On Thursday, the Stay: Calm app came out at the Mac Store, which I’m excited and most un-calm about.
Calon Digital, who used to make animation like Fireman Sam, invited me to help with this project a few months ago. A small team with very different areas of expertise from game design to creative animation to psychology, we collaborated over ideas.
We wanted to make an app that could turn your i phone into a mobile therapist, to be switched on in airports; before important meetings, presentation or interviews; or when your brother-in-law announces his conversion to veganism, two days before Christmas.
The content uses well-established and provenly effective approaches to handling stress, anxiety and panic.
Stay Calm helps you get back in control and restore a sense of perspective. It does this through helping you monitor your reactions, breathe effectively, refocus on your worries and divert and release tension.
Why Apps Suit Psychology
And what is wonderful about apps, and their use in applied psychology, is that it is possible to tackle mood changes using visual, sound and touch interactivity. To create if you like, your own little anti-stress environment.
During this project I went on an app developer workshop (advanced programming-wise for this mid-life coder) but an excellent insight into the reasoning behind apps, how to make them and tiptoe around the Apple business model.
For anyone contemplating making an app, here’s what I learnt:
- an app is not just a website for mobile – it has to have specific uses that make it relevant to mobile use
- content has to be absolutely focussed and to the point, distraction and irrelevancy to be kept to a minimum
- caution and conservatism need to prevail over style and content: we tried to make ours a ‘John Lewis’ type of app
- what apps can do in creating immersive experiences for users give them enormous potential for learning and development
Once the app is made that’s just the start… then you have to find customers…
Now this is a very small project, made entirely in central Cardiff, but our customers potentially come from all over the world.
So without n’ere more ado -please wish us luck – just off hunting on a global cyber customer search. And if you do buy the Stay: Calm app, at a mere £1.99 or $2.99 , then please enjoy. It is a first and all feedback from you most welcome.