What if there was a fun way to encourage children?
As a new dad, being so closely involved with MyRewards from its inception through to its successful launch to the App Store has meant more to me than any other app I’ve been involved in. That’s not meant as a slight on other apps we’ve designed but as a testament to how much thought and effort has gone into this one.
At the heart of everything with MyRewards has been one thing: will it help benefit children.
There’s been some other important questions we’ve asked ourselves, of course. Things like; will it be easy to use, does it look nice, are we actually helping parents solve a problem, does the iPad version need something different from the iPhone version, should we launch to Android to or just iOS…there’s been lots. But the main thing is making sure children benefit.
As part of team with The Carrot Company and One Result, we think we’ve designed and built an app that will give parents a fun way to encourage children. As an extension of that, we hope that MyRewards will give children an appreciation of earning rewards and not just expecting things to be given to them. We’re hoping it helps build the sense of self motivation that will be so important to them as they grow up.
So what is MyRewards?
When we set out to work on this app with The Carrot Company, it was known as “the parent app”. We weren’t really sure what “the parent app” was or what “the parent app” was going to do, but we knew that there was an opportunity to help parents encourage children by using mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
We’ve been working with The Carrot Company for a couple of years now and they’ve always had a focus on school rewards. From physical stickers to virtual stickers on iPad, they’ve had huge success and their rewards are used in over 9,500 schools worldwide.
Up until recently, the rewards they give out have been used primarily between teachers and children. For ages now we’ve been having on and off discussions about how “the parent app” would help bring that successful rewards system into the children’s home life.
Then it dawned on us all.
Lots of parents use stickers and wall charts to keep track of good behaviour or to tick a box when children do things like hoovering or washing up. So we set about working out how we could move the wall chart onto the iPhone.
So…”the parent app” became MyRewards.
How does MyRewards work?
In brief, parents sign up and set up Rewards and Tasks.
Rewards are the things children would usually buy with their pocket money or be allowed to do if they’d done something to earn it. Treats like ice creams, new apps to play with or an hour online…that sort of thing.
Tasks are the things children can do to earn their Rewards. They’re things like making the bed, washing the dishes or helping around the house.
Every Task is worth a certain number of virtual stickers, set by the parents, and the children can use the virtual stickers they earn in exchange for Rewards. The best way to think of the stickers is ‘virtual pocket money’ that children can ‘spend’ on things they want.
We also wanted to give parents a way of really encouraging children to do certain things. So we also give parents the option to create Milestones. Those are big things – things like new console games, trips to a theme park or a new pair of trainers. In order to earn those big prizes, children are set certain tasks and they have to complete a set number of them within a set period. So, for example, you could say that little Jonny has to wash up 20 times in the next two months to earn – and that’s the important word, earn – his new Xbox game.
The best thing about MyRewards is that you set those things up yourself so you don’t have to change your own routines or rewards systems.
Well…we’re not sure. Just like any other app in it’s first release, I’m sure there’s things we can probably do better. But we think this is a great start and a fantastic way to move the traditional wall chart onto iOS devices.
The app has already had some great coverage in The Sun and we’re hearing loads of positive things from everyone we talk to about it.
I’ll leave you with this quick video that nicely sums the app up: