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Shooting For A Goal That’s Always Moving - Elliott Resnick, Managing Director Of First Look Games

Shooting For A Goal That’s Always Moving - Elliott Resnick, Managing Director Of First Look Games
Shooting For A Goal That’s Always Moving - Elliott Resnick, Managing Director Of First Look Games

Elliott Resnick, Managing Director of First Look Games, shares real-world insight into product development and why making improvements to the user experience never stops.

Having a best-in-class product is the foundation for success for most businesses in the sector. Operators, suppliers and affiliates are always looking to offer superior experiences to their customers, and this is done via the products they have developed. But just how easy is it to develop a product from scratch, let alone one that sets the standard for others to follow?And what pitfalls can companies face along the way?

According to Elliott Resnick, Managing Director at First Look Games, there are plenty of challenges to overcome when undertaking product development and in the quest for product excellence, a goal he believes is almost impossible to achieve. In the interview below, Resnick talks more about product development through the eyes of First Look Games.

Just how important is product in delivering the best possible user experience? 

The product is ultimately responsible for the user experience, so it is massively important. The product must be broken down into carefully curated journeys that ensure the user can get to where they need to be as quickly and easily as possible. This requires logic and deep planning. But this takes a great deal of time and patience as journeys evolve and must always be fine-tuned and improved based on user feedback. Product development never stops and there are always areas where friction can be reduced, steps removed and information presented more concisely, etc.

For First Look Games, this has seen us focus heavily on the publisher user journey – affiliates need to be able to find specific studios and games, and then be able to access information and assets for each. To do this, we used the blueprint of an app when mapping out the user journey for the first time. This is a journey that the vast majority of users would be familiar with and would make navigating First Look Games intuitive and logical.

Since launching with version one, we have released several major product updates to ensure our product is easier, faster and generally better to use. For example, when a publisher first accesses the asset pack for a game, they see the title and key info (RTP, paylines, volatility, etc), then below this are the assets (game sheet, logos, images, etc) and to the side is the demo link. This puts everything in one place, making it easy for the user to find the info and assets they are looking for.

What are the main pitfalls that can be faced when it comes to product development?

Trying to push an idea or concept too far too quickly. It’s important to be realistic about what can be achieved with the resources available and within a set time – if you’re not, your product or the upgrades you are looking to implement simply won’t come to fruition. This is why you need to build out an experienced and talented product team that knows how to communicate – don’t be afraid to surround yourself with people who are more experienced or better qualified than yourself.

It’s ok to have bold ideas, but they need to be properly conceptualised, approved by the developers tasked with bringing them to life, and then road-mapped and project-managed. The real heroes at First Look Games are those behind the scenes who have made the product what it is today, in particular Steve Coleman and Zsolt Vereb – Steve’s product management skills are exceptional and Zsolt is one of the most skilled developers I’ve ever worked with.

How can these pitfalls be avoided? Can you share some examples from developing the First Look Games product?

Planning is key, but so too is listening to user feedback. You might have an idea for an update you think will drastically improve the user experience, but customer feedback might say otherwise or demand a different upgrade. There’s also an element of “learn as you go” and collaborating with your users to truly understand the pain points and areas of friction they are encountering. Customer support is a highly effective way of getting this insight.

At First Look, we have always listened to feedback and used it to guide our product roadmap. This is what led to us developing and rolling out our accuracy scanner after a representative from one studio and content aggregator mentioned that some publishers were mixing up the games they had developed in-house with those from the third-party providers using their distribution platform. So we set to work on a solution.

The result is our accuracy scanner, which automatically scans the content published by our affiliate partners, picks up any inaccuracies and then notifies the publisher of the mistake and the correction they need to make. If we didn’t listen to feedback and collaborate so closely with our users, this tool simply wouldn’t have found itself on our product roadmap.

What does product excellence look like? Is there such a thing as the perfect product? 

There is no such thing as a perfect product. For me, product excellence is an approach to product that requires a constant drive towards excellence even though you know it’s a point you will never reach. What users demand from a product is always changing, and so too is the landscape in which products are being used.

This is why development, iteration and evolution are so important and only by constantly updating your product can you even get close to it being considered excellent. I liken this situation to a snowball rolling down a hill.

It gets faster and faster as the momentum builds which makes it hard to keep pace with. In the world of product development, you absolutely need to stay up to speed, especially as demand for your product increases. This brings pressures which you need to be able to handle while also having the resources available to keep developing your product so that it’s up to speed and meeting customer demand.


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