Mobile Design for Childcare App

Product Design
Role: UX Designer
Client: The Tribe
Tools: Adobe XD
Deliverable: Prototype

There is a well known African proverb, translated, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Tribe set out to help working parents balance the stressors of raising a child and maintaining a full time job.


Understanding the Problem

Working parents find themselves in need of help raising their kids. Given everything working parents must balance, there simply is not enough time to accomplish all of a day's calling.

Defining the Goal

Design a mobile-optimized web community platform that helps parents schedule transportation services. ​Longterm, The Tribe will serve as a single platform where parents can share childcare responsibilities in 3 ways:

  • Schedule pickup and drop off
  • Coordinate babysitting assistance
  • Host daytime activities

Competitive Analysis

My teammates and I, Laurie Grant and Julie Katsnelson, began our research by looking at existing services that provide similar support to parents and their children. We looked at what companies seemed to do well, what could be improved upon and how they conveyed trust and security. Here's what we found:

Competitive Analysis Data

Identifying Users

Since users of this application would be community based, users would be both working mothers needing help raising their child and stay at home mothers that could provide childcare and extra curricular activities.

User Interviews

We interviewed a total of 12 users, 7 stay at home parents and 5 working parents. We wanted to identify what the goal of each set of parents would be while using the app. From the interviews we gathered:​

  • Scheduling childcare services can be frustrating, oftentimes taking up to 2 to 3 hours to find a babysitter.
  • Many parents don’t trust strangers to watch their kids.
  • Parents were more interested in exchanging services instead of money, especially if the person was family.


In an effort to validate or invalidate our User Interviews, we created a short, 12 question survey and posted it to various Social Media pages including Reddit and a support group for mothers on Facebook called “Mommy Needs a Break.”​ We asked participants:  

  • "How much would they be willing to spend on childcare?"
  • "Had they ever been comfortable with a vetted stranger babysitting their children?"

Users responded that while they had let a stranger babysit before due to desperation or emergency situations, they were rather unproductive, spending the whole time worried about the well-being of their child instead.

Key Takeaways

  • In order for this service to be used we would have to focus on parents’ existing community of caregivers for babysitting as a primary use case, with the secondary being searching for caregivers outside of the network.
  • Parents were less willing to exchange currency with friends and family members as compensation for services. We would need to focus on non-monetary forms of compensation for services provided within a community.


User Flow

With a window of only two weeks, we identified which application development paths would be of most value initially for basic functionally and promotion of the app (highlighted in yellow).

MVP User Flow


I created two personas, a stay at home mother and a working mother, to get a better feel for how our user would interact with the application.

Journey Map

Two journey maps were created to clarify the emotions associated with trying to locate a babysitter at current state, and what we hope to achieve with The Tribe.

Wireframing/Lo-Fi Prototype

With a clearer understanding of the needs of our user, and the steps they would take through the app, we began making our first, low fidelity prototype after a few rounds of wireframing ideation.

Usability Testing

We asked 12 users to test out our prototypes in order to assess the flow and usability of login/sign up process and going through the pickup/drop-off flow.​ We learned: that the overall feel of the site was a bit confusing. Users were not sure if the application was for childcare or more directed towards senior living. Users were also frustrated with the menu. While the three circle expansion of the top left kept the application fun and friendly, the aesthetic was outweighed by lack of functionality.

  • Overall feel of the site was a bit confusing. Users were not sure if the application was for childcare or more directed towards senior living.
  • Users were frustrated with the menu. While the three circle expansion of the top left kept the application fun and friendly, the aesthetic was outweighed by lack of functionality.

2nd Iteration

Taking the feedback from the first round of usability testing, we created a second, updated prototype addressing the previously mentioned issues. A hamburger style menu was added instead of the circle pop-outs. Information was added to the about section explaining more about the application.


A second round of usability testing was conducted, the prototype was refined, resulting in an interactive prototype.

Lessons Learned

Parents are cautious of allowing strangers watch over their child. In order for this community to grow and develop, a sense of trust, security, and confidence must be conveyed at all times. Users also want to be able to give back to their community. Moving forward, there is interest in implementing:

  • Expand on Activities- For the purpose of the MVP, we dove into the ride-share function of this application. given more time we would have liked to flesh out the other two portions of the application, childcare services and educational after-school activities.
  • Video for potential caretakers- A video system that allows parents to video conference with the potential sitter or driver, creating a better sense of trust and security.
  • Interview selection- Allows parents to sit down one on one with potential sitters and drivers, creating a more intimate connection before allowing a stranger to drive or take care of their children.
  • Carecard- An identification card or wristband that would have the child’s basic information, as well particular allergies, likes and dislikes on it. If the band is broken or a distress button is triggered, parents and police are immediately notified with a GPS location of the band.
  • Verification process- A more in depth look at how competing sites verify users and how to further instill trust and security in the application.