Zynga Poker Redesign

September 2013 - March 2014 (Actual redesign)
March 2013 - Present Day (On-going feature work + more redesign)

As the UX lead on this project, I worked directly with our Creative Director in executing the vision of a new Zynga Poker, to create the most modern and immersive poker experience for tablets and phones worldwide. This is the biggest update to Zynga Poker that's ever been done. I did wireframes, mockups, user testing, and implementation in Unity (NGUI and PlayMaker).

This won me the company-wide individual UX contributor award, "Up & to the Right" in Q2 2014.


Smarter Betting Controls + Fun Raise Slider

Distinctly different visuals for pre-bet vs. active bet states so it's always clear where the player's choice is being made. Only options that can be acted upon are shown. A raise slider that's fun to touch, visually see the chip stack get higher as the player is betting more. Tap to jump to a specific point. Refined controls for the more advanced player.

Clarity of Actions at the Table

Color coded to match betting controls. Calls out when something has changed that the player should pay attention to vs. something that's passive (opponent is just going along with the last change). Very clear who is in the hand vs who is folded out/doesn't matter at the moment. Players who are All In are immediately noticeable at a glance, and representative of the nervous excitement of the moment.

Game Feels Alive, Moments of Delight

Wins, especially big wins, feel celebratory with rich animations and visual effects. Buttons are responsive and fun to touch.

User Testing

For this project, we used an external team for user research testing. I coordinated with the researcher to fill her in on what we were looking for each week, and got her mocks and playable slices for testing in our on-site lab. I watched from the other side of the 2-way mirror for more than half of the 40+ user testing sessions, and was able to ask follow-up questions as necessary.


Not only were we redesigning the game, we were rebuilding it with new software. I learned Unity (NGUI and PlayMaker), helped teach other designers and artists how to use Unity/Git, and created documentation/how-to guides. Here are the "slides" that explain the difference between how we used to design for mobile vs. how we design for mobile in our new Unity world.