World’s Biggest Crossword

I like to do the odd crossword, always have, since I was about 12. I got this app in the Kindle Fire called World’s Biggest Crossword (WBCW). It’s not really a massive crossword at all, just a large collection of normal sized crosswords. There’s a grid of 19×19 squares, each of which leads to a new puzzle.

I’ve just completed it, 361 puzzles, 7455 clues in all. That’s quite a lot for someone who just likes the odd crossword. The reason I’ve played it so much is down to the clever way it’s designed to hook you in. You see you can’t just play any puzzle, you have to buy entry to it with tokens. The app awards you new tokens every day. The clever part is that it rewards you with more for returning on consecutive days so you quickly find yourself starting it up every day so as to maximise your token earnings. Very sneaky.

It’s completely free but I’ve seen a lot of banner ads in that time. Ker-ching! It also offers you more tokens in exchange for sharing on Facebook and/or Twitter. Not that I ever did that. I’m not going to start bothering people with my crossword progress. Seems like a sure fire way to┬álose friends and alienate people.

Questioning the UX of an App I’ve Never Seen

This is an odd one. There’s an App out there called Tinder. I’ve never seen it but have heard a few people talking about it on the radio and on podcasts. Without even seeing it for myself I’m questioning its usability. Is that normal?

From what I understand it’s kind of a dating service where the user is shown photos of other users in his/her vicinity. The idea is you then basically accept or reject each and if 2 users accept each other something happens – I don’t know what – they didn’t talk about that bit. I’d guess some kind of notification or they go through to the next round or, at least, some kind of progress. Anyway, the point here, and the bit these conversations have focused on, is the design of the basic accept or reject user actions. Apparently you swipe left for one and right for the other and users are getting confused. They either forget which is which (I’m sure there are some visual cues so assume they must be going very fast), or they try to go back to a previous one and reject them (I guess that swipe left is probably reject then?).

My immediate thought was why not make the left and right swipe simply the means of navigating between photos and make swiping up and down the reject and accept actions? It seems more logical to me that a swipe up is pushing the photo away – reject – and that a swipe down is pulling it towards you – accept.

There you go. In my head I’ve redesigned the UX for an App I’ve never seen.