As an iPhone/iPod touch app, FunBoard was a real challenge to develop from a UX perspective. As the game is targetted at young kids, there are couple of things that we had to take into account.
Firstly there is the concept of a menu. As adults, we have already been conditioned to know what to expect from a menu, for example many people would recognise the symbol of a house to mean ‘home’ , that in turn meaning the start or main page of an app. Children have no such preconditioning. We decided to use the concept of a ‘menu bird’ that would act as a friendly guide and to provide some continuity from the main page and the 5 ‘game’ screens. It’s incredibly exciting as an iPhone developer to watch a 2 year old kid work out the menu system for themselves with no prompting at all. When that happens (and it happens more than you might expect) it’s a validation of the hours of thought that went into developing it.
Another issue we came accross when testing out the app with our target market is that, at that age, a lot of children have not yet developed the required dexterity to accurately touch a touch screen. Their hand gestures as often interpreted by the iPhone software as a rub, even though it’s clear from watching the child that they are attempting to tap the screen. We developed some specific software routines to deal with all the ways that children were interacting with the device and it resulted in fewer kids getting frustrated and giving up.
And in case you were wondering, lots of parents give their young children iPod touch devices. As well as playing educational games, children can watch their favourite cartoon episodes on the device, making them perfect for long car journeys.
The iPhone app is available on the app store here.
If you need an iPhone developer in london, get in touch.