CompetitiveAnalysis-WilsonChau

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Contents

Restatement of the group's idea

Our group idea was an application that would help kids learn to write by having them trace words or letters and then letting them color in a picture that corresponds to what they just wrote.

Group Brainstorm

List of related applications

I would insert a list of related applications (with URLs) here:

Analysis

Color Me!!!

Color Me!!! is an application targeting kids form the ages of 2-6, it is similar to our project in that it is a coloring book, but it doesn't contain any options for tracing letters.

This application allows for one touch coloring of segments of a picture, allowing for cleaner, nicer looking pictures and also allows the user to save the colored pictures in an image gallery. There is also an option to shake the picture to clear the screen. Our idea will include a lot of the same features such as being able to save colored pictures and also possibly a similar coloring scheme. We can improve on the functionality by also including the tracing feature which will help the child learn while they are coloring.

According to one user, demarca.pl, she thinks that it is "Nice and simple application with good graphics & feel. My younger son loves it (3 years old)". A lot of the reviewers who left comments think that is a good product that is simple to use and satisfies the target user group. The main complaint was that there weren't enough included pictures. Although it received favorable reviews one thing I think that could be improved about it is how colors are chosen. At the bottom there is a continuum of colors and although this allows for the user to pick their exact color, I dont think that kids are really concerned with that and it could be kind of complicated. Instead we could do discrete basic colors for the kids to choose from.

Colorama - Kids Coloring Book

Like Color Me!! this coloring book application also targets kids. It is a little different in that it is organized as actual coloring books which you choose and then you color the pictures in a coloring book. There is also no option for tracing letters. It does seem to have an incentive for completing a task like our application though, according to user i-guy37. According to him if you finish coloring all the shapes in a picture a song plays, this is similar to our feature where if you finish tracing a letter or word you get to color a picture.

Some features that come with the application are different difficulty drawings for coloring, and also the ability to save drawings in an editable state, so that they can be edited later on. These are some good ideas that I think our group should try to include as well, but it could be a little different for the difficulties, where we can change the difficulty of what is to be traced such as full words or even cursive.

Most of the reviews are very positive, saying that is is very simple to use even for the kids and that they really enjoy it. One complaint I saw was that there was no undo button, and that you cannot clear a picture so that you can start over on it.

zooSpelling

This is a really interesting application that is very similar to ours in concept in that there is a task and a reward for completing the taste. This application was "designed with preschoolers in mind", according to the website so we can assume that the target user group is kids in preschool. The target user group they are going for is a little bit more narrow than ours because our application will include more difficult settings.

A very interesting feature they have is that instead of our idea of getting a picture to color when they complete a word they unlock an animal to add to their zoo. They get the options to visit their zoos, play again or practice words. Our idea is a little different in that the user gets a picture to color instead. I think that this is a little better than having a zoo because it allows the child to learn even more when coloring, allowing them to practice their fine motor skills and creativity coloring the pictures.

This application is very well received and even won an award for being in the top 25 of the education appstore in october 2009. From what I've seen in their video the application is very intuitive with a lot of it being animated and automatic allowing for the user to just press a few buttons and be on their way. One thing that bothered me was that everything seems to be moving very slowly. As a kid I might get impatient or bored and want to stop, so I think that our group should keep that in mind when we are working on our project.

iWriteWords

iWriteWords is an application that is also targeting to children just starting to learn to write. This target group is very similar to our target group.

This application is made in a very interesting way, even having a sort of story to it. In it you are supposed to help "Mr. Crab" gather numbers by tracing your fingers along the numbers. The numbers are arranged in letters and this helps the child learn letters. This is a very inventive and fun feature that makes tracing the letters even more fun for the kids. Once the letters in a word are drawn a cute drawing appears making it even more festive. These are very interesting fun features that I think would make the application even more interesting to kids.

There are a lot of reviews posted on the webpage, which tells me that it is well liked. Associated Content calls it 'One of “The 10 Best iPhone Apps for Young Kids”'. From the looks of it, it is a very colorful simple application that would be perfect for little kids. Our idea expands on theirs in that instead of just a cute drawing that appears when the kid finishes tracing, you get to color the picture as well.

Adam's Art - Finger Paint Coloring Book

This is another coloring book application that targets young children. It matches our target user group.

A feature that I think is worth talking about is that children can draw their own pictures and also color it in themselves. This seems like a nice extra feature that the target user group would greatly enjoy. At the bottom of the drawing there are coloring crayons to help the child understand that those are how you choose the different colors to color with are. Our application offers additional functionality in the added feature of tracing and then coloring.

