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The Sun Bets

Sun Bets is part of the Sun Newspaper, owned by News Corp.  The Sun has the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom. The Sun Bets project was a new business for News Corp. It was aimed at the UK market and leveraged the already established name.

As part of the team working on the project, we were responsible for designing the website and the native iOS & Android apps. We created the products working with stakeholders in Sydney and London.

The views in this case study are my own and do not represent The Sun or any of their brands.

Role: Product UX/UI Designer

Project: iOS, Android apps and website design

Year: 2016 

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To kick off the project we met with various key stakeholders from News Corp at the Tabcorp offices in Sydney. The inception meetings were to clarify the business and project needs. Once organised we started to research competitors in the UK gambling market. Our research revealed that most of them had wrapped apps instead of native ones. We also noticed that most other businesses products were very cluttered, colourful and busy.

Tool Stack.


To create user-friendly and consistent products we decided to follow the Material design guidelines for the Android App and Apple’s Human Interaction Guidelines for the iOS App. We needed to design mobile first as it was the most used platform as our research showed us. The design team and business agreed that having a clean and straightforward colour palette and layout would set us apart from the competition. We kept with Agile project management for the Sun Bets project.

Business Priorities.

The UK wagering market was much more competitive than in Australia. Having six big players already established the business knew it would be challenging to get loyal customers from them. However, they also realised that by obtaining even a small 3% market share would still be enough to make a significant profit and run the business, that is because there are so many more people in the UK wagering market than in Australia.


We worked closely with a UX team in London. In that team, we had great researchers that helped us out through the whole design and release process. They researched features that were performing well in the UK and made recommendations to us back in Australia. The team also user tested our prototypes on the UK market to make sure the designs were effective and user-friendly. Some of the techniques we chose to use with the UK team for were usability testing sessions, card sorts, interviews and design workshops.

Project Management.

Working on such a large international project from Australia proved to be challenging at times. Luckily we had planned out our timing and communications well. By using Confluence we were able to be clear on design decisions and testing patterns. Anyone in the UK or Australia could go into it and see what was happening in the project. We made sure our meetings were early or later in the day so that various team members could attend in any country, Skype was the perfect tool for this situation.

Wireframes & User Flows.

We sketched wireframes in sharpies and pencils on paper before moving onto simple digital versions made in Sketch. This was great to quickly create and discuss ideas with the team. Once we liked an idea we created clickable prototypes in InVision and tested with our users. If the idea worked I would then take it to the UI design stage. The User flows were important to show all the touch points on a particular feature journey. In the second image below you see a flow with all the touch points and the screens that they go to, this was great to show the business and team how certain things work.

Prototyping & Usability testing.

We made sure we user tested every single design on the UK market before it was released. It wasn’t enough to test it here in Australia as trends and expectations to technology change depending on what country you are in.To validate design we created clickable prototypes in InVision and sent them to our researchers in London who had organised specific user groups to come into the sessions. Before testing, we would script out questions and scenarios for the customers to answer and complete. We recorded the sessions and kept them for further reference. Once the weekly testing was complete the researcher would collate findings look for patterns and present back to the design team who would then choose to update designs based on the feedback.

Interface Design.

To begin with, we created the style guides of the apps and websites. This contained our colours, icon styles, grid structure, simple illustrations and typography. This document was essential to maintain consistency across all the platforms. As the apps were native we followed both Material and iOS design guidelines for them. The UI design tool was Sketch and we made great use of the Craft plugin and InVision integration to create quick prototypes for testing.We also made use of symbols, components and styles that Sketch offers to speed up our workflows.

Data Analytics.

We worked with developers to make sure all the apps and website were tagged with Google Tag Manager and set up to work with Google Analytics. We regularly checked the dashboards and created custom funnels to see what our user/customers were doing. Based on what we learnt we could then make design decisions. It was very interesting to see how sports markets were very different to Australia in the United Kingdom.


On completion of the development work, we released the web and apps into the UK market. There were media campaigns with television commercials created. We had parties in Sydney and London to celebrate the launch. The primary stakeholders in the UK and Australia were impressed with the speed and quality of the delivery.


Selected Projects

© Julio Castellano 2018