Discovery: After conducting user interviews about pain points in the core loop of the game, we found a common thread: Players are having trouble understanding why they are losing hands. Challenge: Make the “Win Moment” more informative and easier to understand, without changing the timing (tech constraint).
After several rounds of sketching and dog-food testing, we came up with the following key changes:
During the “Win Moment” every player who is still in turns over their “hole cards” to reveal their hand. In the short amount of time alotted for the Win Moment, it was difficult to differentiate the winner’s cards from everyone else’s.
When a player wins a hand, they effectively show 7 cards. In the previous implementation all 7 cards were visually treated the same way. In the new version, we put a gold glow around only the significant cards. For example: If you win with a "Three of a kind", the three matching cards have the gold glow, making it easier to see the winning cards at-a-glance.
This improvement was aimed at newer players. It can often be difficult to know what type of hand the winning hand actually was. By providing an easily digestable, verbose callout, it because clear very quickly what the winning hand was.
With these changes implemented, complaints about unfairly losing hands went down significantly.