The first app I fell in love with in a long time

by Jacopo Colò

When was the last time you fell in love with an app? There are a handful of apps on my phone I like and I appreciate immensely. They aren’t just tools I use but also meaningful experiences, things so well crafted that using them brings me joy. I also download and try out a lot of stuff. I’m a designer and I think it’s part of my job to try new things, understand how they are made and what experiences they offer. But despite being such a heavy user, very few apps get a permanent spot on my phone. I’m not alone. A 2016 analysis from Andrew Chen, analyst and member of the Uber growth team, says that over 80% of the apps downloaded from the Google Play store are never used again after the first 72 hours. Never. Again.

A few days ago, it happened again. I fell in love with an app. It’s not from a big brand, it doesn’t have a great icon and it doesn’t have a perfect user interface (quite the opposite, actually) but it’s a ton of fun, and I think it fills something that I was missing in my life. It’s called Squigglish and it’s a delightful drawing app that uses a bit of math to breathe some life into drawings 👆 like this 👇.

The developer is Olivia Walch, an American Mathematician and comic artist that clearly found a way to mix her two passions. At first, the app seems to work like any other drawing app… but there’s a twist. After a line is drawn on the canvas, it immediately starts to “wiggle”. So if you draw a face, it will wink and if you draw a bird it will flap its wings. Squigglish also has few brushes, options to add colors or use pictures as background but very little more than that. I already have a long wish list of things I hope Oliva implements in the future versions of Squigglish but, I’m already incredibly happy about it.

I used to draw a lot when I was younger but I slowly stopped and drawing became harder and less interesting for me. Squigglish kind of re-ignited a little flame. The animated effect it adds makes almost everything at least a little interesting and even if I don’t have a tablet and a pen, the drawing I create by swiping my fingers on the phone screen are still good enough that I want to share them and, more importantly, do more of them. It has been a little more than three days since I downloaded Squigglish and I don’t think I’m going to delete it anytime soon.

[originally published on Jacopo’s blog.]


Jacopo Colò

Jacopo Colò is a designer and a writer based in Oslo, Norway. He worked in advertising and journalism. He’s extremely proud of the variety of podcast he created (a tech show, a cooking show, a role playing game show) and for being one of the founder of Italy’s biggest independent podcast network.