Thank you for participating in our interview. Please tell us a little about yourself.
Gabrielle and I met whilst working on a number of children’s apps for Bananas in Pyjamas at The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. We found that we both had the same vision for a quality content delivered as digital toys for pre- school children.
Gabrielle is a game designer and I’m a producer, we worked well together as we have experience in different areas whilst sharing a passion for positive, engaging and content for children.
How did the idea for your app come about?
We were both very interested in designing content which directly related to children’s every day experiences. Themes familiar to their world. We wanted to make content that was safe and positive and most importantly fun.
When I had my second child I noticed how intrigued and helpful my pre-schooler was when he was around his baby sister. He was a natural nurturer. It was instinctive. So, I guess our idea is not too far removed from the good old-fashioned nurture doll. Every child likes to nurture and be nurtured.
And how long was the process from the original idea to the release of the app?
It took us about 1 year. We took our time. We knew from experience how important it was to build a bit then test, then build a bit more and test again. You could say that our approach was agile and user-centric. Big Baby was designed in consultation with 3-6 year olds. We also spoke to other parents and our local pre-schools.
Did you hire a developer or do it yourself?
We hired a cocos2D developer and we were lucky enough to have family support. Gabrielle’s partner did most of the animation and some of development too and my partner did all the sound design and composition. We got a grant to pay for our illustrator, which really helped give us a boost. We used a great designer who was also a mum and working from home to create the look of the app.
What has been the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome in the development process?
As mothers to young children…the biggest hurdles were being time poor and sleep deprived. Most of our work was done between the hours of 8pm and 2am!
Have you had much support during the development process (from family, peers, Apple Inc.)?
Yes, we could not have done it with out the support of our families and especially our children. Also other indie developers in the community were always willing to provide some support or an opinion when were faced with a technical challenge. Metro Screen and Screen Australia have both been very supportive by providing us with grants and Apple have also been fantastic in providing feedback and featuring us in the App Store.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be developing any more apps?
Absolutely, we have just stared prototyping again.
What sort of feedback has your app been receiving so far?
At the moment we have a 5 star rating and some great reviews. We have some very different reviews to date. One parent likes the fact that their older children enjoy playing it just as much as the younger ones and a special education teacher has praised Big Baby for the instant emotional feedback that the baby provides.
And finally, what advice would you give to anyone considering creating their own app?
Make sure it’s quality and by that we mean don’t cut corners and make sure you respond to user testing outcomes no matter what. Children know best. Test and retest.
Ultimately you will make an app that is loved by the people that matter most.
Finally don’t do it for the money. It’s a long process. It’s a labour of love
Thank you so much for talking with us today and sharing a bit about your company. We really appreciated the chance to get to know you!
Check out Big Baby on iTunes by following this link: Big Baby – Big Ice Cream Pty Ltd
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