Monday 9 March 2015

Word Dance, On cloud Nine?

The Word Dance app is an interesting idea. In theory, it is used to review places, businesses and establishments nearby you with single words - any in the English dictionary. Once this is posted, anybody can see it in a group, known as a "Word Cloud". These words can be tapped, which adds a vote for that word and makes it a little bigger. Eventually the less popular words fade away and the largest, most voted words are the only remaining words, allowing the most common opinions to be most visible. This can allow you to find out what a place is like before visiting the place. For example, if I decide I want to eat out tonight, I can just open the app, find the place and read the words that most people thought. If I see the words "Dirty" or "Rude", I will decide not to go
there and instead choose a restaurant that has the words "Lovely" and "Value" floating in it's cloud.

Upon reading the description of Word Dance I was very impressed, the app seemed to be a great idea - it would all be about how well everything was implemented.

Upon downloading the app, you are prompted to sign up, using email or Facebook. The service is free and there were no ads from what I saw. The interface starts you off on the " Places Near You " page, which gives you a list of roads, businesses and towns in the nearby area. You can then search for a place, open a sidebar with the options to view your words, go home or deliver feedback.

Upon choosing a place to review, you see that places 'Word Cloud', for example, my own town has the words "Small" and "Friendly". Unfortunately, there is also the word "Faggot", as there is currently no censorship in the app, so long as the word is in the dictionary, it will work. I contacted Word Dance about this and was assured that a censorship system was being worked on - a welcome change to the app's seemingly impressive system.

The app runs very smoothly on my LG G3 and on the HTC One M8, however stutters a little on our HTC One Mini 2 and iPhone 5. The app failed to open every single time we tried it on a Oneplus One, however that isn't a very well optimized device. The app is very simple, which is what an app needs to be in order to function effectively. However there are some issues within the software.

The app's searching function is not particularly good. When searching for my home town, the results appeared in a very dark grey box below the search box, and I could only see one result. There was no way to scroll through results, so places with more common names will be very difficult to locate.

The interface is just a list of places and their names, there's no real-life linkage. If the system utilized a map, in which you began at your location and could scroll out, each town having their word clouds visible, but small, then each country. If one zoomed into a town they could see the individual place names and their clouds, adding this would add another dimension and make the app seem more localized - even if it's a big stretch.

We found that there was not enough of a social aspect to the app. You sign in with Facebook to leave one word reviews, however there is no way of seeing who left each word - I can imagine people in my area becoming very competitive of who's word could get more taps, which could increase Word Dance's customer base!

One word is not enough. I cannot stress enough. There are only so many words in the English dictionary and words cannot be added twice. Everything other than the obvious is just another way of saying the same thing. "Good" means the same as "Enjoyable" in essence. If the system allowed users to leave a phrase of up to 20 words and if tapped, the creator is visible, it may be a lot better for businesses and users. For example, I know a business owner very well. If the system allowed people to leave a review very quickly and have it join others in a "Word Cloud" (the name still works!), then the business would be able to read these and gain some meaningful information. If I have a bad experience at a restaurant and want to warn others off I could post "The food was cold and the air con was on too high, not recommended.", then the business would be able to look into why the food was cold and why the air con was on too high, whereas if I just put the words "Cold" and "Bad", then the business will be none the wiser to what you thought. The business could then find out who thought this and then contact me for more details or to offer them an apology.

I'd like to see an algorithm in which new reviews, from the previous paragraph, would be considered important reviews (perhaps in a different colour), as well as those with many taps, so as to make sure the new reviews didn't immediately get lost in the cloud by being miniscule immediately.

In conclusion, the app certainly has a lot of potential. The app could be the next Snapchat, it certainly seems to have taken design cues from Snapchat. Don't rule this app out just because of the issues we had - it is being updated to fix most of the bugs and we hardly ran into any. There are a few flaws, but it's still a fun and interesting way to share your thoughts with others. When the system gets way more users, we'll see how the Word Clouds develop, but right now they all look a little bit empty.
If you're an innovator or somebody who loves to be ahead of the curve, Word Dance should be on your phone and/or tablet RIGHT NOW, before it blows up and everybody's using it!

So what do you think? Does Word Dance get your vote of approval, or are you going to wait for the fixes? Did you already download Word Dance? Let us know in the comments below!

If you've been inspired by our review or you want to delve deeper into the depths of Word Dance don't even hesitate to visit their website: Click Here!

If you disagree with any of our points or have any feedback for us, send an email to:

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for taking the time to test out Word Dance. Your suggestions on mapping, allowing multi-word notes and increasing the social media interactions are great. The first two are a definite for future releases and the third I think we will default to to anonymous feedback but provide the option to provide named feedback linked to social profiles.

    I really appreciate the quality of your review and the time you have taken to think through some really clever improvements to the app - once again many thanks.