BetDEX Sportsbook

Building on the beta launch of the Exchange, the BetDEX Sportsbook is strategically designed to allure and captivate a larger audience.

Principal Designer


Present (2Y)


Responsive Web

Responsive Web


After the launch of the BetDEX Exchange Beta in 2022, there was a noticeable decline in site engagement. Among our initial core users were sophisticated, high-volume sports traders. These users, seeking substantial market liquidity, found it challenging to place the large bets they desired on our platform.

The inability to match their large bets led to frustration among these traders. When they couldn't achieve the bet volume they wanted, their dissatisfaction grew, and many sought alternative exchanges that could accommodate their needs. This resulted in a significant number of these high-value users departing from BetDEX.

Before diving into this case study, you might find it helpful to review the findings from the BetDEX Exchange project.

Liquidity, liquidity, Liquidity

As the platform experienced a decline in larger bettors due to difficulties in matching their bets, it became clear that increasing BetDEX's platform liquidity was essential. There were two main strategies to achieve this:



Engage with Market Makers

By partnering with professional bookmaking companies willing to risk their own capital.


Scale the Customer Base

Increasing our DAUs and bet volumes means more bets. More bets means more liquidity. 

To date, our product and marketing efforts had primarily targeted 'crypto natives' and professional or experienced bettors, who were classified as 'Premium Economy' and 'Business Class' customers respectively. However, prior research had shown that these segments were significantly smaller than the 'Economy' market aka casual bettors. In the beta phase, we consciously avoided targeting casual bettors for two reasons:

  1. They typically do not use exchanges and would need considerable education to navigate our platform.

  2. They are feature-heavy customers, requiring substantial development effort to meet their needs for promotional funds, social features, etc.

However with time it had become evident that to expand our customer base and, by extension, liquidity, targeting the 'Economy' market segment was necessary. At this time however a clear understanding of the needs and wants of these casual bettors was lacking, indicating a need for further research to effectively engage with this audience.

Beta launch target audience

Beta launch target audience

Updated segmentation demonstrating relative market size, against volume and price sensitivity

Updated segmentation demonstrating relative market size, against volume and price sensitivity

Prioritising Economy

To attract and engage 'Economy' customers, two key initiatives were prioritised:


Sportsbook Ui

Develop a sportsbook-like UI over the exchange to offer a more familiar environment for casual bettors.


Promotional incentives

Implement promotional mechanics within the app to acquire and retain 'Economy' class customers.

Our goal with these initiatives was to address the challenges highlighted in our customer research. By providing an experience closer to what these customers were accustomed to and integrating enticing incentives, we aimed to enhance the platform's appeal to casual bettors. This, in turn, was expected to contribute positively to the overall liquidity of the exchange, making it a more vibrant and engaging marketplace for all users.

Surveying casual bettor behaviours and needs

Surveying casual bettor behaviours and needs

Evaluating the Impact

Building a sportsbook experience on top of the exchange would impact almost every aspect of the site. The starting point of this initiative was to assess the current site structure and what would be impacted.

Charting the sites functionality and its changes

Charting the sites functionality and its changes

Exchange vs Sportsbook

The approach here was to give users control over their experience, allowing them to switch between the sportsbook and exchange views as desired, thus enhancing user satisfaction and engagement with our platform. The default experience when hitting BetDEX would be the sportsbook interface, with the aim of offering a familiar experience for new users right from the start. However, it was important to provide multiple options to switch experiences. This included during the sign-up and onboarding process, as well as a permanent toggle in the application's header.

Coupon Redesign

Lay bets, liquidity and traded amounts were removed from the coupon design. As discovered in the research findings these were difficult concepts for economy customers to grasp and caused drop offs.

Sportsbook coupon ideation

Sportsbook coupon ideation

Bet Placement

In our efforts to streamline the user experience for the 'Economy' segment, significant changes were made to the bet placement process. We undertook a comprehensive overhaul of the flow to eliminate complexities associated with exchange functionality, like selecting prices and lay bets.

Copy and terminology was simplified to align with popular sportsbooks, for example we replaced the term 'Profit' with 'Returns'. Additionally, we introduced educational prompts within error messages. This approach served a dual purpose: firstly, to assist users in resolving any issues they encountered promptly, and secondly, to educate them about the nuances of using a sportsbook built atop an exchange platform. These prompts were designed to inform users about the limitations inherent in such a setup, thereby enhancing their understanding and overall experience with our platform.

Example sportsbook betslip iterations

Example sportsbook betslip iterations


During our research, it became evident that promotional mechanics are a potent tool for both attracting and retaining 'Economy' customers. To capitalise on this insight, we developed the ‘Request-A-Boost’ feature. This allows customers to request enhanced odds, an exchange based adaptation on the odds boost promotions common on centralised sportsbooks.

The 'Request-A-Boost' feature utilises the underlying exchange mechanics to offer customers improved odds at the current lay price, under the anticipation that the market will shift favourably and their bet will be matched. Customers are given the freedom to choose their desired price and are informed of the likelihood that their request will be accepted (matched). If the request is not fulfilled within an hour, it automatically cancels, and the customer’s stake is returned. This approach was designed to marry the unique capabilities of an exchange with the user-friendly aspects of traditional sportsbooks, aiming to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement through perceived value and interactive choice.

Iterating the Request-A-Boost feature


Leveraging the DUX Design System, we swiftly created Figma prototypes to evaluate our new experience. The end-to-end flow of signing up through to placing a bet, underwent 7 extensive testing sessions and over 80 economy participants from our Prolific testing pool.

💡 Research insights

  1. Participants found it easy to understand and toggle between the different user exchange and sportsbook experiences.

  2. Users traditionally familiar with sportsbooks—our 'Economy' customers—adapted very well to the UI. They experienced none of the apprehension often associated with more complex exchange interfaces, suggesting the sportsbook-like design successfully mitigated these concerns.

  3. The implementation of error messages and subsequent educational modals proved highly effective. Not only were participants able to quickly and effortlessly rectify issues, but they also gained a deeper understanding of the sportsbook’s operational boundaries and the fundamentals of exchange betting.

  4. The 'Request-A-Boost' feature was positively received, resonating with users familiar with similar promotions in traditional sportsbooks. Its familiar yet distinct approach offered a unique selling point, distinguishing it from other market offerings and enhancing user engagement.

These insights were instrumental in validating the design changes and promotional strategies, demonstrating their effectiveness in improving the user experience for our targeted 'Economy' customer segment.

Validating designs via Maze and Prolific

Validating designs via Maze and Prolific

The Result

The introduction of the Sportsbook experience and the 'Request-A-Boost' feature represents a pivotal moment for BetDEX, coinciding with the platform's transition out of beta. This strategic move aims to cater to a broader user base by combining the familiar interface of traditional sportsbooks with the unique advantages offered by a betting exchange and blockchain technology.

The 'Request-A-Boost' feature, in particular, was designed not only to augment the platform's liquidity but also to serve as a distinctive feature that sets BetDEX apart in the competitive sportsbook market. By offering this innovative option, BetDEX aims to provide an enhanced betting experience that leverages the platform's inherent strengths.

The rollout of these features is eagerly anticipated, with expectations that they will broaden BetDEX’s appeal, attract a more diverse user group, and ultimately increase the volume of bets placed. This, in turn, is projected to enrich the ecosystem's liquidity, fostering a more dynamic and engaging betting environment for all users.

Will Loveland 2024

Will Loveland 2024