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We’ve just posted video of your FilmOneFest app, and the momentum is growing ahead of the actual event in July. The app is turning out great, but what makes a real difference is of course the content, so a big thanks to the film makers.

If you’d like to read about the interview process, Robyn has posted on how she used the Appreciative Inquiry process to interview film makers in the making of this app, check out her post at positivematrix.com

Our vision for the app was to have more than just a list of one-minute films that you could see on You Tube or Vimeo. We wanted the world to learn more about the artists and their visions for their art. We wanted to give greater context and meaning to the content in the app that the users could connect to.

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In this interview, Mimi Cross, author of the recently released Crankamacallit iPad app, talks about her experience in creating an interactive children’s story in this new medium.

[box type=”bio”]

  • The interview was designed in an appreciative inquiry format,and conducted by Robyn Stratton.
  • Music by Mimi Cross and Kevin Salem
  • [/box]

    Please note we’ve just posted the Crankamacallit Demo Reel

    [button id =”vid1″ link=”https://polymash.com/crankamacallit”]The Crankamacallit Home Page[/button]

    Some context about risk-taking

    The press release (full text here) has been met with a lot of buzz on Twitter and a number of review sites.

    [button size=’small’ color=’black’ link=’http://www.polymash.com/app/the-crankamacallit-ipad-apps-for-kids/’]Visit the Crankamcallit Home Page[/button]

    At Polymash we feel the Crankamacallit is interactive story-telling with a difference, and I wanted to provide a little context as to why and elaborate a bit more on the following part of the release:

    This iPad app for kids takes some risks that set it apart from most children’s stories. The developer took a page out of game design by utilizing a first person perspective in interactivity, animation and illustration. Interactive elements are intentionally not highlighted nor easy to find. User testing feedback revealed kids “get it” and show their parents the functionality, not the other way around. Another risk was to use the recently released Adobe CS5.5 Digital Publishing Suite platform for a children’s book, and to extend its core functions with HTML5 and JavaScript coding. The developer participated in the alpha and beta testing for Adobe beginning in the summer of 2010, and with this app shows that the platform can be used for much more than just the digital magazines it was created for.

    The buzz about iPad usability

    I  come from a corporate IT background in user experience and usability engineering. And recent buzz complains about the lack of usability  standards on the iPad (based on a report by the Nielsen Norman Group, an authority in the field) Here is an example on the Huffington Post referring to this study. They point out that because of a lack of standard user interfaces for the Pad, interactive elements and the overall user experience is  not always obvious and predictable.

    So, can “lack of usability standards” ever be a good thing?

    iPad app for kids - crankamacallitWhile this lack may be a frustration to grown ups, our own usability studies have shown that for kids this has not been an issue.

    Why? My theory is that unlike grown-ups, kid’s egos are not as involved or hurt by having to explore and hunt for functionality, and they delight in figuring it out. We’ve often witnessed grown ups pick up an iPad for the first time with a sense of trepidation and fear of not quite knowing how to use it, but kids immediately start to experiment and play. And I think as grown ups start to understand the device, they too delight in their “discoveries”.  To me, this sense of discovery creates much deeper engagement, and the many brilliant app designs unencumbered by any usability standards illustrate the magic of the iPad.

    So I for one do not necessarily look forward to seeing universal iPad usability standards develop. So unlike many kid’s apps we see, for our interactive children’s story we have intentionally not been too obvious about brightly highlighting interactive regions, providing instructions or hints. Our testing with kids proved that they “get it” and are able to show functionality of the app to their parents, not the other way around.

    Here’s a grown up’s (unsolicited) review on iTunes that illustrates the point:

    “The first time I went through this book on my iPad I missed 90% of it and I thought, “well, this is pretty lame”. Then my 3 year old daughter got ahold of it and showed me what was possible. Even without having seen the rest of it, what I did see initially was visually stunning. The rest of it just made it worth the $5. It’s not a book of puzzles, it’s a book that tells a story (obviously), and invites you to explore the world created so cleverly by the graphic artist. Don’t leave a single stone unturned when you go through the book, or, give it to your 3 year old and sit back and be amazed. “

    An interactive children’s story about building an imaginary vehicle, “The Crankamacallit” is filled with stunning interactive animation and surprising sounds.

    Using playful, rhythmic language and rhyme “The Crankamacallit” draws the user into the fantastic 3D world of an inventor’s workshop.

    A great iPad app for kids, who  love all the unpredictable moving parts of “The Crankamacallit”. In an adventurous tale for the picture book crowd, 3-8 year olds (and their parents!) will be mesmerized by the step-by-step process of the Crankamacallit’s creation and become active participants in the story by using the many interactive features, making unexpected discoveries, exploring 360-degree panoramas, using the hidden drawing tool and more.

    Part poem, part story, this rhythmic 3D fantasy was written by Mimi Cross, animated by Juergen Berkessel and narrated by acclaimed singer songwriter Robert Burke Warren, aka “Uncle Rock”.Listeners will laugh out loud at the nuances of Warren’s performance.

