Kids App Dev Tips

Sound Sound Sound

It’s all about the sound, make sure you have great background music, sound effects and fantastic narration. There are many great places on the web to purchase stock music and hire vocal talent. When apps go silent, kids can lose interest fast, make sure the music and effect fit with the app and also take care to have the right levels, not to loud and not to soft.

Praise & Rewards

Whether they get something right or not so right, always provide feedback in the app, some nice visual effects with a message and always keep it positive, “You did great” or “I know you can do it”. This type of reinforcement really makes an app shine. Rewards like stars and stickers are great, if you’re a parent just take a look at your fridge, kids love to collect things and reach milestones.

In-App Purchases

Honestly I feel that IAP has no place in an app for kids, especially the young ones. If the child makes purchases during the 15 minute period after an app purchase where no password is required it can lead to a bad experience for the parent, negative reviews and lost customer loyalty.

In-App Marketing

We all know that it’s difficult to get noticed in the app store, lets face it, with hundreds of thousands of apps you need let people know about your apps every way you can. If you have a great app, parents will tell other parents and you naturally progress. It’s also great to have a page in your app where you feature your other great apps, and this can get a little tricky. Those features have links to the app store and we are back to the 15 minute rule, where a child could potentially purchase an app without their parents consent. One way to avoid this is to make the “our apps” page in a clever way, display a message with special instructions like “tap again three times” to open the page. I can tell you first hand, parents will be checking out your other apps because you have shown them you understand apps for kids.

App Icon

Let me put it this way, your icon is your first impression, it needs to stand out and reflect the quality and type of app. So many times I have  seen a great app, with an icon that could really use some improvement. Icon design is an art in itself, even if you consider yourself a good graphic artist, consider outsourcing your icon design. I also recommend that you do at least four designs, then get opinions on each one, pick the best one and then start refining it, create four more versions and get opinions on those. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but your icon is the single most important graphic for your app.

Meet The Developers

When I started this site I was amazed at the developer’s stories, then it hit me. My readers would love to hear these stories as well, and “Meet The Developers” was born.  Some apps are developed by families, mom did the graphics, dad wrote the code and the kids did the sound, now how cool is that? “Meet The Developers” personalizes the app and my readers love the back story, some even go out of there way to do reviews in their busy lives because you have taken the app an attached a story to it. Every developer’s story is unique and they are all great. I enjoy them as much as my readers : )

Screenshots

This is actually why I decided to create video reviews of apps, a screenshot just can’t do an iPad app justice, the iPad as Jobs said truly is a “magical and wonderful device” and you really need to see it in action. Since you can only upload screenshots on the iTunes store my advice is to feature the great graphics and use small overlays that convey what’s going on in a few words. Make sure you include at least one of your praise screenshots because parents know that praise is the best way to motivate the young ones.

App Description

You need a hook, one or two short sentences that appear at the top of the app page, people have short attention spans and most don’t read the full description, so this is your best shot to peak their interest and tell them what the app is about. In the longer description try and use a short bullet list outlining the key features of your app and what makes it special.

Bugs, Parents Will Understand

Keeps the communication lines open, check your developer email and respond to everyone, if you have a bug the best thing you can do is tell each and every  person that emails you a ‘fix is in the works’ and an update will be submitted shortly. Also some developers don’t know that iTunes provides crash reports, download them daily for a new app and weekly for an established app. Devices and iOS are changing all the time and a new bug can impact organic referral sales.

 I Welcome Your Comments

I hope this information has helped, I love my developers and what they create. If you have any questions or comments please email me mary@bestappsforkids.org I would love to hear from you and you will certainly hear back from me. ~ Mary

 

 

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