Changed + Fed: Case Study
A Location Services App for Parents
Our team was tasked with creating a mobile app to help parents and caregivers find places where they can feed and change their little ones on the go.
Where it all began…
Caring for a child, especially an infant or toddler, can be quite challenging as it is. Scheduling appointments, prepping meals or packing an entire travel bag just to go to the grocery store, it’s evident that moms, dads, guardians, nannies and caretakers of any sort face multiple challenges on a daily basis.
One in particular happens to be the challenge of not always knowing where to go to change or feed a baby outside of the home. This is where Yumiko Sasakawa and Julia Lemeiux (two first time mothers) were inspired to make change that could positively impact the community and help solve that issue for the baby caretakers of Vancouver.
The “Dream Team”
We came together like PB & J resulting in a delicious design sandwich. Four very different personalities and methods, we continuously collaborated through design sprints to dish out our sketches and wireframes.
Research and Analysis
After our clients provided us an extensive list of other parents in Vancouver, we began our research by conducting interviews to get a better understanding of who our users really are and the challenges they truly face.
“Two minutes of your baby crying feels like thirty minutes to a mom when you’re stressed out.”
- Parents and caretakers prefer to plan ahead. They want to know in advance if their destination will have changing and nursing facilities available.
- In the case of an emergency or unexpected situation, the caretaker just wants to know where the closest location is, what is available there and that it is clean and safe
Who else is using Location Services?
We knew there wasn’t much for direct competition in Vancouver, but wanted to see what other popular location services were providing that we could improve and personalize for our users.
“if we’re going somewhere we’ve never been before I usually try to look them up online”
- Feature Bloat — Although we loved the plethora of options to customize and explore, we knew our users would feel lost and frustrated trying to use too many complicated features.
- Significant Iconography — We loved the unique iconography that some of the apps had. We knew we wanted to create something visually concise and learnable.
- The ‘Thumb Stretch’ — With our specific users in mind, we wanted to step outside of the standard layout of these location services apps and shift around the prominent features to make Changed + Fed as easy and efficient to navigate as possible.
- Adding a C+F Location — We realized that our app would be user centric and needed a strong community to keep up the database. We loved that some of the apps had the option to be a part of giving back to the community and wanted our users to have the same opportunity. With this in mind, we implement an “add location” option for users to include places that Google maps miss.
Understanding Our User
We wanted to better understand our users emotions in this every day situation, so we mapped out the journey to clearly identify where the highest points of anxiety and frustration were happening.
This showed us that the entire experience of going out in public with a young child is strenuous and we were able to recognize that our user fears feeling lost and spending too much time to find their way.
From our interviews, research and analysis, we were then able to easily identify and recognize our primary user who became Change + Fed’s main persona.
- Keep her child calm and comfortable
- Know exactly where she can change her child while out
- Change or feed her child as soon as she can when the need arises
- Feed her baby in private
- Can’t find reliable information about facilities online
- Not comfortable nursing in public
- Takes too long to find an appropriate space on the go
- Confined to only visiting locations she’s been to before
Feature Planning and Prioritization
We knew the basic navigation of the app but wanted to add some extra functionality without over inflating Changed + Fed with any unnecessary features. Again, the goal was to keep the app as simple, quick and easy to use as possible. Reviewing our user flow, we referred back to our research to determine all the possibilities and which ones were most important.
- New Locations Added by Users — We learned that most caretakers go to where they know, but how else will they let OTHERS know? This is where users can create a profile to add new changing and feeding facilities they discovered in Vancouver to inform other users
- Detailed User Directions — From speaking to our primary users, we discovered that “5 minutes can feel like 30”. This description gives the opportunity to clearly inform users how to get to the facilities they are looking for.
- Location Checklist Amenities — We learned that the most important things to know were if the environment is clean, safe and of quality. This feature would encourage users to confirm the status of a location’s amenities.
- “Five Stars” — From our interviews, it was evident that the subjective rating system was arbitrary and the user just needed to know if the facilities were good (thumbs up) or bad (thumbs down).
Align & Design!
We wanted to make sure that we were always on the same page before getting pen to paper so we would break out into 5 minute sessions individually white-boarding our ideas and brought them together to form our first round of sketches.
Our key findings from this design method was the floating UI element of implementing a swipe-able card throughout the app. We also wanted to solve the challenge of the one handed (baby holding) user and decided it made sense to move the search and filter navigation to the bottom of the screen where it is easiest to access.
Testing & Iteration
Our biggest challenge was determining how we were going to executive the ‘rating’ system without stars, faces, or numbers and ensuring that it is clear enough.
We began our testing on a simple wireframe of our first version where we discovered that our users did not understand the swiping of the rating screen or how to confirm their experience. (see below)
After many iterations, we ultimately determined a simple thumbs up or thumbs down was easy, efficient and obvious to our users.
It was during this time that we also discovered that users were not able to easily identify that the numbers above the rating status icons, signified how many people had rated and decided to implement a simple “traffic light system” to show Green for Good, Amber for Satisfactory, Red for Bad.
Look Good, Feel Good
Our clients had provided us with some pretty specific style guidelines. In keeping with the sleek, simple and consistent experience, we wanted to ensure that all interactions were fluid and intuitive.
To again ensure that our users could quickly and simply access each feature, we decided to use big, bubbly, easy to use buttons and fields to avoid any misalignment while tapping around the interface.
Mama Mandy On The Go!
Mandy is out and about when her baby Finn begins to cry and they need to find a change room immediately. She opens the Changed + Fed app and selects the nearest C+F pin to her current location. She follows the route and is happy to successfully change Finn’s diaper.
Reflection of the Design Process
Working on this project was all around a bundle of fun. We were all dedicated and truly passionate to seeing it through from start to finish from getting really detailed about learning out user to creating custom animations to pair with the playfulness of Changed + Fed.
We had determined we wanted to create a simple to navigate app for caretakers to use. Whether our user is on the go or planning ahead of time, we successfully executed our design by including the following…
- Easily reachable search bar and filter icon for the one handed user
- Clean, simple main screen, void of clutter for quick searches
- Filter system to narrow down unique results
- Simplified rating system to inform other users the facilities overall status
- Option to add new locations to give back to the community
- A profile where users can store favourited locations, review search history, or review locations they have added and reviewed previously
Potential ‘Nice to Add’s’
- A feature to send/recommend locations to friends/other users
- Integrated with business profiles allowing establishments to add their own location details
- Vetted locations as community is further developed
- Identify highchairs in the city, as well
- Search voice dictation