Get Outta My Dreams / And Into the App Store

August 3, 2011

Getting Ideas out of your Head…And Into the App Store

~An Evening with Traci Lawson~

I AM HUNGRY FOR COLORS BUT I AM VERY PARTICULAR!

Why, hello WiCM,

There’s been plenty of demand for an app development event, and WiCM’s own Traci Lawson, the creator of color-based app Frogs and Fireflies, delivered. Before a very large group (50+ attendees) at Columbia University, Traci shared her vast academic and experiential knowledge of app creation.

If this sort of fing stroikes yoh fancy, I recommend taking a look at Traci’s slideshow. It’s got an abundance of great advice for the aspiring app creator, arranged among the following topics:

Pre-Development

  • Financial matters: pricing, revenue (and the pros and cons of advertising when developing a kids app), and realistic financial expectations.
  • Categorization and labeling: what the creator can control (will you place your app in “education” or in “games”? It makes a difference…), what others control, and what is just good old-fashioned luck.
  • Platform: does your idea fit the medium?
  • Ranking systems and logic: how the app store chooses which apps to display.
  • The competitive market: what the app store already has. Do you really want to follow through with your Irritable Birds idea?

    Irritable Birds: sort of like Angry Birds, but more passive aggressive.
  • Do you really want to do this? Like with every media pursuit, you have to answer this question.

Actual Development

  • Talk it through and iterate, iterate, iterate.
  • Testing your idea: tools and process.
  • Tips for iOS design: these are gold, so read up, bud.
  • Finding and communicating with your app developer.
  • How to think about the user’s experience.
  • Legal advice. Ew. But important. But ew.
  • The nearly-impossible-to-underestimate value of good art.

Marketing

  • Time to hustle, folks. Put that social media to work.
  • Other platforms beyond the iPad.

Did someone say other platforms? Hark, dear monomedians, it is I, the Transmedian! I have returned from a distant plane, where all ideas are infinitely adaptable. Your Traci Lawson has caught my attention with her appspeak. For apps are marvelastic and wonderlorious units of entertainment information, the perfect bite-sized media morsels to take along on transmedian journeys. Ah, but look at the universe-time! Another platform calls! But fear not unimedia-folk; the Transmedian shall see you again!

So we’ve got to figure out a way to keep that guy off the blog. He is so completely unsettling.

Conclusion

Traci’s event was a brilliant primer for the app newcomer, and no doubt still very helpful to the more experienced app adventurer. Here are Traci’s takeaways:

  • Iterating your prototype is the most important thing. Keep trying and testing it.
  • Try new things. The market is crowded, and the same old alphabet ID and multiple choice games are becoming commonplace.

For more questions, feel free to follow up with Traci herself.

Traci Lawson

Children’s Game Designer & Producer

traci@tentoed.com

http://www.tentoed.com

What I liked: app development is hot right now. So hot that “app” will soon overtake “transmedia” as the main employer of my spellcheck.

Did someone say Transmedia?

Ah! Get out of here, you creepy old man!

Be sure to study your Esperantoooooo

But just because apps are exploding and their financial barriers are low doesn’t mean it’s easy to be successful in creating the next big thing. I really appreciated how Traci thought us through the process and pointed out the not so obvious pitfalls. It was a smart, informative, useful presentation from someone who’s been there.

Well done Traci. Next up: the Harry Potter exhibit.

See you next time,

Lucas