Tips for developers - Part 1: Information ‘for the parents’

Not all parents seem to get what some apps are supposed to do and how they are intended to be played with by their child, which can sometime lead to a negative experience of the app or the developer by the parent and the child.

A perfect example is where I have raved about a ‘Paid’ app and a friend just turns round and says ‘it doesn’t do much does it?’ to which I have said, did you know you can do this and if you click here you can record your voice, and if you click here things pop out, and if you talk about this and show them that etc……you get the idea.

It is also very common that the #fourlittletesters will quickly dismiss an app because they just don’t get it, because they are not using it correctly. In some cases they will get to a new app before Daddy gets a chance to explain how it works, which can lead to them having an instant dislike to the app, getting frustrated and never returning to it.

Yes some apps do actually need parental supervision…….mixed with a sprinkle of imagination!

So to combat this common problem, app developers need to make some extra effort to include a set of simple instructions, which in extreme circumstances could maybe even prevent the child from entering the main app until the parent has read and understood, like in the case of educational apps

Now whilst I do agree that Apple have spent a lot of money making they’re devices so intuitive, to the point where no instructions are necessary, I have certainly seen evidence where app developers have not, and all the hard work of the developer is lost in translation.

What’s in it for the developer?

Providing a ‘for the parents’ area will give the developer the chance to ‘connect’ with the parent and share exactly ‘Why’ they have created the app, and how it is designed to be used. It will also encourage parents to get involved and will help them to explain things to their child, so they can get the most out the app.

What should be in a parents guide?

- A welcome letter

- How to play instructions

- App function and features, with instructions and maybe hidden stuff

- Things to discuss with your child

- Examples of role play and types of creativity

- Rate the app link

- Pictures and links to other apps by developer

- Developers website link and Facebook page

- and Don’t forget a feedback link or contact email address

To see what I mean…. Check out Toca Kitchen Monsters (free) by TocaBoca

This concludes ‘Tips for Developers’ - Part 1 from the #fourlittletesters, watch this space for Part 2

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