by Holly Rosen Fink, Ruckus Media Staff Marketing Consultant
June 9th, 2011
Our recent Twitter party was a bit of an experiment. We asked the brilliant artist and creator of our latest Spot the Dot app, David A. Carter (@PopArt123), to join us in a conversation with our followers. It was unlike anything we had done on Twitter before, and we didn’t know how it would turn out. Needless to say, not only us, but everyone who came to the party, really seemed to enjoy being in a room with one of our app creators and loved having the opportunity to ask him everything - about his work, his career, Spot the Dot and for advice on breaking into the app business. We talked about the development of Spot the Dot, the creativity and technology behind the app, as well as Carter’s inspirations. It was a night to remember for many of us. We've included just a few of our favorite comments in this short wrap-up for your perusal.
Q1 - David, how did you transition from paper engineer to app designer? How did you bring pop art to life? Everyone, are the concepts David introduced (i.e. counting, colors, shapes) important to you?
PopArt123: Creating an app is similar in that both are interactive. I try to integrate the interactivity into the concept.
FamiGo: Interactivity is definitely what takes a book app beyond a regular paper&ink book, +great for making reading fun 4 kids too!
PopArt123: I work mostly from drawings the straight to Illustrator.
mamagames: Concepts like counting, colors, shapes are important not just to my 4 yo but to 8 yo working on creating & appreciating art.
Q2 - David, can you talk about the process of creating an app? How does working digitally compare to developing a physical book?
PopArt123: We start with an idea then work with the developer to make it happen.
DSloanandco: @popart123 says Bruno Munari has influenced his work. Here's a link to some Munari artwork: http://goo.gl/UhHqa.
PopArt123: The editor Marc Cheshire and I designed the interactivity.
A4CWSN: If it is a Story, it has to be a good Story, otherwise people will forget it.
PopArt123: es I use the computer along with traditional methods for my print work.
moglueDOTcom: I agree, a story has to be a good story that people don't forget it!
ostmega: I like it when an app (or digital book of any kind) highlights the words as their read. Helps with recognition.
brooks_jones: Randomization is key for re-play value--plus it adds interest for the adults too.
hoppingfun: Emotional immersion. Optimal use of video, text, audio, interaction to achieve it.
teachermomoftwo: I think digital literacy appeals to the millenials as well as the younger generation. Much more interactive.
Q3: David, let’s talk about the special effects behind Spot the Dot. How do you hit on such great ideas to share with such young children? How important is sound?
A4CWSN: Agame or interactive anything will become boring over time, this is fact, it has to be a good Story or theme.
PopArt123: I think about ideas a lot, I fill notebooks with ideas and I am very influenced by the Montessori classroom.
brooks_jones: High-quality sound files essential--and they must be appropriate to the story or action.
ipad_storytime: Sound is increasingly vital to an app book's market success, but personally I like to turn off & read.
brooks_jones: I fear that my app will be outdated and trumped by better tech as soon as it appears in the app store!
Q4: David,what is your advice for other story creators who want to break into the story app world?
kishizuka: In SLJ's app advisory, educators were concerned abt how to use apps in a classrm/library. Any thoughts as the creator(s)?
popart123: Like a book, you should have a good idea or story and then make sure you work with talented people.
popart123: Interactivity is #1.
mamagames: Spot the Dot encourages adults 2 sit with the young player(s) and offer another level of engagement.
mamagames: Having an app that adults enjoy right along with the kids is very important to me.
bctripletmom: Everyone, Spot the Dot in particular encourages adults 2 sit with the young player(s) and offer another level of engagement.
ostmega: Sometimes the interaction is a little too close. Almost had a fight break out here today over Spotting the Dot!
Q5: David, who are some of your inspirations and favorite storytellers in the digital space? Everyone, how about you?
popart123: I like Mike Austin’s A Present for Milo, Ben Roberts’ Alice for iPad, Sesame Street’s The Monster at the End of.
letsgochipper: Roald Dahl! Danny the Champion of the World a fav.
brooks_jones: Pretty fond of the Loud Crow, Touchoo and Auyrn story apps [and Ruckus, of course].
thedomesticexec: I love all the Christmas digital stories my kids even read them in the summer:-)
ipad_storytime: I think my personal favorite is The Fine Musician.
aaallain: Ansel's Africa is a new and upcoming interactive story app.
SimpleLeigh: My kids love digital work that goes with paper books, like Search for Wand-La app.
A4CWSN: Special needs books and apps are the future:) I don't know how many times I have to say this, but it is true!
PopArt123: Watching my children grow and spending time in the classroom has inspired many ideas.
You can get the full script by going to Twitter and look at hashtag #ruckusspotdot.
Thanks to David and to everyone who came. See you at our next Twitter Party next month about our new Hasbro-branded apps. Details coming soon.