As the fantastic update is launched, how we ended up working on award winning Wreck This App with Penguin Books US by Creative Director Steve Donovan. 

So way back 2010 Chris (Citrus Suite director / designer) was in Urban Outfitters in Liverpool city centre and he noticed a crowd of teenagers stood at a book stand, laughing and pointing. Chris, not one to being left out, went over to look at what the kids were gathered around. The book was Wreck This Journal, by Keri Smith, an author he knew from the brilliant activity book How To Be an Explorer of the World.

Chris went home, wrote an email to Keri, gave a little background to our new creative studio Citrus Suite, stated her books would make great apps. Chris wrote that he wanted the next collaborative project we worked on to be remarkable. And fun for all involved.

The email connected with Keri who wrote back that evening. She and all of us at Citrus, believe the universe brought us together. At that time Keri’s publisher were looking to a large digital agency in the States to come up with a creative vision for the app version of Wreck This Journal, but Wreck This App was born as ‘Team Keri’ came together.  Citrus were introduced to the fabulous gang at Penguin Books US – Katherine, Meg and Meredith – and then then co-creation began.

It was the start of a great relationship with Penguin US and not only did we go on to create ‘Wreck this App’,  ‘This Is Not An App’ and ‘Pocket Scavenger ‘ for Team Keri but also other award nominated & award winning apps, such as Chopsticks.

Right from the start we understood that Wreck This App had to give the users a unique and playful digital experience, to measure up to the book. We worked very closely over the next couple of months with Keri and the Penguin team, delivering the app ahead of schedule.  When Wreck This App was originally released in June 2011 we were thrilled with how well received it was and happy for its success for Keri and Penguin.

Since 2011 there have been a few changes on Team Keri; Katherine moved on and John became our lead point of contact with Molly also doing a great job.

In early 2014 Citrus had just completed Colouring for Grown-ups and John from Penguin gave us a call. Keri was releasing another book and wouldn’t it be great if we did an update to Wreck This App.

We had talked about this a couple of times; we had done a minor update, included some new pages from Keri and added a few minor features. When we had talked previously we had all agreed that unless there was a substantial update there’d be no point because it was pretty much a great app already.  We started throwing around a couple of ideas during the call and we realised that the stuff that was being mentioned was quite a substantial update. And we were completely sold on the idea. We couldn’t wait to get started.

As always we worked closely with the guys in the US, Molly being our lead contact. We were soon throwing ideas around for new tools, new user interface and enhanced user experience with more emphasis on sharing.

When creating the update we were also very aware of not upsetting existing fans of the app by making changes  just for changes sake.  So we decided early on all changes had to be improvements.

So what’s in the app?  A selection of new tools including the fantastic Distort tool, I’m not going to give anything away here but just try it and you’ll love it. A new revised user experience which gives easy access to the full tool set at one simple touch, a new colour palette that you can save and store custom colours and, last but not least, special emphasis was given to all the share functionality… and if that wasn’t enough Keri supplied us with new prompts as well.

I think we have achieved our goal of making Wreck This App better for the users.  Only time will tell but everybody Is really excited about the update and I can’t wait for the fans to get hold of it and look forward to seeing what new images are created with our little app.

Wreck This App is out now and available here 

You can read more Citrus Suite news below.

  • The Pocket Scavenger Wins Best App At Digital Book Awards 2014 – also published by Penguin Books US.
  • Chopsticks: APP OF THE YEAR 2012
  • Citrus Apps: more than 700k downloads
  • Mystery Seekers: number 1 app in 15 countries including US & UK
  • Citrus Engine: built over 45 apps 2012-13 on iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android tablets, PC, Mac, etc.
  • Wreck This App:  voted best digital product of 2011 (by Penguin US)
  • White Label Apps: confidential projects, very hush hush
Citrus Suite is a UK based creative design studio producing mobile apps for globally known clients. READ MORE

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