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Case Study

TwoSparx

Helping families connect across generations.

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Overview & Process

This mobile app MVP was launched by an experienced businesswoman who wanted to find a better way to keep her kids connected to their grandparents. Even in pre-pandemic times, maintaining family relationships was especially difficult when people can't connect in person. Handing a phone to a kid and expecting a conversation to happen organically is not realistic, and time zones and busy schedules can make it even more difficult. We worked with our client to plan and launch an MVP iOS app to bridge this gap.
Our Challenges

Balancing User Needs

TwoSparx was created for two distinct user personas: children using their parents' mobile devices and grandparents who might not be tech-savvy. We had to design and develop the app so it would be easy for both groups of users.

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Parental Control

We created two account types and an authentication flow to ensure the communication was secure and easy for parents to monitor.

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Linked Accounts

We set up an invitation process using phone number authentication to keep kids safe from communicating with strangers.

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Analytics at Launch

We incorporated Mixpanel's user behavior tracking and analytics tools to inform product decisions moving forward.

Launch & Learn

Connections through technology

The app is set up for 1:1 communication with conversation prompts. The prompts are designed to help children learn more about their grandparents, and vice versa. Each party records a video of themselves talking about the topic. The other user is required to send a response before a new topic can be started. Although the goal is to facilitate asynchronous communication, push notifications can be enabled to allow for a more real-time back-and-forth.

Custom CMS

We made sure it was easy to add new categories and new topics through a custom Content Management System. User management was also important due to the 1:1 invitation process in the MVP, so we set up a clear view of connected accounts via verified phone numbers and emails.

Branding for Dual User Personas

Most products have multiple user personas, but there is usually a primary user type and the users are usually somewhat similar across demographics. For this app, we had two "primary" user personas, and both were expected to be equal users of the app. In addition to the two primaries, we needed to keep parents in mind, since they would likely be the ones setting up the app and handling the onboarding for their children and the grandparents. We worked to develop branding and UI elements that were playful and engaging, as well as easy to read. This was all covered in the Product Groundwork phase of the project.

Guided Video Chat

The app is set up for 1:1 communication with conversation prompts. The prompts are designed to help children learn more about their grandparents, and vice versa. We wanted the app to function similarly to Marco Polo. The first party records a video of themselves talking about the selected topic. The other user is required to send a response on that thread before a new topic can be started. Although the goal is to facilitate asynchronous communication, push notifications can be enabled to allow for a more real-time back-and-forth.

Analytics from the Starting Line

The goal for this MVP was to monitor user behavior and conduct user research so that future development can be focused on what users actually want and need. Instead of building out every feature that seemed like a good idea, we kept the features narrow, knowing that expansion was necessary. This allowed the app owners to keep the budget and timeline reasonable, and focus future spending on the right things.

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