Pokerstars Mobile Redesign



As a poker player with previous design experience on poker apps for mobile, I was hired by the head of design at Pokerstars to work closely with him on a UX/UI overhaul of their existing IOS app, which is played regularly by millions of active users. There were two main components to this: the menu system and the in-game experience.


Initial Sketching for the in-game experience


I began by working on the game itself, which had become bloated with outdated UI elements, including shortcuts to menu items that were not easily accessed anywhere else in the app and which often overlapped each other. In this image, you can see my final breakdown of the positioning of each UI component. This was proofed for localisation and efficiently laid out so that temporary UI elements replaced non-essential UI at appropriate moments during the hand (bets, raises, comments, etc).

The Pokerstars app is deceptively complicated when compared to other poker apps. In the top left corner, you can see a small shape that contains a summary of your hand along with an ‘add’ button. This widget allows users to join new tables and jump between them quickly. It also summarises the user’s hand on each table and uses colour to indicate how much time is left on each turn. To make this work properly, I lobbied to have many of the in-game advert buttons removed, arguing that we could effectively present those options in the menu instead.


Menu prototyping and user feedback


During the process of designing the menu, I observed a great deal of existing telemetry and user testing. Because the initial menu system had been designed to be very simple, it had not dealt with expansion well. Additional menu systems and settings could be found in different places and users described frustration at not being able to form a coherent understanding of how the menu worked. When redesigning the menu, I rearranged all existing functionalities into a tree structure and included a lot of proposed customisation features in my mockups to show how it could withstand significant additional detail. I then created multiple motion prototypes to illustrate various user journeys. Below is an animation describing how a user could customise their in-game scene.