LABO CAR DESIGNER
CONCEPT: A car design app that enables you to drive your final products on premade platforms.
DELIVERY: This creativity based exploratory play app by Labo Lado Inc captures the imaginations of its 4+yr old target audience. It is easy to find sketch-based apps in the app store, but few that work this well.
Students can create their own car designs in the first section of this app. Using one of the many templates or sketching their own design from a blank page, children can use their imagination to create a variety of car designs. Following the template is excellent for developing children’s fine motor skills. Once the outline of the car is completed, students can creatively decorate the vehicle with a range of brushes, stamps and interactive elements. Choosing from the wide range of possibilities is a large part of the fun. Characters that can sit in the car range from frogs to crocodiles; combine this with the sirens, propellers and horns that could be included in the design and it is very easy to see why students quickly become enamoured with the app. Video tutorials and demonstrations help children who are perhaps struggling to find their creative moment.
But it doesn’t just end at the design phase. Oh no!
Once the vehicle is complete, children are able to fully interact with the car and navigate it over a variety of platforms. There are an assortment of terrains to drive through, each with their own quirky elements that make each journey entertaining. The controls at this stage are very basic (forwards, backwards and flip) but are enough to enable the user to reach the finish line. For students, the ability to interact immediately with their design engages them in a way that other design apps don’t. Within the levels there is the option to change the time of day or type of weather and this creates an extra layer of interest to each voyage.
Using the app to take a photo enables the user to export their designs to the camera roll. Whilst this is an excellent feature for sharing your car without the iPad, I feel by losing the interactivity you also lose the magic that makes this app so great!
LIMITATIONS: Audio instructions would aid younger children. I’d also really like it if there was more to interact with when the platform stage was reached e.g. coins to collect or pits to jump over. Maybe there could be an option to race to the finish line against other cars!!
CONCLUSION: An engaging, interactive, creative and colourful app that encourages the user to think carefully about their car designs. With the ability to immediately export your brand new car onto a platform where the user can tour a variety of platforms whilst dictating their own weather…it’s fair to say we like this a lot. That is why it is receiving 5/5
A Design Technology project based on car design
By challenging students to make the most creative designs
To improve fine motor skills