Creating an App for Alston

by Katherine Pearson

Alston Explorer – 01 Getting started


This post describes how we started developing an app for the North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty Partnership.

Getting expert help

The first thing we did was secure expert help – people who really know about technology and the local area. Step forward – the brilliant, Year 6, Samuel King’s School, Alston, and their equally brilliant teacher.

Be clear about what success looks like

The brief: To design an app that will be used to encourage users to explore and discover more about the historic and natural environment in and around Alston.

Having studied the brief, the pupils imagined what type of amazing things they would like people to say after they had used the app. 

‘It helps you learn about the highest market town in England
‘It gets you out and about’
‘It shows a clear map of Alston’
‘It helps you navigate around Alston’
‘It tells you about the place you are at’
‘It shows you all the tourist attractions (which are beautiful)’
‘It tells you about the environment’
‘It brings families together’
‘The app was very helpful because it told you where to go and what it (Alston) used to be like years ago’
‘It didn’t glitch’
‘It was reliable’

Further thoughts…

‘It’s going to hopefully make people come to Alston’

They also thought about the things they wouldn’t like people to say!

‘How it is set out was confusing’
‘It was too babyish’
‘It could be less cartoony. So it should be more realistic’
‘It only shows tourism attractions – no cafes or places to stop’
‘You could write a book about Alston instead I DO NOT LIKE TECHNOLOGY’
‘The signal is bad – so not working’
‘It used up all my data’
‘It was very slow to download’
‘It crashes too much’

The challenge is clear. 


Published by:
Katherine Pearson

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