Fairly Positive

Negative Reviews

I’ve got a pretty simple iPhone application on the App Store called Sensory Play. It recently got a negative 1 star review:

This is a total con, just a bunch of suggestions any parent with a special needs child would already do, it’s disgusting when people rip off others who are desperate for special needs apps. Want my money back!

Negative reviews are part and parcel of the App store but this one did annoy me a little. I’m not sure they are ideas that every parent will do, especially if you are just starting down the road of living with a young special needs child. Also, at 69p it is hardly expensive. It certainly pails in comparison to some of the kit we’ve had to purchase in the last few years that has the label ‘special needs’.

A little history of Sensory Play and why it was developed … Our son Thomas was born extremely premature and is severely disabled with numerous physical and learning disabilities. My partner, Alison, developed a number of ideas to engage with Thomas and placed them on laminated cards. One of Thomas’ sensory support professionals liked the cards and thought that other parents would find them useful and suggested that we printed more of the cards and sell them for a nominal amount. As an alternative, I wanted a project to start learning the iOS SDK and this seemed like a good opportunity. I worked on the app in 2009 and placed it on the App store.

I could have been altruistic and given the application away for free. However, setting the app at the lowest tariff (was 59p and now 69p) seemed a reasonable way of recouping some of the £59 a year I pay for the iOS developer programme. In 2011 we earned a very modest £108 for the application.

I think the product description needs updating to make it very clear what the application is about and maybe give more information on why the app was developed. More screen shots might help. That said, I’m not convinced that everyone reads descriptions and screenshots before downloading.

The app is well overdue an overhaul … the UI needs updating since doesn’t take into consideration retina displays and the extra screen retail estate provided by the iPad. Hopefully Alison has some additional ideas we can incorporate into the app. It would be good to allow parents to add their own ideas and maybe update the existing ideas to make them suitable for their own personal situations.

With regard to another 1 star review:

All the 6 reviews must of been written by authors of this “app” as it’s just a hand full of ideas nothing else , it’s just text for 59p absolute rubbish

I can confirm that neither Alison or I wrote any of the other reviews, although one does look like it was written by a well meaning relative.