For those of you who have kids, you probably know that the most common sentence they say is “Mom, I’m bored”.
This is David, my boy. He is 6.5 years old. Becausae he’s an only child he is used to playing with himself. Usually, he keeps himself busy or we find him something to do, but sometimes we run out of time or energy and there isn’t any friend around. At that point, David becomes bored and starts to whine “Mom, I’m bored”. I’m start to feel not so calm when I hear these words, and I want to find him an activity, to get him out of boredom.
I don’t want David to watch too much TV, so I need to be creative. Finding activities which fit my child is not always the easiest thing to do, for some reasons:
1. I don’t have much information about all the activities in our area.
2. The weather is too warm or too cold.
3. It’s hard to find activities that fit in terms of distance, time and cost.
4. I want to find an activity mate.
Therefore, I try to find activities, not always with great success.
That’s why I decided to create a specific app that will help me find activities for kids tailored to the kid’s interests and to my needs.
In my research I asked people about their activity habits with their kids and their difficulties in finding activities.
I found that 88.3% of those who had difficulty finding activities for children were women. 58.3% had kids in the age range of 6–8 years. 56.9% had a real difficulty in finding attractions and 60.7% found difficulty in finding activities on vacation especially. 89.7% found activities by word of mouth and 79.3% found activities on social networks.
Few people said that they use mobile apps to search for activities.
From my research it became clear to me that my persona is Shelly. She is 38 years old, married with three kids at the ages between 3–8. She works as a medical secretary. Shelly’s husband is at work until late, so every afternoon she’s with her kids. She wants to find them activities tilored for their interests and for her needs. Sometimes she wants to meet friends with their kids. When she keeps her kids busy she feels calm and “a good mother”.
It’s August, another day in the summer vacation, and Shelly doesn’t know what to do with her kids. They are bored, sitting at home watching TV, and she gets mad of it. She tries to find them an activity that will suit them all, but without success. Finally, getting disappointed, they go to a playground, like they do many times.
I started with the results page, as I thought it’s the most complicated page. I sketched three options for this page.
1. A list of results scrolled from top to bottom.
2. A list of results scrolled from left to right.
3. Big bubbles of results floating in the screen.
Finnaly I chose №1 because it seemed the simpler list to use.
I started to look at other apps for inspiration and to learn about needed features. The summer cocktail image has caught my eye and helped me decide what are the colors of the app.
The colors of the app are pink and orange, the colors of the summer. This is the season when most parents look for activities for their kids. Those colors are warm and feminine, because my persona is a woman.
I chose the font Lato because “Male and female, serious but friendly. With the feeling of the Summer,” says Łukasz Dziedzic the designer. “Lato” means “Summer” in Polish. (From Google fonts).
I thought about the name “BusyKids” because it’s the main purpose of my app, to keep our kids busy! I wanted the logo to symbolize childhood games, fun and joy that kids feel when they play.
It took me a few sketches until I got to the desired first screen design. At first I thought of having the whole screen in a gradient colors (1) but it didn’t look good and clear. I designed the next screen (2) in white color, but I separated it into two sections — header and body. I thought the image would change, depending on the time of day the user is at. Also, I put a new feature of choosing how many kids the user has. I didn’t like the way the screen looked because it was unbalanced. The next and final screen I designed (3) was more clean and unite. I turned the age number feature into a more modern look.
The apps begins after Shelly has signed up. The app knows in which part of the day Shelly is now and welcomes her. Shelly chooses how many kids she has and fills up their details and interests.
Shelly gets into the filter’s page which contains an option to search for an activity mate, search by distance and price range. The app leads her to the results page. Each result displays an image of the activity, it’s percentage of matching, it’s address, distance from home, price and picture of the activity mates who are there now. There is also a map icon which leads Shelly into a map display. She decides to choose “Waves Pool” because it has the highest match for her kids interests and her needs.
Shelly enters the activity page and there she finds more details about the place, a short description, a phone number, gallery images, feedbacks and even a discount coupon of 20% percent for that day. Shelly clicks on the map icon and sees the route on a map. She’s very exited about all the information and chooses to navigate to the pool by Waze.
Shelly and the kids have enjoyed the activity so much, that she decides to write a good feedback about the activity: “ Finally I found an activity that answered all my needs”.
I’ve realised that for many reasons, there are real difficulties in finding activities for our kids, and there is a real need of parents to have an app that will help them to finish that quest successfully.