When it comes to designing an app experience, making it easy enough for a kid to use is a great place to start. As design studio Trollbäck + Company discovered while developing Step, a stop-motion and timelapse filmmaking app, keeping littler ones in mind can make things more intuitive, simpler, and cleaner.
Originally conceived as part of a rebranding package for Swedish children’s channel Barnkanalen, the prototype for the app was proposed as a method for creating stop-motion design elements and as a product to be released for children to make their own animations. When the network redesign took a different direction, Trollbäck + Company decided to release the app on its own.
With a clean user interface and swipe navigation, Step allows users to easily create timelapse and stop-motion movies and export them in both QuickTime movie and animated GIF formats, because everyone loves a GIF. When getting set to record, swipe up with your thumb and the option to change frame rates slides up. Don’t like the film you’ve created? Swipe to the left and delete the whole thing. There’s also a feature that allows you to export a stack image by creating a single multiple exposure image of the frames of your animation.
“All the other stop-motion cameras we could find felt complicated and lacked features that we wanted,” says company executive creative director Jakob Trollbäck. “The biggest problem with other camera and video apps is that the interface quickly gets cluttered, inelegant, and confusing. We developed one where info, settings, and other functions exist on panels that you swipe into frame. It is a smart way to make the experience logical and intuitive. We wanted to make a camera that we would want to use ourselves. We also love to encourage all kinds of creativity—in this case, by making a great tool for creative people.”
For Trollbäck, the release of this app, the company’s second, represents the company’s platform-agnostic creation ethos. “We are driven by creative and strategic opportunities within all media. We do our own apps because we love to make stuff and get excited whenever we can help to expand the digital media landscape,” says Trollbäck, adding Step was motivated by just a little bit of fun as well. “Just put it in the hands of your friends, colleagues, daughters, and sons. You will be amazed by all the creativity that will come out.”