helping to remove roadblocks for the team, making sure information is properly shared and ensuring that the group is working together as a unit.

“We did brainstorming sessions, looked at industry trends, and looked at the actual purchase process for players,” said Reithmeier. “We did focus groups with players, we went to stores on the day of a big game, and we identified several pain points in the purchase process, from stores running out of slips when there were major sports events, to out-of-date odds lists, or line-ups to consult odds lists.”

By the third week, the team was able to present their top ideas to a panel of players.

“After those two weeks, we scoped out our initial ideas. This helped us expedite our ideas and jump right into the design phase. We built out prototypes, and tested them with people. We discovered who they were and what they wanted.”

And what they wanted was a way to do their research on their phones, make their picks, and avoid line-ups in stores.

“What came to the forefront was a QR code. The ability to make picks on your phone and quickly generate a QR code that can be scanned in store was ultimately going to address 7 or 8 existing pain points for clients,” said Reithmeier.

Atlantic Lottery continued to test ideas with players throughout the process.

“In total, we did three versions of the site. We brought ideas to people three times,” added Landry. “Three times we brought clients into the process:  during research, after version 1, and after version 2.”

“Everything that was being delivered was getting tested along the way,” said Saulnier. “That awareness allows you to be able to action issues and really resolve things as they come along.”

“We knew we had a home run based on players’ feedback,” said Reithmeier. “Our early research helped us identify solutions that we knew would work. That knowledge helped us make decisions much more quickly and easily down the road.”

Early results would indicate that these changes were effective. Nearly 15% of Pro·Line’s retail transactions are already generated through the QR code, and the online player base has increased by over 30 %.

A recent player survey which polled over 700 players in Atlantic Canada revealed an overwhelmingly positive response to the changes, with 85% of respondents giving “ease of use” a score of 4 or 5 stars out of 5.

In the end, listening to customers, and focusing on the experience was a winning strategy for the Pro·Line team, who managed to get the project done on time, under budget, and, most importantly, in a way that met players’ needs.