Without a doubt, there is an abundance of activities available to kids of all ages across the Washington, DC area - but for busy parents, it’s not always easy to know what’s available to suit YOUR kids’ age(s) and interests on the day and time that works for your family.
Jen Spatz-Martin, the founder of Kid Up and Go and a mom of three in the Washington, DC area, recognized that many families were feeling this frustration and decided to do something about it. Jen, a former COO, didn’t take this task lightly. For her idea to succeed, she knew that she needed to start with competitive research and focus groups to ensure that her solution would meet the need that other websites lacked. Given our commitment to upfront user research, Jen looked to our team to craft a plan and then bring the idea to reality - beginning with strategy and research, then moving into interactive design, and eventually building and launching the site.
We started by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of four direct competitors and four indirect competitors and held two focus groups with our target audiences (parents, guardians, and nannies). Our research led us to some important conclusions: parents are HUNGRY for this kind of information, they are often too busy to leisurely browse events/activities, they prefer to have curated recommendations pushed to them via email, and if they are going to browse, they prefer to do so on a desktop rather than a mobile device.
With research in our back pocket, we were able to confidently move forward with architecting and designing a responsive website that would carefully curate local activities and events and provide access to a wide variety of resources for parents to answer any kid-related question - from finding the best preschool to recipes for a child with special dietary needs.
We started with wireframes to get our vision on the table - focusing on what a “logged-in” experience would look like, for repeat visitors, and an “anonymous” experience for a first time visitor. Given the scarcity of free time for parents, we knew that the website needed to immediately serve up relevant content if we expect repeat visits. As a result, we made sure to incorporate a persuasive architecture to encourage visitors to use the customization capabilities.
Once the wireframes were set, we moved on to exploring and defining the website’s visual style. Given the audience, we sought out colors and fonts that are friendly and lighthearted. We also created space for full-screen, cheerful photographs of kids and families enjoying themselves. Ultimately, we wanted visitors to smile when they arrive on the site - and kept that goal in mind as we defined the design.
Kid Up and Go is now available to the public in Beta. Go check it out, sign up, and give us your feedback! Updates are being made regularly and we hope it will be your one-stop-shop for family friendly activities in the Washington, DC metro area.