Saturday, 10 November 2012


We've got lots of exciting app reviews coming up very soon including a feature on Chris Mould's amazing new project but we thought it might be interesting in the meantime to hear about apps and app development from an alternative perspective and in this case from straight from the mouth of a student studying apps at University. 

So here is a guest post by student Pedro Kirk

My name is Pedro and I am a student at Goldsmiths University studying music computing, which is essentially a creative computer course. 

I have just started a creative computer project that will span the full year and I wanted to work on a project that has potential to be more than just coursework. I hit upon the idea of creating a digital book app for children after seeing how adept my young nephews were in playing with a musical game app I created last year. 

I am really interested in how the children's digital book market is going to grow over time, as I think it enhances the experience of reading paperbacks. It allows children more options and can contain further fun activities to accompany the book they enjoy.

I have created a questionnaire for my current project as over the next few months I have to research the market in this area and gain feedback to help inform my design decisions from the people who will be the potential users. The market is very unsettled at the moment with no real way of knowing if digital formats of childrens books will really take off. One of the main reasons for this is the huge number of free apps available from companies who don’t expect a return on them, just more exposure. I personally think there is room for creative original art works to be seen in app form. If the illustrations and story are strong enough one would hope even small developers would see interest through word of mouth and online exposure.

My partner Chloe Douglass recently wrote and illustrated an original children's book called The One and Only Pablo as her final project for her Masters degree at Kingston, I thought to combine our skills and I’m using her story for my app. (
Read Chloe's blog here!)

The current market seems so hard to get into for smaller independent illustrators and writers, so I see this as a brilliant way of getting more exposure. 

If the app is successful then it can raise the profile of the illustrator/writer and bring in a larger audience for the book. Diversity of platforms is a good way to interact with new audiences, and from my research so far children are using iPads almost as much as their parents.

THANK YOU Pedro for giving us this interesting insight. GOOD LUCK with the rest of your course.

Images (c) Chloe Douglass

You can participate in Pedro's questionnaire here

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