Although most of the reviews are fairly positive, citing its ease of use and easy navigation something I found that could be applicable to our project as well was the complexity of the pictures. One user said that some pictures were too detailed making it hard to stay within the lines.

ABC Tracer - Alphabet flashcard tracing phonics and drawing

The target user group of this application matches our target user group and targets young children who are just beginning to learn to read and write.

A cool feedback feature that comes with this application is the ability to tell the user if they are tracing the letter wrong. They also include lots of animations to help make the experience more fun and educational for the user. They also include music, which is a plus for keeping the full attention of the user. A feature that I think our group should look into is the ability to tell the user if their strokes are wrong for letters.

Looking over their screen shots in the appStore I saw that some of their views were kind of cluttered and some where pretty complicated filled with a lot of text. This could be intimidating for kids who dont really know how to read, something that we should focus on is keeping the views we do very simplistic and clutter free.

iColoringBook

Similar target user group to ours targeting young children.

This application comes with a lot of more advanced features. It even contains the option to adjust pen width and transparency. These features might be lost of the target user group though and might even confuse them if they get to that screen on accident, so an improvement on our project might be to just leave complicated features like that out. A feature that is good, but might also be too complicated for young children is the option to zoom in and color a part of the picture. If a child clicks on this they might not know how to zoom out and see the whole picture which will lead to problems.

Like I've mentioned the extra features are useful, but probably not useful to the target user group. These advanced features would be welcome on a application targeting a more advanced user group but probably would only confuse the young children who would use this.

ABC Letters Tracing

Like the rest of the applications I have reviewed this application also targets young children who are just beginning to learn to read and write.

There is a feature which allows the user to either go through the alphabet in order or in shuffled mode. This is a good feature because it could also help the user learn the correct order of the letters in the alphabet. There is also a feature which allows for points scored to be kept tracked of. Guided arrows will correct the user when they are writing a letter wrong. Our project has a feature similar to the points score feature, in the unlocked pictures for coloring. Both are a sort of achievement for the child to be proud of and measure their progress.

The users of this application really like it and a lot of them talk about the arrow feature which helps the child learn the proper strokes to the letters. A negative that I found in the reviews and also in the screen shots is that the buttons are kind of small with small text which could be complicated for the children. I think an improvement could be to use symbols instead of text on the buttons so that the children can understand what they do easier.

ABC CURSIVE WRITING Lite

This application targets a user group that is a little more advanced than the other user groups I have reviewed. This user group is probably more in the 2nd or 3rd grade level where children have moved past just learning to read and write and are starting to write in cursive.

One of the hardest parts of writing in cursive can be the different strokes that are required to allow for the letters to be connected, this application has the feature that shows you the proper strokes to drawing each character. There is also the option to shake the iphone to clear the screen. Different colors are available for the drawing color as well. I think we can improve on these features by having more than just the tracing feature with the feature to include the prize of being able to color a picture.

Some of the problems that I seen in the reviews is that it doesn't really help the children learn to write in cursive. It is more like a doodle board according to some users. This could be a problem in how the user is actually inputting the cursive. Cursive is more of a complicated thing than just learning to read and write and using a finger to write in cursive could be hard. Since our application focuses more on just learning letters I dont think that using the finger as an input would be as much as a problem.

My Coloring Book

On the appstore website it says that it is designed for all ages, but I think that the real target user group is more in line with ours, that is young children.

There is the option to save colored pictures to a photo library, a feature that we also plan to incorporate into our application. There is also the option to zoom in and zoom out on a picture so that a certain part can be colored. There is a toolbar on the bottom of each picture which allows the user to scroll through pictures, zoom in/out and also choose colors. I think we can improve on the toolbar by making it more kid friendly. The toolbar they have is kind of small and abstract which could be hard for children to understand.

There are not many reviews, but looking at the screen shots it seems to be pretty straightforward to use aside from the toolbar which is too abstract in my opinion. The toolbar is hard to understand, an example of this is the save symbol. The save symbol is a floppy disk, this is a bad symbol because I don't think most kids even know what a floppy disk is, so they wont understand that it is for saving.

Summary

There are a lot of applications out there that either have the feature of a coloring book or the feature of tracing book. However there aren't any applications that I found that combine the two into one. The aspect of task and reward is also relatively new, with only 1 other application that I reviewed having it. I think that the combination of both coloring book and tracing along with the task and reward aspect make out project a unique one.



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