i write this not as a disgruntled fan of the game, but as a befuddled designer.
i play words with friends a couple times a week, half the time from my iPhone, the other half from my iPad. one thing that i’ve always liked about the game is it’s simplicity. it’s easy, it’s fun, and can even be a little competitive from time to time.
words with friends recently made an update to their iPad app…
(my open letter begins now)
WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!
i understand that a lot of popular apps use a sliding container as a means of accessing navigation, but there is a time to use that functionality, AND A TIME TO NOT USE IT.
PROTIP: just because something is cool, or trendy, doesn’t mean you have to figure out a way to implement it.
why the hell would you have a container that slides left and right with swipe gestures when your entire game is based on swipe gestures in every direction?! do you take pleasure in frustrating your users with accidental gestures?
maybe you’ve done more user testing than i have on hand positioning when holding an iPad, but you have now moved all of the buttons to the most inconvenient part of the screen.
you’ve also made the letter blocks smaller. you do realize that the PRIMARY INTERACTION of your game is to move the letter blocks. why the shit would you make them smaller?!
lastly, the one thing that i’m willing to bet that most users do, when they’re not moving letter blocks, is switch between games, which you’ve decided will now be 2 taps instead of the previous 1 tap. ARE YOU KIDDING?! I realize that I’m bitching about 1 tap, but you couldn’t have had a simpler interaction, so instead, you decided to make it a little more complicated?
i’d love to know who decided all of this was acceptable, because they seem like an idiot. you’re building a game app, not a facebook app. OVERLAYS ARE JUST FINE. they work very well.
i’m sure there’s more, but i got so frustrated while playing that i decided to come write a stupid blog post about your stupid game.
don’t be dumb. fix it.
i love social media.
so, apparently i wasn’t the only person that complained. i really respect companies that listen and respond to social media. i really appreciate companies that care about their users and listen to feedback.
i got the following push notification about 36 hours after i originally posted this blog entry, and since then, a new ipad version of words with friends has been released, addressing most of my concerns. i’m super impressed. and, i kinda feel like an asshole now.