The HostIQ app allows casino hosts to manage their players list and fulfill the requests of their VIP guests.
Casino hosts are casino staff members whose role is to ensure their guests (players) are happy and continue to keep gambling. Most casinos assign a host to their "high-rollers" or players who have the potential to become a high-roller. Along with a Casino Manager, Casino Hosts can provide VIPs and “big-money” guests with many "perks", including "comps"—complimentary services—such as free hotel rooms and meals..
Hosts have to keep track of large amounts of data; they need to be able to quickly assess who their most important players are, how much money they’ve won and lost, and what type of comps they should receive. Most casinos use outdated systems to track their data, which hosts can only access in the casinos' back offices. Further, most comps are tracked using paper pads, which leads to lost comps and inaccurate data imputing.
JOINGO set out to create a mobile app that would help casino hosts keep track of their player information, and allow them to provide services to their guests more efficiently. HostIQ is an all-encompassing solution for casino hosts that connects with the JOINGO property platform. By pulling data from existing property databases, and using a proprietary algorithm, HostIQ can inform and empower hosts to make player-related decisions on the go.
My team and I went onsite to one of JOINGO’s partnering casino properties to conduct user interviews. We were interested in knowing more about hosts’ job duties, their day-to-day activities inside and outside of the casino, how they were currently managing their comps and player information, as well as how they were building relationships with their guests.
Our research synthesis lead us to the following insights:
Hosts have a wide range of daily tasks, and most of those tasks require pulling up a spreadsheet or a digital document
There is a general consensus that their current methods for viewing and storing data and player information is both inefficient and inconvenient
Hosts do not have a unified method for communicating with their players and staff
Building relationships with players is extremely important to hosts, but they feel they don’t have enough time to do so
Next, I used the insights from the user interviews we conducted to create the following persona:
Most of our interview participants ended up having very similar goals and frustrations, so I found it sufficient to only create one persona.
MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT
From our persona, my team and I were able to come up with a list of key features for the app. We prioritized features based on their level of technical complexity (how long it would take our engineering team to complete each feature) and the feature’s value from both a business and user standpoint.
For our V1 launch, we decided to include the following features:
A dashboard that displays a list of top guests (high-rollers) and daily arrivals
A search page that allows hosts to quickly search any guest within their property
A host profile page with comp history details
Guest profile pages that display relevant guest data and notes
A messaging feature that allows hosts to message or call guests within the app
A comp feature that allows hosts to submit digitally
I started out brainstorming some ideas for different pages with my team. We had trouble defining what type of information would need to be included under the guest and host profiles, so we relied on follow-up interviews and card sorting to determine how to prioritize relevant data.
It is important to note that the account setup for the HostIQ app is done entirely through JOINGO’S cloud-based management console, where hosts and other staff are able to manage both their personal data and guests’ data. Messaging is also connected through JOINGO’s property app.
I tested the initial wireframes with 5 users, and based on their feedback, I made changes to the following pages:
Search Guests Page: users were confused by the filters button and didn’t seem to understand that it was an interactive element, so I replaced it with an icon on the left-hand corner of the top nav. The second iteration tested better with 80% of our participants.
Guest Profile Page: most users expressed the need to be able to input notes about guests on the guest’s profile page. I replaced the messaging icon for a notes icon and added a notes popup screen. I also added a “contact” button above the submit comp button.
Comp History Page: the input we received was that hosts needed a way to quickly see their current comp balance. They also wanted to the ability to sort comps by date, guest name, and comp type (category). I removed the filtering option on the top nav and replaced it with a segmented control.
Search Guests Popup: when users clicked on a guest module, they were given the option to view the guest’s profile, call or message them, or issue a comp for them. The majority of our participants mentioned they expected to be able to add notes about the guest as well, so I added an “add note button”