Wordle: Connectivity Bringing People Together
People have played word games for years, and it’s not uncommon to see word gurus scratching their heads trying to figure out the correct answers in a crossword puzzle. A relatively newcomer in the online word-games arena is Wordle. If you’re a tech-savvy individual who loves social media (particularly Twitter), the chances are that you’ve heard of it – the numerous posts featuring green, yellow, and gray boxes.
What is Wordle?
Much like a crossword, Wordle is a once-a-day game that people play online for fun. Every 24 hours, the app refreshes a new five-letter word that players must guess to find out what the hidden word is, and the game does an excellent job of explaining the rules and whether a player is close to getting it right.
Players have six chances of getting the correct answer right. If the word you choose has a correct letter in the right spot, the box turns green. If a correct letter is in the wrong spot, it shows up yellow, and if the letter isn’t in the hidden word, it shows up gray. That means you can make six five-letter burner words to get hints and then use the final chance to use spell out the correct answer.
Developed by Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based developer, in October 2021, Wordle’s popularity rose exponentially. A month later, 90 people were playing the game daily. By New Year’s Day, the online game had gone viral, and over 300,000 people played the game, according to The New York Times.
The love story behind Wordle
An interesting fact about Wordle is that Josh Wardle created the game for his partner. He noticed that his wife loved playing word games. So, instead of his wife searching for other sources, such as NYT’s Spelling Bee and daily crosswords, he decided to develop a word game for her. As you may have guessed, Josh named Wordle as a play on his last name.
There was no professional team of web engineers behind Wordle’s creation. It was only him and his colleague, Palak Shah, developing something that would keep them and their partners occupied during the pandemic.
A few days later, he introduced the game in his family’s WhatsApp group, and it rapidly became an obsession. That’s when he realized the game would also get the same level of love and fun among other online users. He released it to players throughout the world in October. Unlike other online game apps, Wordle offers a no-frills option, without the frequent ad pop-ups or flashing banners, only the game in a black backdrop.
According to Josh, the secret behind Wordle’s breakthrough was limiting the game to one word per day. Scarcity certainly creates value, and after providing only one hidden word for 24 hours, online players couldn’t wait for the next day to try their luck with another word.
Smart Design Features that Propelled Wordle to a Global Audience
Wordle is a “mini-site of delight,” one of the web design trends for 2022, and one of the reasons the online word game has gained tremendous popularity within a few months. Still, a combination of smart design features about Wordle has made it gunner a massive following.
Below are the lessons we can learn from Wordle’s success:
Simple user experience (UX)
Playing Wordle is extremely straightforward. The game offers players two types of clues: guessing the correct letter and determining if the letter is in the right place. Built with accessibility in mind, it comes with high color contrast to accommodate color-blind users. For instance, you can switch to a blue and orange color combination instead of the default green and yellow.
Highly shareable to spark conversations
After noticing that players shared color-coded emojis on Twitter to reflect their guess history, Josh added a sharing feature to the game, propelling its popularity significantly. There’s no URL to the sharing feature, meaning only players searching for Wordle can get it. Additionally, the emoji pattern is highly distinguishable and naturally “nudges” players to share and discuss their methods of hacking the word of the day.
Wordle doesn’t waste people’s time. Unlike other aesthetic, dopamine-stimulating apps that keep you glued to your smartphone’s screen for hours, Wordle has a strict time limit. After exhausting your six guesses, the hidden word refreshes at midnight. Thus, you’ll have to wait till midnight to have a chance to play again. Players can focus their time on other important stuff while waiting for the new word to refresh.
Designed for scale
The Wordle app was initially hosted on a private company’s servers. Following its meteoric rise, Josh moved it onto Cloudfare and Amazon Cloud for hosting. Through the advancement in software technology, he could easily add new features and reach out to an even wider audience.
After Wordle became a staple for many online word-game buffs, many devoted fans created the game in other languages, new colorful geographic versions, and even satirical variations. While many people relish the original version, some got inspired to name their creations in other languages, such as Sweardle. In fact, that even drew new players back to the original app.
How connectivity can help create apps that promote integration
Gone is the era when internet connectivity was limited to computer geeks and wizards. People today leverage connectivity to communicate beyond the traditional social construct of neighborhoods and villages to geographically social networks through smartphones and computers.
Internet connectivity can help people and organizations develop advanced software applications, such as word games, social media, and online gaming platforms, to maintain social networks among people within various geographical regions while seamlessly maintaining in-person encounters.
Furthermore, there’s connectivity multiplexity. That means that the more people see each other and hold conversations through various interconnected apps, the more they appreciate and use these applications. Internet technology’s connectedness among people of geographically different social spaces has real benefits. For instance, people take advantage of internet connectivity to seek out others when they need help or find solutions to problems.
An excellent example is Wordle and its eye-catching sharing feature. It naturally prompts players to look for other players online and share the different approaches to solving the new word of the day. In such a case, Wordle has connected people and transformed communication from house-to-house to person-to-person. Such forums discredit the reliance on a single community for social capital, enabling people to source different ideas to help solve a common problem.
In summary, connectivity is more than just a tool; it plays socially beneficial roles, helping the world move towards networked individualism.
Linking People with Allo
Allo’s commitment goes beyond expanding the nation’s fiber network. It’s about connecting people the way apps do and are certain to continue doing into the future. It’s about helping foster new relationships and maintaining existing ones, both personal and business. So Malaysians can enjoy apps like Wordle and the many social benefits they bring to families and loved ones every day.
Contact Allo today to see how we can bring connectivity to your area.