Stop Motion Animation App
Disney stop-motion app that allows kids to create their own movies.
In 2015 Disney rolled out an education initiative that included toys, games, apps and activities. I was responsible for helping conceptualize, research, design the user flow, and produce wireframes as well as my Industrial Design responsibilities in creating the physical product.
The feedback that we received from the parents through user research was they wanted this product to be self contained would allow the child to play on their own. In short - We needed to teach 4 year olds how to make stop-motion movies.
We created a pattern of moving figures on the stage, holding the child’s hands up, clapping, moving the figure again and then repeating. We provided boards with footprints that the figures would move on and they served as a script of sorts.
Imagicademy Storymation Studio App allows young and aspiring film makers to set their own stage, add motion graphics, set musical scores and title their narratives just like the real Imagineers do.
Once you open the app you are walked through an onboarding narrated tutorial. This onboarding experience is purposely repetitive. Our testing showed we needed to have the users pick up on the pattern and once they have that down they can play without adults guiding the experience.
The home page has huge buttons to provide large targets for our young users. The icons leverage big imagery as well for our users who can’t read and rely on recognizable symbols to navigate through the app.
We looked at many different stop-motion apps and toys to gain an understanding of how others had designed the concept of storytelling.
In my role I handled these parallel paths by having a foam core prototype before the physical product was ever made. This foam core mock up had the exact dimensions of the final stage at all times.
When any changes came from either the factory, app team or ID this would cascade throughout all the teams and be confirmed on this foam core stage. This allowed for any errors to be caught immediately before they were baked into the app or worse tooled into the final product.
We decided to always take the approach of constantly serving the narratives of the characters. For example, when presented with the choice to use characters whose arms and legs move vs. a full color cutout of the character, we opted for the cutout.
Below is a wireframe of what features we wanted the child to have at their disposal. This included graphics that interacted with their movies, ability to manipulate frame rate, and the capabilities to zoom.
We took our reviews with a grain of salt. We knew people wanted more options from our user testing, but our focus was on serving our very youngest users and making sure they began their movie making careers with as little frustration as possible.
"My 7 yr old niece and 10 yr old nephew loved this! With the app they can add music to their videos too."
"My little sister just got the animation kit for Christmas, she was so excited. We were shooting an Olaf movie. It was really cute! Until of course, we messed up. On this game, you cannot undo your mistakes! Please fix!"
"My 9 year old daughter bought this with her birthday money. She has enjoyed it very much so far!"
"This app is great but there are some things you need to fix."
"It was great fun and a useful tool for my grand daughter age 7."
"The software is easy to use for kids, it explains what to do, it seems to automatically ends up at the right spot (showing the stage but not your house in the background), it has a clap-to-take-picture feature so you don't have to push on the iPad to take a picture (thereby preventing it from shaking)."