We’re honoured to work with some of the best tech talent in Northern Ireland through Techies in Residence, including Kippie– we sat down with Katherine, one of the co founders.

I’m Katherine Rowlandson, manager at Kippie CIC. We comprise of a manager (me) graphic designer and animator (Justine) and Caroline (programmer) and we mainly make digital games with and for different organisations. We help community groups, charities and companies to tell their story through simple 2D games, and provide a tailor made programme of workshops, designed to teach a range of transferable skills through the process of making a computer game, from concept through to market.

We were attracted to the TiR programme because we are really interested in ways that technology can improve people’s lives, particularly creative digital content, which is why we were drawn to working with Parenting NI. We felt that we could use both Justine’s talents as a designer and Caroline’s programming skills to respond to their brief : looking for a friendly and accessible platform for parents to access help and advice.

Working with an organisation that is doing so much in so many different ways to provide help and advice, and is in constant contact with their users has been really exciting for us – the access to focus groups and their feedback has been great, and the staff at Parenting NI, who have been so organised and clear about what they need, while being open to and interested in different ways of delivering the content, have been a real joy to work with.

In terms of challenges, I think the thing we will find difficult is keeping the size of the project manageable, the team at PNI have come up with some amazing ideas, and we here at Kippie keep coming up with different ways we could respond to the issues PNI are addressing, that it becomes hard to remember this is a prototype project with limited time and resources. We hope that this prototype of a ‘pocket parenting advice centre’ with its friendly feel will be of real use to parents who aren’t ready or able to contact the charity directly, both here in Northern Ireland and beyond.

The Techies in Residence programme is an initiative of Social Innovation NI, managed by the Building Change Trust, which in turn has been funded by Big Lottery Fund and also Comic Relief. Innovate NI have been appointed by the Trust as Managing Agent for the ongoing development and delivery of Techies in Residence.