If there’s one increasingly popular form of software in play in the online space at the moment, it’s online poker software. Sadly, despite the popularity of this particular genre and its phenomenal growth in countries like France, it’s not always a guarantee that you’re going to be able to understand the games taking place at the virtual tables you’ll frequent. This isn’t because poker is difficult to grasp – It’s because some software designers aren’t always thinking objectively enough to see potential UI and usability problems before the software hits the market.
1) Be clear.
This is not an application that allows you to track the movements of a certain star across the sky – it’s online poker software. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to user interface design, and ensuring you give yourself enough space means having enough room for translated text appearing inside the allotted space, rather than French spilling out all over the UI, which may not please your user base.
Clear cards with obvious numbers, visible chip amounts, and of course, enough space on the table so it doesn’t feel like if the table was real you’d have nowhere to put your drink will also help. Responsive design isn’t a bad idea, either – it means your UI (for tips on it, this is worth a look) will work on a 27″ monitor or a netbook at a pinch – almost literally.
2) Be quick, be clear and think head.
Do not design slow software. While some software is powerful and complex enough to require a noticeable load time, the reason someone sits down to play around on a poker site is because they want instant gratification – poker, but without travelling to, say, the Paris poker rooms. As long as you’re thinking ahead in terms of your visual assets and how swiftly everything moves, you’ll be fine.
The thing about the French is they follow a lifestyle of enjoying art but getting things done, and you’ll find that if you learn to balance your software design principles across territories, things will go more smoothly. In the example of the French user logging onto Partypoker.fr, you’re looking at an individual just sinking into the incredible rise of poker in the country, and someone who may be new to it, and thus will need a clear GUI, as will pro players who want pure information with the minimum of interference from over-the-top animation and graphical work.
3) Don’t forget the fun.
Don’t make the software so “functional” that it then becomes almost depressing to use. It’s an online gaming platform, so remember to add colour, animation, make things visually enjoyable whilst remaining informative. Just because you’re opting for a WYSIWYG GUI doesn’t mean that you need to make everything simplistic.
The best part is you’re appealing to an audience who are finding all of this new and exciting.The rise of poker in France needs to be maintained by good poker http://pokerfuse.com/news/law-and-regulation/young-players-and-regulars-turn-their-backs-poker-france/ so if you take advantage of the trend in minimalist design and newbie-friendly GUI elements and tutorials, you’ll swiftly encounter a user base who are drawn to you because you’re the maker of software they want right now.