If horoscopes and fortune cookies make you giddy, you’ll probably get just as excited about the very old and very controversial field of handwriting analysis. Also known as graphology, the analysis of your handwriting is supposed to reveal things about your personality and who you are and whatnot, and that’s the goal of Aesthetic Systems Inc.’s aptly named Analyze Handwriting & Signatures.
There are two things to keep in mind when looking to this kind of iPhone app for “analysis” and self-affirmation:
- You’re being evaluated by an electronic gadget, so if it says you’re a huge loser who will never succeed in life don’t take it too seriously
- On touchscreens, handwriting becomes fingerwriting since you can’t use a stylus or pen
Despite taking these two factors into account, I still can’t say that I’m terribly impressed by this app. I mean… it’s okay… I guess! It asks you to write, and it spits out results based on your writing that apparently describe you, so in that sense it succeeds.
The app gives you the option to analyze your signature or your handwriting in general. Either way, you are presented with a black screen onto which you’re supposed to finger-write whatever the app tells you to. Write the letter ‘a’, write your name, write a word, etc. This is all fine, but the thing that’s kind of disappointing is that you can’t see what you’re writing as you’re writing it. The screen starts with black and it stays black until you tap the Done button. After that, what you wrote is revealed and you can either Accept it or Retry.
Is there a method to this madness? Is the app afraid you’ll corrupt the results of the analysis with some kind of Jedi mind trick if you can see your writing in progress? It’s strange. Also strange is that the app always asks you to write in “smaller-case”. Keep in mind that this isn’t by any stretch a clinical evaluation of your psyche, but it’s still weird that this request is made.
The last part of this app that I find so underwhelming is the results screen. The final “analysis” of your handwriting comes in two varieties… a five-point description for the general handwriting test, and a much shorter 1-2-3 analysis for signatures. Both are pretty dry and there seems to be just a few different possible results in each category, plus the overall feeling of a “payoff” just isn’t there. It just feels kind of… blah.
Where apps like Analyze Handwriting & Signatures are concerned, I personally think they should either present themselves as being Just for Fun or The Real Deal, and if they want to be The Real Deal they need to work that much harder to prove it. Since the first words of this app’s iTunes description are, and I quote, “This app’s REAL!!!” I think it needs to go a LOT further to make you really believe that an actual analysis has been done. Right now the results read like an extra-detailed fortune cookie which is a disappointment.
Since I have no idea what “real” handwriting analysis should include I can’t really say what would make this app better on the results side. On the execution of the app itself I definitely would like to be able to see my writing as it’s happening, and losing the “smaller-case” instruction would help… as long as that doesn’t interfere with the math and algorithms that the app is supposedly using to work its magic.
To be perfectly honest, I’d probably like this app a lot more if it didn’t claim to be real and just spit out ridiculous but funny nonsense! A nice light color palette for the app design, some goofy music, and LOL-worthy results would make it a lot more appealing since most intelligent humans know better than to ask a phone for personal insights.