User testing kid apps: The magical interactivity that almost wasn’t

If you want to make great work magnificent, *never forget* the simple power of user testing. Here’s how a 5-year-old girl schooled an entire team of cutting-edge app developers…

magicwandThe other day, I was doing some beta testing on a kids game app that we’re about to launch for a popular Random House brand. It’s aimed at young girls and is totally adorable.

To give the app a quick test drive after work, I enlisted my daughter. As someone surrounded by technology, she is an absolute *wicked* tester who never fails to either find a bug we missed or come up a neat game variation or payoff.

I handed her my iPad and she started playing with a magic fairy wand on screen — by moving her finger around, she made loads of pink hearts float out of the wand into the scene. She has played with this app throughout its development and always loved this feature, but today, she was troubled.

She kept trying to put her hand on the bottom part of the wand so she could hold it at the stem, but the app was designed so that touchting the top of the wand emits the hearts.

Seemed perfectly sensible to me, as an adult, that kids would want to touch the coolest looking part of the wand. But my daughter couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hold the wand at the top.

“You don’t touch the top because that’s where the magic comes out, Daddy!”

You can bet what our development team was changing the following morning. We can channel our inner child, but nothing beats the sage wisdom of a preschooler.

Photo courtesy of Lovelihood

Keith Soares

About Keith Soares

Keith is a co-founder of Bean Creative ans serves as a preeminent technology guru, trend forecaster and interactive innovator. He leads the studio’s charge into effective new technologies to deliver ideal interactive solutions for our clients.
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