CompetitiveAnalysis-JuanCadena

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Contents

Our Group's Idea

We wish to create an educational application for preschool-aged children through the use of an entertaining and interactive user interface.

Group Brainstorm page: http://vis.berkeley.edu/courses/cs160-sp10/wiki/index.php/GroupBrainstorm-Group:GroupM

Related Applications

  1. ABC Animals: Review
  2. Letter Tracer: Review
  3. Letters A to Z from True Learning: Review
  4. ABC Letters Tracing: Review
  5. ABC’s Free: Review
  6. Baby Flash Cards: Review
  7. ABC Tracer: Review
  8. Toddler ABCs: Review
  9. First Letter and Phonics: Review
  10. Kids Can Learn Alphabet: Review

Analysis

ABC Animals

“ABC Animals” targets families with preschool-aged children and looks to develop letter recognition by using visual and audio stimuli. Similar to our application, ABC Animals utilizes finger-touch connect-the-dot activities and phonic pronunciations to engage children in learning the alphabet. Each of the 68 “flashcards” displays an object and a letter and includes the option of tracing lower or upper case letters by simply tapping on the current card. This application alleviates the need of purchasing expensive flashcards and enables parents to maintain a learning environment for their child wherever they go. In addition to ABC Animals’ functionality, our application includes a coloring feature that allows children to paint the object they previously traced. This option encourages color recognition and appeals to the child’s creative development. One foreseen problem is families trying to engage a child not suitable for the material or device, either from an unmet age requirement or from a learning disability. A solution would require a disclaimer describing the intended purpose and the appropriate audience for the application.

Letter Tracer

“Letter Tracer” targets families with preschool-aged children and is geared to teach 2-5 year olds how to write the alphabet. Unlike our application, Letter Tracer allows the user to choose between three different learning modes: Flashcard mode, Tracing mode, and Freeform mode. A menu interface for selecting between modes and choosing different interface options such as brush color and voice type is also included. Letter Tracer was developed to replace flashcards and tracing books and helps parents maintain a learning environment wherever they go. Differing from Letter Tracer, our application utilizes a coloring option in order to increase letter-object recognition and to stimulate interest and creativity. One foreseen problem with Letter Tracer is the accessibility of its menu interface. Children may stumble upon this view and not know how to return to the training exercises. In order to avoid this problem, we could include a menu lock function that requires parents to tap certain buttons to access the menu.

Letters A to Z from True Learning

“Letters A to Z from True Learning” targets families with preschool-aged children and was designed to aid children learn their alphabet. Through the use of simple, colorful flash cards, the letters of the alphabet are displayed with a corresponding object and each card includes the option of playing the phonic letter and object sound. A simple menu screen includes two segmented controls for choosing capital letters and playing phonic sounds. Letters A to Z was developed to replace the functionality of flash cards through similar applications of letter-object recognition. One problem with the application is the lack of user interaction. Our application includes a healthy dose of user interaction in order to maintain interest and increase letter recognition.

ABC Letters Tracing

“ABC Letters Tracing” was developed for families with preschool-aged children and was designed to aid children learn the alphabet. Similar to our application, ABC Letters Tracing utilizes touch-screen functionality to write out the letters of the alphabet and includes an associated animal. Included on every view is the current score along with simple buttons for choosing shuffle mode, easy mode, and for traversing backward and forward. This application was developed to replace flashcards and alphabet training books and helps parents maintain a learning environment wherever they go. One problem with the implementation of the application is the inability to replay a phonic letter sound after successfully tracing the letter. To solve this problem, we can include an action feature connected to the associated picture on the flashcard that plays the phonic letter whenever clicked. Also, because our application includes a coloring function, I believe the child’s interest will be greater than with this application.

ABC's Free

“ABC’s Free” is a simple alphabet-learning application developed for families with preschool-aged children. Each view contains a single letter at the top of the screen and an options pane on the bottom. Though not much interaction is required, the application includes phonic letter sounding and a quick musical note when clicked. ABC’s Free was developed to help child recognize the letters of the alphabet through similar applications of flashcards. A couple of recognized issues with the design of the application are the placement and symbols used for the options and the lack of color in every view. The too simplistic design of the application will promote lack of interest and quick loss of the child’s attention. To ensure our application solves this problem, we will utilize a lot of color, place all our options in a separate view for parental configuration, and choose accurate symbols that convey the intended action.

