Creativity is hard. Sure, anybody can be "creative", just like anyone with a cell phone can call himself a photographer. But creativity is a hard skill to train and master. How do you really train creativity? Some people recommend taking a selfie every day, others like writing 500 to 1000 words a day. But in all those cases they're just training a specific skill, like photography or writing, not their creative skill per se.
When I found Wonder I was intrigued. According to their App Store listing, Wonder "trains your creative and ideation skills" with "no theories to learn, just games to play". Basically, by playing their games you'll get more creative. That sounds too good to be true, but is it?
I decided to give Wonder a try to see if it can live up to its expectation. This is what I found.
This is the first thing you'll see when you open Wonder
The first screen you'll see (which is shown above) gives you a simple idea to work on yourself. And it's true: working out has been proven to be a great activity that promotes creativity. Of course, this is not what Wonder is about. As soon as you click the button "Workout" it will take you to your first creativity exercise. It was a bit confusing to be honest, as I was expecting a sort of physical workout given the text in that screen. But still, is a small mistake that is offset by the following creativity workout.
The first exercise I did (which is shown in the image above) was pretty fun to play. As you can see, the idea is the app gives you one word and you need to come up with as many related words to it as you can in under one minute. In my case, I wrote Transylvania, movies, hollywood, Romania, count, vampires, zombies, monsters, frankenstein, blood, bats, fear, horror, terror and castles. The fact you're running out of time really motives you to use your creativity to the max. It was fun yet challenging. I imagine myself doing these kind of exercises on the gym while resting between sets, or while on the bus. That's the magic about Wonder, it gives you short exercises to work your creative skills anywhere you are.
Remember the the "More inspiration" button shown at the home screen? If you click it, you'll get some more simple tip-of-the-day-type of ideas to continue to foster your creative skills. I haven't found most of those ideas very useful. Some of them are in fact a bit weird. In what ways could the "fish fingers" idea promote my creativity? According to Wonder, their app "is also a community for sharing and testing ideas and getting inspired by the ideas of others from around the world." They're basically trying to use this feature as a way for their users to share creative ideas with others. I found that quite interesting, although not very well developed yet. Still, it's a good start.
Write Your Own Creative Ideas
Another interesting feature about Wonder is "My Ideas", which is also related to the previous feature. Basically, this feature allows you to write your own creative ideas which you can share with the rest of the community. It's a simple feature, but useful. It can serve you as your notebook for all your creative ideas, big or small, life-changing or not. Also, if you publish it, this could help you get feedback, which can help you refine it or implement it.
This is one of my creative ideas, although I'm not sure if it's that creative
Pros and Cons
Helps you improve your creativity skills one minute at the time
Easy to use
There are some parts where the app is a bit confusing or not clear enough
Not enough games
Wonder is an app that is up to its promise. It does help you promote your creativity by challenging you with short but effective games. If you don't believe me, try it yourself and try to do a creative activity after using it. In my case, I wrote this review after playing 10 games, and I felt the writing process much easier than usual. When you struggle to create something, Wonder could help you break the plateau so you can start doing what matters most to you. It's still a young app which needs some developing, but the elements for its success are there.