Topimage rigidle
In introduction to HCI class.

Providing Flexible Control over Wordle

Kyle Koh, Bongshin Lee, Bohyung Kim, and Jinwook Seo / 2010



  • Kyle Koh, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Bongshin Lee, Microsoft Research, Redmond, WA, USA
  • Bohyoung Kim, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Republic of Korea
  • Jinwook Seo, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea


The tremendously huge popularity of Wordle (at attested the importance of aesthetics and expressiveness in attracting people to use visualizations. People can easily start creating their own visually striking Wordles and freely use their "creations," inviting themselves into a community of "creators," not just consumers of an art. As more and more people join the community, various learning activities are taking place throughout blogs and forums. Most of the Wordle tricks shared among users teach them how to manipulate the text fed into the Wordle to tweak the final layout in a desirable way. A famous Wordle trick is how to change the color of a specific word. Users have to export the wordle image in a file and manually edit it using graphics editing tools such as Inkscape or Photoshop. Lack of such simple fine-tuning of the resulting image in Wordle could leave users not fully satisfied after numerous trials of making randomly generated layout. This leaves us much room for improvement in the current Wordle in terms of better accommodating users' proficiency and creativity needs.

The main goal of ManiWordle (for manipulable Wordle) is to unravel some of the limitations in Wordle, while keeping the same set of functionalities. ManiWordle is built on top of the Wordle layout which is determined by the set of parameters that users can change; these parameters define restrictions or rules in generating a random layout. To support users' direct involvement in layout generation process, ManiWordle empowers them with direct manipulation of the layout result.




This work was supported in part by the BK21 Project in 2010 and by Basic Science Research Program through NRF of Korea funded by the MEST (No. 2010-0002266 and No. 2010-0017178). The ICT at Seoul National University provides research facilities for this study.

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