Friday, 16 November 2012

Developer Chat with The Quirkles science and literacy children's book series

Developer Chat with Jesse from The Quirkles

Q. Hi Jesse. Welcome to AppAble. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the App business?
A. My background is mainly centered in art direction, graphic design, and illustration. I worked on a utility app as the designer about 4 years ago when the Apple App Store was just getting started. About a year ago I started exploring app creation again personally and thought that it could be a great way to make The Quirkles series available to a much wider audience.

Q. When were The Quirkles founded ?
A 2004

Q. Is there a story behind the choice of the name ?
A. During the initial brainstorming sessions we kept referring to them as these quirky little characters. The name “Quirkles” was mentioned and we all liked the sound of it. Next we checked to see if that name was available to use. It wasn’t registered, so we applied for the name and the rest was history!

Q. I noticed that you are listed as the illustrator. Do you have someone who helps you transform these images into digital format for the app or do you do all the work yourself ?
A. I currently do all the image transformation myself which consists of about 200 images for each app since you have to create images for all the different device sizes and take into consideration retina and non retina screen resolutions.

Q. How long does it take you to develop each app ?
A. I’ve been trying to get the images converted as quickly as possible. I’ve been averaging about one per week and we plan to have everything uploaded before the end of the year.

Q. Do you plan on turning all of your books into apps ?
A. Yes!

Q. Which Quirkles Character do you plan on releasing next ?
A. We are releasing them in alphabetical order and you should be seeing Ronnie Rock and Susie Sound very soon.

Q. The science experiments at the end of each book seem to be a huge attraction for children. Where does your team come up with the ideas from ? Do you go to schools trying these out ?
A. The authors are always researching and exploring new experiments that they think would be fun and appealing to kids. Terri Johnson runs her own afterschool enrichment programs at Fiction, Facts, and Fun; so we’ve been able to “try out” a lot of the science experiments here to get firsthand feedback from the kids.

Q. Do you have a favourite Quirkle or experiment ??
A. I have many favorites, you get a little personally attached to them during the creation process. If I had to pick one though it would probably be Gilbert Gas and his “Pop Top” experiment. That one never gets old 

Q. I love the fact that the app is based around everyday things that children can associate with. Do you feel there is a gap in the market for apps like yours ?
A. We hope so. That was the reason we set out to create The Quirkles in the first place. The response for this educational book series has been really overwhelming in the classrooms over the past eight years. The app distribution market now makes it much easier for world access to The Quirkles. Since the physical books are primarily distributed in the United States it has made shipping them a bit expensive internationally up to this point. It’s been exciting to see the apps being downloaded all over the world knowing that even more kids are benefiting from the Quirkles on a global scale now.

Q. Any other  information or advice you would like to pass on to our followers ?

A. Never underestimate your young learners. They continue to amaze, delight, and inspire us everyday by how much more able they are of learning concepts than one might “think” they are capable of. I’ve always loved this quote by Emerson… “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” So keep it up! 

Thank you Jesse for taking some time out to tell AppAble about The Quirkles science and literacy children's book series.  

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