Monthly Archives: May 2013

Topic for the 6/2/13 #storyappchat: Skeuomorphic Design

#storyappchat topic badgeShould software try to mimic our real-world experiences?

Well, I’d guess that nobody wants to reinvent the wheel where the basics of reading English text are concerned. We read books from left to right, top to bottom, after all. But skeuomorphic design has been around for a while, and it is certainly something Apple bet heavily on years ago. The chrome buttons and scroll bars with their little fake highlights and shadows, the wood-paneled look of the bookshelf in iBooks, and the “analog” clock face (complete with rotating second hand) on the Dashboard of OSX are all examples of this.

Beginning with the release of Microsoft’s Metro OS, developers behind major operating systems are abandoning hyper-realistic user experiences. And that might not be a bad thing. Look for iOS 7 to follow this trend.

For those of us creating storybook apps, the move away from skeuomorphic interfaces has notable implications. Will realistic page turns, fake ‘gutters’ and bookmarking go away? Should they? What other design elements in apps and ebooks might be affected in the move away from visually realistic interfaces?

Let’s discuss this during the next #storyappchat, this Sunday (June 2) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific, OK?


Transcript for the 5/26/13 #storyappchat: Developing for Android

Wow, I am really sorry I had to miss this discussion, because it was full of great links, resources, stats and opinions on creating apps for Android, from people who have been there. Luckily for me, though, I have access to this transcript (just like you) which contains a rather plain but complete capture of the entire thing. So I can benefit from last night’s wisdom, almost as if I was there in person!

Don’t miss the next #storyappchat on June 2, when we’ll discuss the pros and cons of skeuomorphic interfaces. Details later, but plan to join us at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific!

Topic for the 5/26/13 #storyappchat: Developing for the Android Platform

androidWe talk a lot about the iPad here on #storyappchat, but Android remains a powerhouse player in the mobile market, both in the U.S. and worldwide.

So, what are the challenges when developing for Android? What are some tools that make this process easier, and what are some things to keep in mind when creating storybook apps specifically for Android? What are the known pitfalls to avoid, and what’s it like using the Google Play Store vs. the Apple App Store?

Let’s get together this Sunday, May 26 to chat about developing for the Android mobile platform. We’ll kick things off at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific. First time? No sweat. Just start tweeting using the #storyappchat hashtag, and we will welcome you to the discussion. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Transcript for the 5/19/13 #storyappchat: iTunes Descriptions

Quiet little chat last night, but still filled with good information, thought-provoking questions, and valuable opinions from the #storyappchat community. Peruse the chat in its entirety via the transcript above, and be sure to join us every Sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT for high-quality discussion every week about storybook apps and ebooks for kids!

Topic for the 5/19/13 #storyappchat: Making Your iTunes Description Effective

#storyappchat topic badgeWhen was the last time you updated your iTunes app (or iBook) description? It may seem like a no-brainer, but this blank canvas of text can help interested people get a better idea of what your app is all about, or it can leave folks scratching their heads in confusion. How long should it be? What should be included?

Let’s use the next #storyappchat to discuss what should and shouldn’t go into your iTunes description, how often it should be updated, and other ways to make this valuable developer tool lead to increased sales and happier users. We’ll ramp things up this Sunday evening (May 19) at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific time, so don’t miss it!

Transcript for the 5/5/13 #storyappchat: Eli Noyes

What a treat it was to have Eli Noyes with us for this chat! He shared his experiences creating content for kids in a variety of different formats, as well as a look behind the scenes on his latest projects, Ruff’s Bone and the Raymond & Sheila books.

We also gave copies of both the Mac and the iOS versions of Ruff’s Bone to several fortunate winners during the chat! Grab the details in the transcript above, and remember we chat (nearly) every Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific.

NOTE: we are taking next week off to celebrate Mother’s Day. Join us on May 19 when we will discuss ways to make your iTunes description more effective. See you then!

Guest Host for the 5/5/13 #storyappchat: Eli Noyes

You might recognize Eli Noyes as the illustrator of Annie Fox’s whimsical Raymond and Sheila books. He is also the writer/illustrator of a new story app called Ruff’s Bone, available from Wanderful Interactive Storybooks.

Noyes is an animation and video veteran, having worked on projects for Sesame Street, HBO, Scholastic, Nickelodeon, MTV, Pixar, Disney and Oxygen Media. He is co-owner and co-founder of Alligator Planet, where he is busy creating short films, directing animation for documentaries, consulting on kid’s television and web projects, and, most recently designing postage stamps for the post office.

Help us welcome Eli to #storyappchat (and to Twitter!) this Sunday, May 5, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/6:00 p.m. Pacific. We will have some promo codes for Ruff’s Bone to give away too! Just start including the #storyappchat hashtag to participate, and we’ll see you there.

UPDATE! Eli has provided some development sketches for both Ruff’s Bone and the Raymond and Sheila books! This is a fascinating look into character development and a very unique illustrator’s style.