Building mobile tools for social workers.
ConnectOurKids is an organization that aims to connect foster children with a permanent home. Their organization provides free tools to social workers to help expedite their work.
Our team was tasked with taking the main tools and features of the ConnectOurKids website and converting them into a mobile app. We had weekly meetings with the CTO of ConnectOurKids.
Dec 2019 – Feb 2020
How do social workers use ConnectOurKids?
Before jumping into designing mobile layouts it was necessary to define the product that ConnectOurKids provides. By exploring features on the website and using information given to our team by the CTO we were able to identify the 4 main ways social workers utilize the ConnectOurKids tools:
Reviewing existing designs
The desktop tools were reviewed in-depth to make sure we transferred all necessary components. For each feature of the ConnectOurKids website notes were made of the layout, typography, colors, and flows. This review helped us brainstorm ways to convert the layout to mobile and find areas to incorporate improvements in the designs. Here are the desktop versions of the two main tools:
New design system
Our interface choices were based on the design elements already present on the website. We did not want to reinvent the wheel and have the app’s UI vary drastically. So, to keep the experience similar between the website and mobile app we used the same copy, color schemes, typeface, and navigation layout as much as possible. Although, some of these aspects were changed to improve overall consistency, clarity, and hierarchy.
Our goals for creating a new design system were to:
- Create components that could transfer to desktop easily
- Reduce unnecessary text and color styles
- Have consistent UI across all tools
Creating a mobile experience
Taking into account all notes made from the website review and the updated design system we were able to craft the mobile experience. Inconsistent navigation UI across pages, font colors, and several shades of blue were updated with reusable components and fewer styles.
How do we know if the app is providing value? These are some metrics that I would want to look into after the app has been released to determine how much value social workers are getting out of the app:
Moving forward and thinking about ConnectOurKids as a whole I think a good direction would be to update the website to the same level of design consistency as the app. The issues found regarding color schemes, typography, reusable components, and interactions on the website were left untouched on the website.
Updating the desktop tools will create a more consistent experience between desktop and mobile which would hopefully translate into an easier workflow for social workers.