Inventing on Principle, a recent talk by Bret Victor, a prominent designer, talks about finding the guiding principle for your work. Since viewing the talk, I have been thinking about the guiding principle behind Kindergarten Math, and what I want to take from it going forward.
My guiding principle is
Learning through Two-Way Interactivity
The first part is obvious. Learning – is about creating apps that people use to learn. If they don’t learn, the app is not doing it’s job. The second part is about Interactivity. Many apps on the market tell you the concept, or test you for it. For apps that tell you the concept, the interaction is one way from the app to the user. Here the app does all the work. e.g. an app that counts for you. For apps that test you for it, the interaction is the other way – the user does all the work e.g. an app that asks you what 2+2 is. In Kindergarten Math, the app guides you how to get to 2+2, but, it lets you work on it till you find the correct answer. That’s two-way interactivity in the same exercise. The learning and two-way interactivity are connected. The Learning happens faster and deeper because of this two-way interactivity.
The two-way interactivity is hard to achieve at present. It requires more coding and effort than 1-way interactivity. That is perhaps the reason why not many apps offer it. But, that also means there is an opportunity to excel here.