Like a flash it’s that time of year again when we’re joined by the brains of the future, A Level students from Kingdown School for App Design Day. This year’s theme, The Connected School, asked the students to think about how schools can address mental wellbeing to promote positivity and community with an app. And what better way to hear about the day than from one of the bright young things themselves, over to you Ellie…
On arriving at Giant Peach we were given a warm and friendly welcome from all the Peaches, including the dogs. James explained all about Giant Peach, how they are passionate about helping positive brands and explained how he hoped we’d leave inspired about our futures in technological world. We kicked off by listing three things we were grateful for that day which really got us in a positive mindset.
We were then given our brief – to develop an app that promotes wellbeing within our community at school, including the design, user experience and marketing of the app. We split into two teams and discussed initial ideas with the members of the Giant Peach team. We identified the main aspects of our app and how it would help the schools with mental health and wellbeing.
Using the wall (which doubles up as a whiteboard!) we got creative and brainstormed our thoughts on how this app could be laid out and how it would be beneficial. With help from James we then simplified all our thoughts into one clear idea.
Once we had our ideas set we worked with Joey who talked us through wire frames – a way of planning the range of different ways screens and functions of an app can be run, and how to lay out our apps formally. This was really interesting to think about apps in this way and realise the amount of planning that’s needed. We took this time to focus on how we could adapt and develop the smallest of details to make the app as successful as possible.
The Naming Game
The next step was to decide upon a name and how we wanted our app to look visually. To help with this the designers Josh and Euan joined us. They took us through naming processes and helped us explore how to step away from the obvious and explore different themes as well as fonts, colours and logo ideas with mood boards. Both teams soon came to an agreement on what suited the style and function of their app. Our team named our app ‘Yew’, an app that logs your mood with colours, logs daily events, provides journal entries and lets you reflect and focus on YOU. We focused on how emotions are complex and can branch into lots of different areas of your life, hence the play on words of a Yew tree. The other team named their app ‘Charla’, an app which is aimed at opening up conversations and being able to reach out to other students for support about things they may have experienced and could offer advice on. A safe place to open up which can safely be monitored by teachers and parents. Charla is Spanish for chat which is why they chose this name. We then briefed the designers with our app names and visuals to create our logos and bring our brands to life. We were all very excited to see how our inspiration was going to turn out.
Marketing our Apps
Whilst the designers brought our brands together we began to explore how we would market our apps with Meg. Meg helped us to identify our audiences and gave us ideas on how we could best communicate with them. We split into groups and worked on our marketing plans – it was really interesting to find out more about all the different ways we would communicate with our audience and how our tone of voice represents who we are as a brand.
After all the hard work we then had time to sit and relax outdoors enjoying the huge selection of pizza that Giant Peach had kindly ordered for us. We discussed the day so far, and were soaking in the lovely rays before taking it inside for a game of pool in the office with the rest of the Peaches. As we played, we managed to get a sneaky look at how our logos were coming along which was all very new and exciting to us. During this time, some members of our group were taken to be interviewed about their experiences of the day.
Before we knew it, it was time to take it back into the meeting room, to take part in the next stage of the process. We pieced together our presentations and decided who was going to present. It was extremely nerve-wracking but exciting seeing the whole thing come together and we were all praying to be the winning team! Although we all felt nervous and wanted to impress the team at Giant Peach, we were confident in our app ideas and a sense of adrenaline quickly filled the room. We presented to the panel who then voted on which app was the winner, drumroll … ‘Yew’ were crowned the winners. We all received feedback from the judges and returned back to school feeling like we had learnt very valuable life skills.
We all enjoyed the experience and a chance to be creative and see our ideas and thoughts gathered together and brought to life. The professional environment made the day feel exciting and surreal. We all agreed that our favourite part of the day was using our creativity to come up with the name and logo for our app. We all came away with a great sense of achievement and very full bellies from the pizza! Thank you so much for having us and putting all your time and commitment into helping us, we all had an amazing time!