A sports betting app from idea to prototype in 6 days.

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Instabet- the safest, most trusted, and simplest legal sports betting app. Another UX designer and I were hired to bring this idea to life over the course of 6 days just in time to pitch to a venture capital firm. The stakeholder wanted to create a sports betting app that was A) easy and fun to use, and B) safe and trusted by users. After his pitch using our designs and prototype, it received $1 million in funding!


  • Time (6 days)
  • No budget for user testing
  • Active gamblers don't trust online sportsbooks
  • Non-gamblers find existing gambling apps to be confusing


  • Guerrilla user testing (A/B and usability)
  • Unmoderated video usability tests
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Using common language instead of betting jargon and styling


First sketch

Becuase of the six day time contraint, we had no time to waste. We worked with the client to hammer out the details of the app: types of bets offered, target market, style of betting, and what we needed to test. We quickly brainstormed, sketched, and iterated before creating our first prototype for user testing.


The main design we needed to test was the wording: the new suggested way of betting (Test A) against the industry standard way of betting (Test B). Which wording do people prefer and why?

A/B testing with 8 participants showed that Test A was the preferred version. Participants were confused by the standard point system used in a spread bet. This showed that gambling lingo is challenging to understand when one is not familiar with the language. To reach a wider market, this app needed to omit betting jargon and use common everyday vocabulary.

“Maybe 4.5 is the rating or the probability of them winning?”

“I don’t know sports jargon so maybe this isn’t for me.”

Test A

Test B


Another design that we needed to test was a horizontal game layout versus a vertical game layout, which is the typical layout.

Vertical was preferred by the majority of participants. This was a suprising finding to me as I preferred the horizontal layout and thought it was easier to scan across and read from left to right.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Layout

Red dot vs. Blue Bar


The third design that we needed to test was an active bet symbol. The most frequent comment we received from the participants was that they thought the red dot (the active bet indicator) next to the game meant "live" or "in play." Some said it reminded them of a recording button. We ended up changing it to a more apparent blue bar which was less alarming and didn't have the resemblance of a recording light or the alarming feedback of the color red.


We used the feedback from the first round to make changes to the jargon, game layouts, and active bet indicator. In the second round of testing a few days later, we wanted to test the main user flow. With the new design iterations, participants were more successful completing tasks such as: "If you were to make a bet that the Seattle Seahawks will beat the San Francisco 49ers by 5 or more points, how would you go about doing that?"

Round 2 User Flow

Below are the main three iterations of the betting page that we went through based on the research we conducted and the feedback from the participants.

First, Second, and Final Iterations


With feedback from the client, we decided to go with a blue background which was more visually stimulating and to create modular sections for categories of content. This seemed to be more suiting for a sports related app and fun for users to interact with. Below is the final happy path, and below that all the final screens used for the VC pitch. After pitching this final prototype to investors, the idea received $1 million in funding. The company is now renamed Readyfire.

Upcoming Games

Make A Bet

Input Bet

Confirm Bet

Successful Bet

Active Bets

Balance And Earnings

Current Bets

UX Designer/Researcher