Friday, March 28, 2008

Guest Post Friday: HPI Website: It’s Busy!

I find it interesting when people change things up on the web. After all, it is perhaps the biggest change in business of our time, it is relatively new, and people are still learning. Some of the webpages and e-commerce sites out there look like they are designed by monkey’s. Others are flat out gold that we love to visit.

In Advance Deposit Wagering your website is your face, your storefront, your business. I love watching changes at Twinspires.com, the ever changing Premier Turf Club and others. I have always felt WEG lagged far behind these two ADW’s in terms of fan-friendliness and usability. I always have felt when I entered their website(s), that I should get a piece of cheese if I found what I was looking for.

Well, they changed the old clunker that was a website to a new one. Horseplayerinteractive is born.

I will go through it at a later time, but two users give their take on the site. Let’s see what they have to say.

User 1: The Information Seeker


When a website is changed or upgraded, the newer version is usually intended to be superior to the old site, but when I visit the new Horseplayer Interactive site, I find myself longing for last week, when it was much less cluttered.

I am not a gambler, so the only reason I use HPI is to get programs for Woodbine or other tracks I might be covering for The Harness Edge. This used to be fairly straightforward, you’d login on the HPI site, get a list of options you could use, click the programs, click Woodbine or Mohawk, click the program you wanted, and you were done.

Now, I have to surf through an endless series of screens just to get to the program I want to view. Like I said, I’m not a gambler, and HPI made it very clear to me that due to my location (The United States), I wouldn’t be able to bet through them anyways.

So, I find myself asking what the point of all this unnecessary change is if I can’t use the site to bet, and I imagine I’m not the only one since WEG is very restrictive as to who they do and do not allow to use HPI to wager.

Also, good luck to you if you want to view some older programs in case you’re looking back to see an old race line or something, because that just takes you through another entire mess of screens that could have you pulling out your hair before you can view your program.

Just in the last few nights, some people I consider to be quite intelligent have had to ask questions on how to access parts of the site on the harnessdriver.com message board. If you’re in charge of a re-design, the last thing you should want is your visitors to need a tutorial or a road map just to figure out where they need to go.

WEG does a lot of good things with their web site and connected sites sometimes, like adding race replays, but occasionally, they do things like putting their video stream on full lock-down mode or this confusing site “upgrade” that leave me shaking my head.

User 2: The Gambler

I understand that they are trying to combine three sites into one, however,
I think its a good ole case of too much too soon.

The Good

Finally there are video streams for tracks that I want to bet but can't see. This
feature will definitely bring in more handle to the pools of smaller tracks and some of the US tracks that don't get coverage on the network

The little scrolling advertisement board of big payoffs. Instead of showing
payoffs that have already happened, why not post carryovers for the certain tracks in their p6 or p4. That would entice betting wouldn't it?

The Bad

Now with it all combined into one, having it log out after “x” amount of
time is not good. I want to leave webtote running and don't want to have to worry about logging in at 1 minute to post while I'm trying to get late bets in

I can only view one stream at a time. They need to make the streams available in
some other format that maybe pop up in internet explorer windows which in
turn can be made full screen.

Too many popup windows....even Bill Gates drew the line somewhere.

In a disclaimer they are hinting that they want to charge for replays...I won't pay for that..

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate they are trying to make things better...but
we went from slow motion to everything at once.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?