Users Want Ease and Control When Scheduling Playdates

Moms are busy people balancing family, work and friends. In fact more than 1/3 of parents schedule playdates in order to see their own friends! They want easy-to-find activities that are fun for both themselves and their kids, but that's a lot of work. An in-the-know friend like Susie helps research, reach out to others, and get all the details in line. Just invite Susie to your calendar event, and she'll suggest great family-friendly deals tailored to your tastes, nearby, at the time that you choose. Susie works in conjunction with your own calendar, email and time, to take the tricky work off of your busy plate.

Trends in a 47-Person Survey

I conducted a survey of parents of young children to find out about the last time they scheduled a playdate or activity for their child. Nearly 50 respondents from all over the country participated. The survey results showed that users want scheduling ease and tailored choices for group activities.

 

Users Want to Interact with a Familiar Interface

A Google keyword search revealed that people are looking for a traditional calendar, not one focused specifically on family planning. 

Competitors Aren't Meeting User's Needs for Ease and Customization

 

Strategy and Information Architecture

Through my research, I found that 77% of parents referred to their calendars while scheduling a playdate and 70% used their mobile phones to do so. Leveraging this insight, I designed, prototyped and tested a mobile app to help parents of young children find fun opportunities for the time they choose that works in conjunction with their existing calendar app.

Who Will Use Susie Invite?

The target users for Susie Invite are women, particularly moms of young children, who spend time and money booking activities for themselves and their kids. Due to their scheduled lives and limited free time, they want a service that is easy to use and provides personally-tailored ideas.

How will they use Susie Invite?

What Do Those Interactions Look Like Onscreen?

I sketched out rough paper prototypes based on these initial use cases.

 

Users Thought Susie Helped Make the Decision Process Easier

I tested the paper prototype with three users. They thought Susie helped make the decision process easier, but were confused by the interactions.

2 out of 3 people were surprised that the email sent you directly to your calendar

3 out of 3 people were confused by what would happen after scheduling an event, but were excited when the email arrived.

2 out of 3 people did not want to create a password at checkout

 

I didn’t know Susie wasn’t an actual person!
— User Test Participant
 

Users Wanted More Interface Clarity and Customization of Choices

Based on the results of the paper prototype user tests, I refined the wireframes to help users understand the processes more clearly.

 

User Testing with an Interactive Prototype

I presented a new set of users with these wireframes as an interactive prototype and found the following:

3 out of 3 users wanted more descriptive subject lines on the emails they received, in order to better connect them to the event they just scheduled.  

2 out of 3 users were confused about they voting process and thought they were purchasing deals immediately.

3 out of 3 users wanted more information regarding deal location.

Based on this feedback, I refined the wireframes to provide more clarity of language and information flow, so users could better anticipate the next steps.
 

 

What's Next for Susie?

As a next step, Susie Invite could pair up with major retailers in order of offer deals for a wider range of activities that might appeal to parents - like dates, girls nights, happy hours and birthdays. Susie could connect with a media company to reach their subscriber base and offer more tailored content. Eventually, Susie could even grow to suggest and help plan for longer periods of time, like family vacations.

 

Want to Meet Susie?