By Jo Reid
Thanks to being nominated by the wonderful and magnanimous Clare Reddington, I am delighted to find myself a finalist for the Innovator of the Year Everywoman’s Technology Awards. The awards are intended to raise the profile of the UK technology industry and encourage diversity within it in order to remain globally competitive. Whilst female representation within the IT & Telecoms industry as a whole is currently only 25%, we are pleased that we have a healthy 50% gender balance for our regular training daysfor helping people understand what is involved in making apps. This is because the creative landscape of applications has a universal appeal.We have designed AppFurnace to fulfil that universal appeal and enable anyone with an idea, or a business to make apps ranging from visually rich tips, product and event brochures to geo-located multi-media experiences.
I am proud to be nominated because of all the creative women I have worked with and who have used Appfurnace.
A nice recent example was hearing from Sara, who is Managing Director of Cake communications. Sara emailed us to say how much fun she had making a simple but valuable app for writing perfect press releases. She signed up and managed to make the app all within a weekend .
Artist Katie Day has been creating a locative audio experience “Bandstand app”to deliver an enigmatic personal theatrical experience where you become part of the story and you re-live a beautiful memory of what happened in that band-stand.
Charlotte Crofts award winning project “Curzon Memories” is an app that provides visitors to the Curzon cinema in Clevedon an augmented reality experience of the stories and memories inside and outside this historic cinema. It evens provides a means for you to control a model cinema on display within the cinema.Charlotte is a film maker who had never touched an app before in her life and she grasped it with ease. When she tested it with retired volunteers she found that the interface was very well received.
Using AppFurnace on client projects has also enabled me to work with other inspirational and innovative women such as:
- Aoife Mannix on the RSC’s Adelaide Rd app, which encouraged user-generated poetry and augmented a promenade performance of an original play that she wrote.
- Nina Steiger on Soho Theater’s “Tales of the Harrow Road” which gave voice to the residents of Paddington to create an app that is a vibrant, innovative representation of the community which harmonises with the play and is accessible, user-friendly and available on three platforms – web, iPhone and iPaq.
- Aileen Peirce on Historic Royal Palaces’ “Prisoner Escape from the Tower of London”. Which allows visitors to the Tower to help four prisoners escape from the Tower by re-enacting their real life events.
In each case the women involved embraced the new capabilities that an app can offer in giving audiences access to a virtual digital layer over the physical world and bringing poetry, community voice and history to new audiences.
I hope that more and more women embrace app making as a way to create useful, fun and social experiences. Practical apps that nicely present and package functional help and tips such as Judy Murray’s Set4Sport app are a great way to start. So if you have good sense of design and a clear idea for an app you can use AppFurnace to get going right now. Why not give it a try?