Yesterday I went off to Argos HQ to find out a bit more about their new ‘My Wishlist’ app for children. I have to say that on first use I wasn’t terribly impressed but when I bumped into the guys from Mumii on my way home and they told me their reasons for REALLY liking it, I stared to wonder if I’d been a little hasty in my judgement.
So… The app is basically a list of over 4,000 toys in separate categories, all in picture mode to be swiped yes or no by from the child (I’m making it sound like Tinder aren’t I)?! You can search using the category titles listed either by brand or put into groups such as ‘Top Toys’ and then everything your child likes they can click into their own list. As a parent you can set a price limit so that nothing over it will show in the app to them and you can even select for them to choose no more than a certain number of items. I liked all that and could see the fun Florence would have playing with it. She is a girl who has ALWAYS loved to peruse the Argos catalogue (just as I was as a child – still am really) and it would probably keep her amused for ages even without the ‘wish list’ element.
Once the child has chosen all of their toys they can then go to the end of the app where they it can be bespoked with writing and drawing to show which is their favourite etc. From the start they get to pick a monster and have their picture taken so it is something very personal to them. Finally they send their list off to the ‘Northpole’ (any email address you choose or multiple ones if you like) and all the information about the chosen toys is given in detail. On the app it is literally just a picture. It then works a little like a wedding gift list and as items are bought you can knock them off the list so if sending to multiple family members nothing will get duplicated.
So, why didn’t I like it at first if I like catalogue window shopping and don’t mind my children doing it? Well it is because the very first thing I looked for was something Jimmy was playing with on the table (he was immediately drawn to the Plamobil Noah’s Ark and of course Xeno – We all love Xeno in this house and would like one each so that they can interact with each other. Seriously, he’s great and even though on first inspection I was a bit sceptical on looks, once you play with him you’ll see!) and I couldn’t find it. It wasn’t under any of the categories and it was very frustrating. Next I couldn’t find Xeno which was very odd as he is in the top toys list everywhere. Ah, they discovered I had my price setting too low and when I increased it up popped Xeno but the Noah’s Ark still wasn’t there so just wasn’t listed. What I found even more frustrating was that there is no ‘search with a term’ function, you can only swipe the category pictures and see what comes up. This immediately put me off but then when I saw y friends at Mumii they pointed out that I was looking at the app from a adult’s point of view and that a child would see it differently. They told me also that older children care about price so to have that not visible is of great benefit.
I see what they’re saying and perhaps I was hasty but I still think it’s annoying that there is no way of digging deeper for a search if you can’t find something. Also, with the price limit it’s great on the one hand because children don’t even see the toys you can’t afford but they still see all the adverts and KNOW what’s out there anyway. I think it would be frustrating further still to KNOW Xeno was out there but not be able to find him and they’d want to know why? Jimmy is very little and needed my help so I was absolutely looking at it with adult eyes and for me, it just needs a fair amount of improvement. I like it and it’s good but it needs that extra tweak to make it perfect. Saying that I will absolutely download it and let Florence have a play, saves lugging the Argos catalogue around eh!
I was invited to hear more about the ‘Wishlist App’ at Argos.