Baby Flash Cards

“Baby Flash Cards” is a flashcard-based application developed for families with preschool-aged children. Each view contains a colorful picture of an object along with the objects name at the bottom of the screen. Though each “card” is fairly simple for a child’s use, clickable options on each card allow easy exiting to the home screen and to the app store. Baby Flash Cards was designed to aid children with object recognition by functioning as digital flashcards and to help parents maintain a learning environment wherever they go. Flaws in the design of the application begin with the easy exiting feature and the inclusion of errors with some of the flashcards. Another design flaw is the lack of sound used with each flashcard. To avoid the same design mistakes, our application plans to incorporate sound with every flashcard and to ensure their correctness. Also, a separate options screen will allow parents to configure the application appropriately only after successfully completing a confirmation action. Limiting the child’s ability to navigate away from the application will be a focus point for our application.

ABC Tracer

“ABC Tracer” is an alphabet learning application targeted for families with preschool-aged children. Developed with numerous user interactions, this application uses colorful pictures, animations, and sounds to help children draw the alphabet as well construct simple words. An instructional view of every letter explains the correct strokes for the letter and provides visual feedback when a stroke is made. Also included in the application is a colorful view of the entire alphabet which allows a child to sing along to the alphabet song and a letter recognition game that requests the child to choose the correct ordering of the letters. The icons used are very effective at conveying the intended action and relate to every day objects the child encounters. ABC Tracer was developed to replace flashcards and drawing books by creating a fun and interactive environment for the child to learn the alphabet. Its portability also helps parents maintain a learning environment wherever they go. A couple of design flaws lie with the phonetic sounding of objects and the detailed use of pictured objects i.e. using a Nightingale for the letter N when a child just sees a bird. To sidestep these flaws, our application will ensure the timing accuracy of the phonetics and choose age-appropriate pictures for letter-object recognition.

Toddler ABCs

“Toddler ABCs” is an alphabet learning application developed to cater to families with preschool-aged children. Through its simple design of letter and object illustrations, this application minimizes functionality by traversing in one direction and phonetically pronouncing the letter before moving to the next. Toddler ABCs portability allows children to learn wherever they go and alleviates the need to purchase flashcards. Although it incorporates a simple, child-friendly design, the application lacks basic functionality for traversing backwards and for selecting the case of the letter. Also, user interaction is kept to a minimum which may result in minimizing a child’s interest. Our application plans on incorporating copious amounts of user interaction while at the same time minimizing option selection to backward/forward and saving features on every flashcard. Also, we plan on tracking the child’s progression and including a summary in order for parents to monitor the child’s success.

First Letter and Phonics

“First Letter and Phonics” is an alphabet learning application targeted at families with preschool-aged children. Through its use of child-friendly animation and songs, the application gives the user a choice of choosing between flashcard mode and phonics mode. Pronunciation of every word is accompanied with a relevant illustration and allows for repeated clicking. Options for this application are minimized to the initial menu screen and are not accessible from the cards. This application was developed as a flashcard substitute and as a portable option for teaching children the alphabet. Although the application is effective at relating letters phonetically and visually, First Letter and Phonics lacks in the overall depth and functionality of its design. To avoid this design flaw, our application plans on incorporating additional features such as coloring and picture saving. Also, we plan on tracking a child’s progress through monitoring their tracing accuracy.

Kids Can Learn Alphabet

“Kids Can Learn Alphabet” is targeted for families with preschool-aged children and developed to help children learn the alphabet. Through its simple design and accurate illustrations, this application utilizes a tab-based navigation to switch between the available matching modes. Depending on the mode, a child is prompted to match the letter to a phonetic pronunciation or a presented object in hopes of promoting a correlation between the two. Kids Can Learn Alphabet was developed to replace static flashcards and help parents maintain a learning environment wherever they go. Although the application is simply built, a design flaw arises from the tab bar where the tab options are poorly labeled and easily accessible by an unknowing child. Also, the simplicity of the background could detract from the child’s learning experience and cause a loss of interest. To avoid these design flaws, our application plans on utilizing colorful but appropriate backdrops and an options menu not easily accessible by the child. Also, our interactive features such as picture coloring and letter tracing hopes to incite excitement and enjoyability.

Summary

Browsing through the apps store turned up a couple of applications similar to our proposed idea but most of them focused on a single function of our idea. Although our proposed application utilizes a flashcard-based theme, we plan to incorporate additional functionality such as picture coloring, letter tracing, and archiving to differ from the available application. Enabling the child to save their work and review past exercises is a function we hope to incorporate for progress tracking and display purposes. Our use of colorful pictures, accurate phonetics, a coloring feature, and a child-friendly interface will ensure an enjoyable and educational experience for children three years old and up.



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