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Designing a productivity app for parents of young children

Project Overview

 I aimed to develop an app to support parents throughout parenthood.


At first, I wanted to create an app that helped with organisation. Although throughout the research process my inital scope changed as the needs of the users developed.



UX Designer, UI Designer, UX Researcher


The Double Diamond Method


3 Weeks. 

1 week of research + 2 weeks of design


Figma, Canva, Freehand


4 mobile apps pages


Parents of young children

The Process: The Double Diamond Method





What is the problem?

What are all the needs of my user?

How many options can I think of to solve this problem?

What is my final solution?

Project Hypothesis

"I believe that most parents would benefit from a flexible app to log their daily tasks, moods and habits. The validity of my hypothesis will be tested through user retention over a significant period."



Finding problems by researching the needs of parents.

Step One: User Research

 I created a Lean Survey Canvas as a frame foundation for the questionnaire. As my approach was hypothesis-driven, it helped me to focus on the insights needed to validate my assumptions.


My goal was to find the daily struggles of parents whilst juggling parenthood, homecare and personal well-being. 


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  • Home maintenance and child-related activities are the most common daily tasks.

  • 85% of respondents schedule their day although 72% are unable to finish the task set due to distractions.

  • Most respondents use socialising as their only source of self-care.

  • 57% of parents feel guilt when indulging in self-care.

Empathy Map 

I developed an empathy map, in order to know who my users were. I used the empathy map to discover whether there were gaps in my knowledge and identify the types of research needed to address it.


The "think and feel” category was lacking therefore I conducted a user interview with a parent. From this I found that parents felt overlooked, overwhelmed and tired. But they also felt blessed and grateful to be a parent.

User Persona

Based on the findings given from the survey and interviews, I create Lola, my user persona.

She’s a stay-at-home mother who is also studying to become a nurse. Even though she tries to schedule her day, she has failed to stay on track. 


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Problem statement

Parents need a method to manage their daily tasks, complete their duties and have time for themselves.

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"How might I help parents to organise their time?"


"How can I encourage parents to indulge in self-care?"



What features do my competitor use which is benefical for my user?

Step Two: Competitor Analysis

I began by researching mobile apps that promote productivity and positive habit tracking. Although I was met with difficulty as the apps either focused on journalling or habit tracking.

I wasn’t able to find an app that promoted productivity and self-care excusivelyexclusively.


Below are the four apps I chose which have journalling, habit tracking and self-care features.

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Below/above is my competitor analysis chart where I found the strengths, weaknesses and features of each app. Daylio and Habit were the strongest apps as they covered the most amount of the features such as a diary, calendar and the option to be notified. 

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Although through further research I found that these apps fell short in other areas. For example, feedback on the Applestore displayed disappointment in the copy on Daylio’s app.


Customers also highlighted their annoyance with notifications as they were experiencing too many.


I also found that Habit had a social media feature for users to see their friends' schedules. At first, I thought this was a great feature until I browsed through the reviews. I found that it caused anxiety and stress for the users as they were competing to finish their tasks before their friends.

Daylio app user reviews

User Flow
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Once I researched my users, I had a clear idea of what services I wanted my app to provide. I decided to create a user flow diagram to lay out the user’s movement through the app. As my target audience was busy parents, I wanted to ensure the app was easy to use from the entry point right through to the final interaction.


"What features will  aid parents with their management so they can complete their daily duties and have time for themselves?"



How many ideas can I think of to solve the problem?

Step Four: Ideation methods

Crazy Eights

My focus was to create an app that promoted organisation for the parents. The app also has a goal-orientated feature in which the parents' self-care is the foremost priority.


For my first step of design, I decided to use the Crazy 8 design method. With all my projects I use this method as it’s a fast-sketching exercise which challenges me to sketch distinct ideas in a short period. 


I was able to push through my ideas to generate a wide range of solutions to my problems. 

From this stage I am able to choose which design I would use for my low fidelity wireframes. 

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 Low Fidelity

For my low-fidelity stage, I created paper wireframes to visualise each screen, test navigation and experience the user flows. 

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1: Sign-up page : Users can log in or sign-up and go through  to the questionnaire.

