Insights and Advice for App Developers, from #fourlittletesters

by Moms With Apps on February 4, 2013

This is a guest post recorded by Ole from AppsAndKids.com based on an App Friday interview with Andy from Four Little Testers (#fourlittletesters). If you are an app developer getting ready to market your app, this dialog will provide some insight from the reviewer’s point of view. 

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Could you tell us about #fourlittletesters?

I am really a Daddy Blogger that uses twitter (@4littletesters) to engage with indie developers to provide help, advice and quality testing! I set up a blog to share our opinions with parents, but the developers wanted reviews to promote their apps. As a rule I only actually write reviews for apps we all like.

I recently started a Facebook site too, as I find it is a better medium for collaboration and sharing.

I have four children that love technology and apps, so it seems to make sense to get them involved.

I also try to provide the developers with feedback and insight that will help themselves and the apps they deliver to their customer.

How long have you been reviewing apps Andy?

About 1 year officially. Unofficially since the launch of the iPad!!

Unofficially – how was that?

I started providing feedback to the ‘big boys’ in the market place to try and improve the things that didn’t work, but they weren’t so interested. Indie developers are passionate and always want to improve. From then on I set out to help the ‘small guys and girls’.

What part of it do you like the most?

I like when developers ‘get’ what I have said and make immediate changes for the next release. Being an IT professional I want to make my reviews and feedback very repeatable and ensure that I add the lessons learned on my blog.

How do you select apps to review?

I don’t select apps or go looking any more, developers find me. Beta testing is what I want to do most.

I have seen that you do some things differently. Could you tell what are they?

Many indie developers cannot afford beta testers, so they get family and friends to help review their apps. This is good but friends will never tell you the truth. I don’t hold back. I provide direct feedback and commentary from Jake, Ethan, Finn & Poppy (my kids) as this is the most valuable to the developers.

I document what they do, what they say and their general reaction, good or bad.

There are hundreds of sites that can get you promoted and help increase your sales, but I try to help make your apps better, and feel that is the difference.

Andy, How old are your kids?

Jake is 9, Ethan is 8, Finn is 5 and Poppy is 2.

And for the parents? 

Everything I do is to benefit the customer. Parents are swamped with apps and the prices are varied. The last thing you want is to spend money and then complain when things don’t work or apps are buggy. I promote Lite apps to all the developers, so they can get parents to ‘Try before they Buy’.

I would be pleased to send our apps for review. How can I do that?

I am very approachable :) Please contact me via Facebook or find us on Twitter for a conversation! Once we chat I will send you my email address and we go from there. Also check out http://fourlittletesters.tumblr.com/tagged/intro.

A final question. What do you think are the best ways to find good apps for kids? Any advice you can give to parents?

I am always on the lookout for great apps, and to be honest there are so many on the App Store, so as a parent you need to get inspiration or recommendations from somewhere.

Pages like MomsWithApps, App Friday, AppAble, Apps Playground, Best Apps For Kids, Best Kids AppsApps for Kids, AppySmarts, A Byte of This -N- That, also not forgetting ReviewForDev which I am now a member of.

Anything else you would like to add?

A few pieces of advice for app developers:

  • Get the category right. I find that it is so so important for developers to get the category and placement right, as Apple do not make it easy with no dedicated categories for kids.
  • First impressions count. Spend time on brand, app names, icons and plan for the future because names stick.
  • Go Lite. Parents love to try and see the app and if their children like it, and if they do they soon buy the full app.
  • Look at systems like Test Flight to beta test your apps and invite others like #fourlittletesters.
  • Don’t go cheap on voice overs.
  • Always include original music. Music makes kids happy.

I would like to say thank you to Andy for being with us today! 

Thanks for having me, and anyone can feel free to find me on Facebook and Twitter for any further chats.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ole February 4, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Just wanted to add that it wasn’t exactly my interview with Andy. These were the questions asked by me and other developers during the AppFriday event. Cheers!

Nicole Gsell February 5, 2013 at 8:52 am

We LOVE #fourlittletesters! We sent our app for All About Poop over to them while still developing it. Andy sent us an indepth critique, along with commentary from the kids as they were playing it. We are hoping to see his review published soon!

Marcin March 20, 2013 at 7:03 am

Andy and his kids are great! They helped us a lot during the development of our best game so far – Doctor Cat with very insightful comments and left their precious opinion on Viking Rudi. It would be great if there were more people like Andy! Poppy is just amazing and it was a surprise to me to notice how similar my own kid is:) (btw. my kid is doing beta testing as well:)

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