Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
I am the CEO of PopAppFactory – an indie development company which creates educational apps for kids. I consider myself to be a very enthusiastic and positive person. Most of all I like to do things which will be useful to other people. Besides, I like everything related to aesthetics, art and education. I studied in the Radio Engineering field at the Faculty of Telecommunications in the University of Civil Aviation but it happened that I have never worked in this field. My first position was Account Manager at the biggest Moscow based advertising agency. After that I got a proposal from Microsoft Ukraine and took a position as Digital Marketing Manager. Finally I’ve come to understand that I have enough experience and energy to create something by myself and it was PopAppFactory. I am also the happy mother of a 5 year old girl.
How did PopAppFactory get started?
PopAppFactory was founded in 2009. I was able to build a team of like-minded dreamers and doers, who believe in what they do. People who are putting all their efforts into implementing the ideas we all believe in and share the same confidence in our common business.
You've produced a vast range of apps; what is the average development time for each one?
The average time for one app is about 12 weeks - from idea creation to final release date.
Are they aimed at a particular age of student?
Our apps are targeted mostly at kids from 2 to 12 years old.
Within your catalogue, you have the Mini-U series, what was the inspiration behind this concept?
Our products are for kids, which mean that the smallest and most sensitive creatures on the planet will use them. We want to create really good and funny things that will be useful for the child’s development. Digital toys are a fairly fresh and new niche, and we consider ourselves innovators in lots of things. In many ways, we have to be the pioneers. But this is the most interesting and inspiring part of our work! In the Mini-U series we put only interactive games with innovations.Mini-U games are targeted at kids only – the name of this series means “Miniature World” – the world, how kids see it. Our slogan for this series is “Explore the world around you!” and we do everything to help children in this important process of their development.
Your latest in the series is The Bathroom, what does it include?
Mini-U: The Bathroom is our new interactive game for children aged over 4 years, which helps them to learn all about purity and hygiene, while playing six exciting mini games. The first mini-game is called “Bathtub hockey” – kids should use a soap to fight against the dirt and save a clean bathtub. The second game is “Mirror painting” – here a young player has a possibility to draw his or her first masterpiece on the mirror with the help of water drops. Then there is “Bubbles pop”, where a child learns different colors and numbers, while popping the bubbles! In the “Teeth mission” children can learn how to brush teeth properly with given various dental tools. While playing “Cleaning quest”, a child should help Brush to find the exit from the labyrinth and clean the room floor. And the last mini-game, called “Magic washer” it is a funny way to wash and mix clothes. What about your other apps?
You've released several logic puzzle games – do you see this as integral to the development of early years students?
We’ve never thought about it, but thank you for the idea!
Is there one app of which you are particularly proud?
We are proud of our recent apps: My Home, The Kitchen and The Bathroom. We like these products, because we think they have very interesting game mechanics and neat design.
What do you feel are the core learning benefits available from your apps?
We focus on children's education, conceptual game play, and visual art. Our games are engaging, useful for children, and aesthetically perfect. The most prominent benefits of our apps are: developing good aesthetic taste for every child, attention to detail skills and exploring the world – finding out new thing, learning the name of those things, interesting ways to learn numbers, letters, trainings for logical thinking and memory development.
What's next for you? Can you tell us anything about the mysterious cat face on your website that says coming soon?
Our next step is to create more sophisticated and complex projects with more elaborate graphics, animation and storytelling. We want to create new entertainment experiences and products that provide more engagement with our users. We have all the components for it - experience, ideas, and a team of professionals. Well, the cat face - it is my photo :) And it is also a part of our future PR-campaign. All of us are cats here. But tsss... please do not spread this information - it is a big secret ;) EduCATion is everything for us! And soon you will find out more about it ;)
Thanks for speaking with us Elena. We look forwards to hearing more from you soon.
Find out more about PopAppFactory by visiting their website here.