2: The initial questionnaire :  The app gathers information needed to craft a personal experience for the user.

3: A To-do list : This page displays the daily to-do list that had been input from a prior day.

4: Monthly schedule : This feature displays the monthly calendar where users can build their future to-do lists and habit tracker.

5: Achievements : I enticed the users with unlockable achievements so they returned.


Brand Attributes and Mood Board

3. Have wellness and task management:

The app isn't a journal or a calendar. Wellness should be as important as the to-do list. 

2. Be welcoming and encouraging:

The aim is to encourage users to log their daily lives as well as feel motivated to complete their daily tasks and self-care habits. 

To define the brand, I came up with three brand attributes to differentiate my app from competitors.


I wanted StressLess to be:

Aesthetic-Usability Effect

Users often perceive aesthetically pleasing design as design that’s more usable. I decided to go for a muted palette across the app, sporting greens browns and yellows, as they were reminsiate of mediattion centre, yoga and unstressed lifestyle. 

1. Efficient but not juvenile. 

The app must be simple with easy-to-use features even though it is targeted at adults. 

Mood Board

"Was I able to design an app which helped parents to fulfil their daily tasks and healthy habits?"


What is my final solution?

High Fidelity
Sign-up Questionnaire
The initial sign-up questionnaire aims to aid parents with this issue by requesting parents to log their daily activities and personal habits they'd like to track.

An option to be reminded throughout the day. Notifications will keep the user focused if they are easily distracted.

The user's personal goals have their section to highlight the importance of self-indulgence.
Homepage and Calendar 
Law of Proximity

"Objects that are near, or proximate to each other, tend to be grouped together."
Features are close to show relationship, such as the calendar begin directly on top of the to-do list.
Users name 
Habit log
To-do list 
Feelings log
Law of Common Region

"Elements tend to be perceived into groups if they are sharing an area with a clearly defined boundary."
Each section of the home page has been grouped by a border to create common region. This creates a clear structure and helps users quickly and effectively understand the relationship between elements and sections. 

Empty homepage:


Task/duties and activities haven't been inputted.

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Monthly Calendar

Monthly Calendar:

Users are able to tap on future dates to log upcoming to-do list. They can also go to past events to review events.

Monthly log:

Users are able to see how many times they've logged a habit or mood in the monthly calendar

Jakob's law:
"Users spend most of their time on other sites. This means that users prefer your site to work the same way as all the other sites they already know."

As users may be used to similar journalling apps I wanted to ensure this app had the same model design. 

Goal-Gradient Effect:

"The tendency to approach a goal increases with proximity to the goal."

Users are likely to complete task as they  collect achievement. A clear indication of progress is displayed to motivate users to complete the tasks. 

One aim was to encourage users to return to the app daily, therefore, I incorporated an achievement wall. When users complete streaks, daily tasks and habits they are rewarded with trophies that they can share on social media.
User flow of choosing their personal goals. Users have to pick at least one goal or the "next" button will be disabled.
Users can log their daily habits by tapping on the icon of previous goals chosen.

This screen displays four goals to ensure users can meet them all. More goals will result in the user being overwhelmed.
The achievement wall entices users to complete goals, task and to-do list in order to recive the trophies.
Users can input their daily tasks.

Users can allocate which family member the task corresponds to by choosing their names. 
Style Guide
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 The greens browns and yellows create stability, health and comfort. 

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For this project, I designed an app in which parents can manage their daily tasks, so they have time for themselves. I aimed to create a hub which relieves the overwhelming feeling of being a parent.

I enjoyed working on this case as I was able to take aspects of three separate apps and combined it into one. This was the journalling , calendar and self-care feature. I learnt the importance of user research and competitor analysis, as I felt this was vital for the ideation process.

I do believe my strength was in the research processes however, I would have liked to have a larger size of respondents. Unfortunately, most of my respondents were female parents so most of my decisions were based on what a mother would need.

In terms of testing, I would use unmoderated remote usability testing if I could launch this project. Individuals would anonymously trial the app within the confines of their own homes, so it's used in a natural setting. This would allow me  to find issues before the launch. 
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