FROM THE BRONCOS TO THE BACHELOR

Fantuition was an an online game that allowed people to attempt to predict the outcome of their favorite events, like sports or TV shows. Most current fantasy sports leagues require a huge time committment and a great deal of knowledge and dedication. We aimed to offer quick, fun games for niche topics, that might appeal to a much wider audience.

Becuase we were a funded, bootstrapped startup of three, we all wore many hats. My responsiblities spanned from defining our brand identity all the way to designing a responsive web app. While not designing campaigns and marketing materials for differnt social channels, I'd constantly be iterating on different user flows and features.

Fantuition quickly cumulated a loyal, dedicated fanbase. A community that was always ready and willing to provide feedback, which made testing and improving the experience a dream. We were able to quickly uncover insights regarding preferred game types, styles and formats.

It quickly became very clear that although the product was beloved by many, it wasn't sticky enough. Although we had strong metrics regarding DAUs, those visitors were only visiting for a short period of time to make their picks, then abandoning the app. To remedy this and increase stickiness, we tested a few options:

  1. More Games and Categories – Increase reach to new users, while providing more variety to those already using the product.
  2. Daily Pick Game Type – Encourages users to visit the app every day, as opposed to just the day of their scheduled event. Also increases game variety.
  3. Gamification to the Rescue – Many psychological advantages which led to increased engagement.

Step one: We noticed many of our most popular games were in the entertainment category. We constantly received requests to add popular TV shows. People are already trying to predict what's going to happen on their favorite shows, so why not compete for prizes while doing so? Increasing our game types allowed us to acquire many new users we wouldn't have with only offering sport-type events. Within our marketing efforts, we noticed targeting and advertising to certain users for a specific game, almost always resulted in them converting and playing at least one to two other event types.

The Daily Pick instantly resulted in a dramatic increase in DAUs. It was quick, it was easy and there was very little time or risk involved in playing. It also allowed us to introduce an even larger variety of events. Many of these events may not have been worhty of a season, or even could be, as they are limited in time and lenght, but could easily be featured for a day. We could then leverage these one-off events in our marketing efforts, to acquire new users to the app.

The most common frustration we heard from users was related to season timing. If a season had already been active for an extended period of time and a new user wanted to join and play, they had little to no chance of winning that season and obtaining the prize. This gave them very little incentive to join even if the act of playing is enjoyable in and of itself. To recity this issue, we created a weighted reward system, based on the size of the game. That is, rather than receiving a fixed number of points per game you won, you were now awarded certain number of tokens that was dynamically calculated based on your performance and the number of people in the game. So, even if you joined late, you had the opportunity to do well and instantly climb the leaderboard.

We gave people that satisfaction of "collecting" their rewards. We also introduced another element to the gamification system: "Rewards". These rewards would extend from the game experience and into the overall Fantuition experience. Visiting, sharing, inviting, commenting and many other user actions could result in a reward. There's plenty of data that supports the positive psychological effects of offering rewards and tokens to users.

These additions to the overall experience resulted in a dramatic increase in many of our KPIs. More importantly, qualitative feedback showed that the overall perception of Fanuition as a quick, fun prediction gaming experience was at an all time high. Fantuition was truly FUNtuition (BA DUM, CHING!).