Due to the popularity of FindMe(Autism), a new major update is to be released now.

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The app has seen over 50,000 downloads and is one of the most popular autism apps available.

Updating the existing free app, this release will make FindMe(Autism) finally available for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The iPhone version will be exactly the same as the iPad app, so parents and teachers can use the app on the go.

In addition, this new release will add two major features.

The first feature is a brand new mode added to the game. This new mode essentially encourages the players to recognise what the character is pointing to or looking at.  Starting with a pointed finger, the character asks the child to tap on what object they are pointing to. The game gets progressively harder as the character begins to simply look at the item. This mode introduces 11 new levels to the pre-existing ones available in the free app.

The second feature is the ability to record your own voice for items and instructions. This makes it possible to have the child’s own parents, teachers or even their own voices inside the game. This feature was built after numerous feedback from parents who wanted the instructions in their own language.

These two features will come at a small price of £4.99 ($7.99) each. This is done in order to recoup some of the costs involved in designing and developing the app. It will be also used to produce an android version of the app, which has also been a popular suggestion.

It is important to emphasise that the 4 levels available in the existing game is and will always be free for everyone to play.

All of these functionalities will bring a whole new audience to the game, as well as provide a whole new set of extensions to those familiar with it.

For press enquiries, please contact press@interface3.com in order to get an advance review of the updated game.

Recently, a number of clients have asked us about what the best way to get attention in the apps store is. It’s pretty well known that the following three pieces of information (in this order) is what helps a user determine whether to buy an app:

  • The icon
  • The title
  • The screenshots

It’s been said that the icon can make or break an app. For instance, after TapTapTap’s released ‘Faces’ with what they thought was a sub-standard icon, it flopped to #198 in the apps store, after a revamp and a quick change in name, it jumped 149 places to #59 in the entertainment section.

Your goal in designing a great app icon is to make sure it stands out from the rest of the icons in the apps store, or the user’s phone. 

One important tool in designing a great app icon is to try and get as much feedback as possible. There are a few options for doing this:

Colleague and Close Friends. Cost: $ Time: Low.  Put a few ideas together, get some feedback from a few colleagues via email, and get people to choose. Pros: quick and simple. Cons: small sample size can lead to a lot of personal bias.

Mailing Lists and Social Media. Cost: $ Time: Medium. Same as above, but post your designs onto a blog (e.g. wordpress) or somewhere like 99designs.com and send the link to a few mailing lists, facebook and twitter to invite feedback. Pros: quick and simple. Cons: not asking people that are interested in buying your app (i.e. at the point of purchase).

A/B Testing using quiz sites. Cost: $. Time: Medium. Upload your best designs to somewhere like HeyCrowd or Mechanical Turk which has a ready made audience for you to test. Pros: much larger sample and slightly more accurate. Cons: Can cost money to get feedback and still not asking people at the point of purchase.

A/B Testing using landing pages and adwords. Cost: $$$ Time: High. Create a landing page for your app. Place different versions of the icons inside the page using an A/B testing system (e.g. KISSMetrics or Mixpanel), buy some adwords related to what your app is about and link it to your landing page. Pros: the best way to get feedback since the people judging are the people that are highly likely to be your product audience. Cons: time and cost preparations are high.

How you approach getting feedback will depend on how much time and budget you have, as well as it being proportionate to the amount of investment you’ve put into the app. If you’d like to talk about this further, please drop us an email or comment here!

Hacking, making, tinkering … these are all terms to describe the sorts of things that we call ‘side projects’ which often takes up our evenings and weekends.

For some people, its getting their hands dirty with Raspberry Pi, for others, finding a intriguing way to commenerate their cat, making things is the best way to explore and experiment.

But often we do this alone. (For instance, one of my current side projects is building a small adventure game for the Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital, but I haven’t shown it to anyone yet because it’s not finished!)

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One of the principles that we hold dear in Interface3 is the idea of being agile and lean in our software development projects.

This basically translates to two advantages: one, we iterate user designs as much as possible without writing any code, in order to have as accurate an idea of how the user should interact with the app before we start. Two, we are flexible enough to react when we realise something isn’t going to work during the middle of a build and take steps to move direction.

This concept of iteration, and continuous feedback is something also valued at all startups. To this end, I’m delighted to announce that Interface3 will be co-organiser of the upcoming Startup Weekend Edinburgh on 16th Nov 2012.

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour hackathon for people that want to create new products and businesses over a weekend. It is the perfect opportunity to test out new ideas, get lots of feedback and be in an environment where people from different backgrounds and expertise collaborate in a meaningful manner.

Head over to http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4245624778 to grab your ticket. Early bird tickets finish on 17th Oct!

Great news for us today! The AR Summit, held in London on the 13th of June, is an annual conference and exhibition providing an insight into the next year of Augmented Reality technologies – of which we are something of a fan. We’re such big fans, in fact, that the AR Summit 2012 has seen fit to nominate us for an award for Most Innovative Use of AR! We’re very pleased with this nomination, which recognises our hard work in creating AR applications which are easy to use and ultimately useful.
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Although most of the Interface3 team travelled to Culture Hack together I decided to do a hack of my own. Audio/visual art is an area I pursue in my own work and I thought this event would be a good opportunity to get my hands on some interesting sound. Amongst the 40 odd data sets available to everyone at Culture Hack was a fantastic collection of 200+ field recordings donated by the National Museums Scotland. I was intrigued by the melancholic and acoustic tones of the music on the tapes.
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This weekend, the Interface3 team was over in Glasgow for Culture Hack Scotland.

In the last blogpost, we talked a little bit about the concept. In this blogpost, I wanted to shed a bit more light about the design process and offer some insights into how we managed to pull it all together.
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This weekend, most of the Interface3 team is at the Culture Hack Scotland event being held in Glasgow.

Most of us are working on a project which contains the retelling of Edwin Morgan’s Stobhill poems over a 3D computer ‘gaming’ experience. It’s Silent Hill 2 mashed with classic Scottish poetry.
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Every year, the dynamic organisers of the BCS Women group run the Lovelace Colloquium – a networking event for undergraduates and postgraduate women in computing. Back in 2009, when the colloquium was held in Leeds, I was lucky to be involved. Hannah Dee – the organiser of the event – was kind enough to let me stay at her home and it was wonderful to be involved in the day.

I remember telling Hannah that I was leaving the world of academia to start a company and her and Roger wished me luck. 3 years later, it was a bit of a special moment when we decided that the first event we’re going to sponsor as a company was a poster prize the Lovelace Colloquium. It’s my little way of saying thank you.

Congratulations to Sarah Murfett from Sheffield Hallam University for her poster.

Talking of which, I’ll be involved in the Women in Computing panel at the upcoming T100 festival celebrating the 100th year of birth of Alan Turing on 10th May. Please come and say hi if you’re heading along.

(Yes, I apologise for the awful attempt at a pun.)

We’re growing at Interface3 and have space for two developers (Javascript/Platform and Intern/Unity3D) on our technical team. Please drop me an email at kate@Interface3.com with the subject line “Development post” if you’re interested.

Job Description: Javascript Developer

Apply by emailing a CV to kate@interface3.com.

Deadline: 30th April 2012

Location: Edinburgh

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