This wasn’t Josh’s first rodeo.
By the time Wordle came out, he had already published at least a couple successful collaborative games. So he knew a thing or two about what makes a good game tick.
On the surface such a simple concept looks like it could be coded by an average software engineer in a few days, max.
But it’s the seemingly little things that took years of learnings for Josh to pull off.
First, it takes just seconds to learn how to play. And after that, it keeps you engaged by striking the right balance between challenging and time-efficient (after all this was designed to be played every day).
It’s also got a sense of nostalgia thanks to its similarity to word games from the good ol’ days, like crosswords and Boggle.
But why do people share it like crazy?
Because it makes you look smart and wholesome, in a not-too-showy way.
It’s easily sharable too. Every time you get a good score and you’re feeling great, you’re just a click away from sharing your results, without even giving away the answer.
And for your friends - as Wordle is simply on a website there’s almost no friction - no app to install before seeing if they can do better than you.
Every 24 hours, a new word comes out, so the game always feels new and urgent. There are people who wake up in the middle of the night to try be the first person in the world to solve it.
It’s a hot pot of emotions and friendly rivalries that boil into infectious hype.