Week 9: Mobile, Play – Creating an App

Entry 1: Creating an App

The option chosen for the ‘play’ activity for this week regarding mobile technology and information program, was to create an app to fulfil the needs of a particular user. The app that has been created is called ‘HistoryQuizardry’ and is designed for individuals of all ages who are interested in the strange, silly and unique things that have happened in the past. The language is appropriate for individuals 8 years and older.

In reflection, some aspects of the experience such as creating a feasible scope and topic involved a long thinking process. For example, it was felt that the app would need to be unique and appropriate to a particular user group, however some barriers to this was the discovered awareness of the variety of apps available. In addition, the concept of this app was adapted from the value personally perceived by the ‘Horrible Histories’ show, however I wanted to combine this with a trivia information and question element. As well as knowledge that can be adapted from this history, for example, history in popular culture, as well as providing an Australian focus. In some aspects, the app I created reminded me of Creative Commons and at some points I was concerned about the copyright policies regarding information taken, and whether it would need to referenced as undertaken in my learning practices at university.

At present, the base form of the app has been completed, however as a learning experience I would additionally like to continue updating and improving the app. The web software chosen, the appbuilder, is clear and easy to use. In part, it has been considered that the reason for this is that when forming the app and completing the process elements of the interface structure appeared familiar to other information program analysed and explored. The barriers perceived in the constrution of the app was the decision-making regarding how the information was to be organised, what would be included and omitted, and using the correct language to appeal the app to the audience. However, the overall experience provided a positive insight into the value of apps for not just sharing information but as a way of communication and being creative.

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4 responses to “Week 9: Mobile, Play – Creating an App

  1. Hi Ruthie!
    The idea of creating an app is still scary for me but I’d really like to see what yours looks like when you finish it. Although I don’t have any experience building an app, I would agree with you and imagine the decision-making process of organising information to be the biggest challenge of it all. In the beginning of your blog post you state that this app is for individuals of all ages, how will you engage older audiences while still keeping younger people engaged?

    • Hi Annette,

      Thank you! Well, that is a very good question πŸ™‚ I think in part I was assuming that the majority of individuals who would use this were aged 10 years and over and were familiar with the idea of Trivia (which now looking back on what I have written I notice that this is quite a narrow assumption of the user group). I think though, that if I could develop it to be mroe detailed and comprehensive, I think it would be interesting to explore providing a ‘young Trivians’ section, which had multiple choice and had some sort of reward system which they could use for their ‘Trivia character’ or so in their account. Furthermore, I would narrow the questions more to suit the school curriculum and what children are learning in their year level. I know that this would have imperfections, for example at the beginning of the year they wouldn’t cover content that was planned for the third term. Additionally, I think it would be interesting to explore creating a ‘Trivia game’ version for children, that encouraged them to be ‘Triviapursuers’ in the sense that it connected to their classroom learning, and teachers could use this as ‘exploratory/ extension tasks’ for students who want to be engaged further in the content (maybe instead of homework).

      The main motivation for this app was based upon the brilliance of BBC’s and Terry Deary’s ‘Horrible Histories’ so I think that this ‘Trivia game’ could move beyond questions, to be a communicative device – I think using music and a video would be more engaging for kids rather than writing, but then I think the idea of ‘Trivia’ would need to be altered. For example, Trivia is often about thinking under the pressure of time, but I think this could cause some anxiety for children if they feel like they are on a time limit, so therefore it would need to be a bit more flexible to suit younger users.

      Thank you so much for your question! It has given me a lot to think about in modifying and developing the app. πŸ™‚ Thank you Annette πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, Ruth, it’s great you’ve chosen to develop an app, and like Annette, I’m keen to try it when you get it up and running. Is that the intention? Or is it just a prototype you’ve developed? I like your concept very much, especially this idea of “Horrible Histories” in an Australian context. Creating the content must be one of the more difficult aspects of a project like this, because, like you mention, copyright on content you use from other sources will mean getting permissions etc. Interesting to read about all the considerations you need to make in building something like this. Cheers!

    • Hi! Thank you. I think it is a prototype predominantly, that I have created. I would love to expand upon it, but if there was ‘open data’ sharing on some of the content I retrieved to do the 1910 and 1920 decades it would make the process a lot more easier! Thank you for your comment!

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