The Smashing Cartoons by Smashing Magazine

The Smashing Cartoons by Smashing Magazine

Draw Something is currently one of the hottest games to play on your Android or iOS device – and we know because it has invaded our office, resulting in all kinds of hilarious images and sudden burst of “ohhhh… I see it now!”

Best described as a combination of Words with Friends and the classic game, Pictionary, the game is incredibly fun and highly addictive. In fact, after three weeks of use, I am considering checking myself into anti-gaming rehab.

How it works

1. You start a game with friends by connecting the app to Facebook or by using their email address or Draw Something username. You can play multiple games with different friends simultaneously. You can also play with random Draw Something users if you find you don’t have enough friends to sufficiently support your habit to the addictive game.

2. Once you have selected a friend to play with, you choose one of three words that vary in difficulty from easy, medium or hard. You then draw a picture of your chosen word and send it to your friend. They then have to try to figure out what you’ve drawn using a subset of the letters shown on the screen. Based on the fact that few of us are anything remotely close to artists, this is the fun part.

3. If your friend guesses the correct word, you are both awarded coins that you can use to purchase more colours or bombs. The number of coins you receive depends on the difficulty of the word your drew. You get one coin for easy, two for medium and three for the hardest word.

4. It’s then your friend turn to draw and your turn to guess. This cycle continues indefinitely, even if either person fails to guess correctly.

Plastic Mobile User Experience Draw Something App Review from Plastic Mobile on Vimeo.

Despite the addictive nature of the game, and how much the Plastic Mobile team seems to love it, we decided to take an objective look at its overall usability.

Usability Issues

 

I encountered one minor usability issue while using this app. I found that while trying to guess words, the bottom portions of some drawings were obstructed by the semi-transparent overlay showing the number of letters in the word.

Only after repeatedly becoming frustrated with this, I realized that I could pull up the image and uncover the bottom portion.

 

A possible solution for this issue could be a “hide” button that would toggle the visibility of the overlay, or a more evident and intuitive scrolling option.

 

Pros

  • Play with friends or random players
  • Seeing replays of your friends guessing and drawing (so hilarious at times!)
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Simple interface
  • Highly entertaining and interactive

Cons

  • Limited dictionary (words are repeated among different players)
  • You can write instead of drawing (takes the fun out of playing)
  • Obstructed view of some drawings

 

 

Suggestions for Improvement

  • Give users the ability to pause and navigate away from a game that is in progress. Right now, in order to leave a game with one friend and move to the next, users must finish guessing and drawing. The only other option available to users is shutting down and re-launching the app.

 

  • Provide users with an option that would allow them to undo their last action while drawing. This would save users from having to erase parts or all of their drawings in order to correct any mistakes.

 

 

Side Note: Back to the Stylus…

Here at Plastic Mobile, we are in the midst of an ongoing debate regarding the use of the stylus. We generally believe that the introduction of the touch screen should have been the ultimate demise of the stylus. We agree with Steve Jobs’ belief that we are born with 10 of the best pointing devices in the world.

However, after playing Draw Something, I could see why sometimes a stylus could be useful.

Are you as addicted to Draw Something as the Plastic Mobile team? Tweet us @plasticmobile.

The stylus has been a heated topic of conversation around the office ever since last week’s Bagel Wednesday. Today, the battle continued between the pro-pen vs. anti-stylus fanatics during our discourse of baked goods.

A key component to the dispute is, of course, Apple vs. Android – with Apple users in the office suggesting that a stylus is more suitable for an Android device because iOS products are (their words) “superior.” WELL. According to this article in Gizmodo, there is a stylus for iPad that might actually be better than our “inferior” phalanges.

Ten One Design’s Pogo was one of the first styluses designed for use with iOS devices and has recently out done itself with the pressure-sensitive super stylus (code name: Blue Tiger).

Using a low-power Bluetooth 4.0 connection it wirelessly connects to your iOS device without the huge, heavy battery pack that can make a stylus quite the cumbersome utensil. Also, as long as an app supports it, the Blue Tiger can accurately relay information about how hard you’re pressing. This technology is amazing for the artist group – probably the stylus’ no. 1 supporters. The Blue Tiger allows the users to vary the thickness of a stroke based simply on how they apply pressure. Pretty cool for artists, but what does that mean for the rest of us?

Is the Blue Tiger awesome enough to convince the skeptics in our office to choose a pen over our handy (get it, hand – y?) fingers to conduct every day iPad use? Tell us what you think on twitter @plasticmobile.

Blue Tiger Stylus. Photo: Gizmodo