    Features

    • Unique 3D artwork and unusual illustrations
    • Music and mechanical sounds
    • Animation and video
    • 360 degree panoramas
    • 3D interactive rotational objects
    • Pan and zoom chart
    • A hidden picture scratch off scene
    • Drawing widget
    • “Secret” hotspots

    Come visit our gallery to get a taste, check out the developing posts, and watch out for a number of related announcements in the coming days.

    Today I will build you a Crankamacallit

    With pieces and parts from my carpenter’s kit.

    With buttons and levers and yes, of course—CRANKS!

    With switches and gears and an old baseball mitt.

    We just released Version 1.2, with enhanced audio tips, Social Media integration, improved navigation and more… Thanks for all the great suggestion to make this app a hit!

    Press Release from PRWeb
    Version 1.2 of this innovative iPad app provides
    step-by-step coaching of change management skills with additional audio
    and video tips to strengthen business leadership, transform everyday
    relationships, and facilitate the design and sustainability of visionary
    change.

    So, what’s new?

    The new release of Embracing Change improves on some of the original
    interactive features making this app experience even more immersive and
    engaging:

    [one_half]

    • A step-by-step, clearly structured practice
    • Audio coaching and training tips *** NEW
    • Social media integration *** NEW
    • Guided approach to story telling
    • Text edit tool to respond to step-by-step questions and record insights inside the app
    • Ability to share notes with others

    [/one_half]

    [one_half_last]

    • Interactive graphics of models of change
    • Enhanced usability and navigation *** NEW
    • Scrollable slide shows
    • 360 work flow panorama
    • Inspirational quotes, beautiful imagery and graphics
    • Instructional videos
    • Supports both Landscape and Portrait orientations

    [/one_half_last]

     

    Please note: This app was replaced in early 2018

    This app had a great 6-year run since it’s launch in 2012. Nonetheless, we’ve been focused on creating great universal web experiences and have launched other resources to take the app’s place.

    We’ve recently launched a brand new site with both free and paid in-depth training courses on creating positive change, at home, at work, and in your communities. So please visit our new site at positivechange.training:

     

    Producing Video: We’re working on our own small 20 second spot”

    Interested in finding out more? Learn about the Polymash digital publishing and app development methods, digital publishing webinars, notification of iTunes and Android app releases, Polymash events and tablet publishing news. Please use our contact form for additional information.


    We are extremely pleased that Axiom News has just released an article on our recently released “Embracing Change” app. Below a brief excerpt, to read the full article follow this link.

    [box]Last year, Stratton-Berkessel published the book Appreciative Inquiry for Collaborative Solutions: 21 Strength-Based Workshops. Since then she became intrigued by the use of tablets like the iPad to consume content. She says she started to see some business applications come out for tablet devices, and thought about how great it would be to turn one of her workshops into an app. [/box]

    “Embracing Change”: it’s (a)live!

    We are extremely pleased to share that “Embracing Change”, our most recent app, is now available in the iTunes app store.

    [box type=”shadow”]Deal with Disruptive Change *** Discover your Strengths *** Dream & Design your Best Future”

    This app supports you in embracing change – personally and professionally – in your relationships at home and at work. Just about every change has high points and low points. This app helps you deal with change and disruptive forces, whether you chose them or not.

    You follow a world-acclaimed method and practice, (Appreciative Inquiry and the 4-D cycle: Discover, Dream, Design, Destiny), that allows you to discover your own strengths in dealing with change; you go on to envision how to apply your strengths, organize yourself and identify resources to embrace future changes. This app works for individuals and teams. The approach taps into your imagination and is sustainable.[/box]

    To find out more visit iTunes or the app’s page.

    Please note: This app was replaced in early 2018

    This app had a great 6-year run since it’s launch in 2012. Nonetheless, we’ve been focused on creating great universal web experiences and have launched other resources to take the app’s place.

    We’ve recently launched a brand new site with both free and paid in-depth training courses on creating positive change, at home, at work, and in your communities. So please visit our new site at positivechange.training:

    Glad to share that “Embracing Change” climbed into the top 100 it’s first week out, and we have not started our marketing campaign yet. Stay tuned:)

    [one_half]Anyone interested in how Ditigal Publishing for tablets is evolving should check out the Adobe Digital Publishing suite, which is the platform we have been using at Polymash for the last 1/2 year or so as alpha testers. It is now in public beta status, and is scheduled to go live sometime in Q2 of 2011.  A number of apps have been published on this platform already, and we are happy to count ourselves among them.

    [box]Of course our vision is slightly beyond using such a platform for digital magazine content only: We are “repurposing” Adobe’s toolset to create interactive content for information product owners, publishers and authors who want to stand out and shine in an increasingly crowded eBook and app market. To do so we are adding  HTML5 and Javascript features to the platform, such as in-app notebooks, interactive animations and so on.[/box][/one_half]

    [one_half_last]We have good company: Our app is listed  right next to Conde Nast titles created with the Adobe suite such as Martha Stewart Living and Wired Magazine, and numerous other publishers have gone live with titles such as the New Yorker, Golf Digest & Readers Digest.

    So if you own an iPad, you should check out the Adobe’s full gallery of apps published with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite:

    [/one_half_last]