Wednesday, February 16, 2022

4 Things Museum Exhibit Designers Can Learn From Wordle

Wordle is a massively popular online word game.  Whether you play the game or not, there are four important aspects of Wordle that every exhibit and experience designer should keep in mind.

1) Approachability
The rules and gameplay of Wordle are easy to learn and easy to understand.  There are no long and complicated instructions.  In fact, an experienced player could explain the game to a brand-new player in seconds.  Intuitive experiences are ones that a wide range of users can engage with right away.

2) Desireability
Wordle is only available to play once a day.  I think the fact that you can't really "binge" Wordle builds up a level of anticipation in players and creates something they look forward to.

3) Flexibility
Even though Wordle is fairly simple to play, the design and structure of the game invite players to try a variety of strategies.  Some people always use the same starting word, while others try different words every day.  Some players think it's important to use vowels right away, while others think exactly the opposite.  Like many design challenges, there is usually not just one right answer or approach.

4) Shareability
Lastly, even though Wordle is an online game, it lends itself to social dynamics.  Many people (myself included!) share their daily scores with family or friends, and the big "SHARE" button that pops up at the end of every game encourages that social sharing.

If you don't already play Wordle, give it a try.  Who knows, it might inspire your next design project!

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Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul likes to combine interesting people, ideas, and materials to make exhibits (and entire museums!) with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.) Let's work on a project together!

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