In late 2015 the team at Hello Sitter set out to revolutionize child care by bringing a safe, easy on-demand babysitting service directly to the fingertips of parents. Hello Sitter set out to change what it means to find the right babysitter for busy parents in New York and to achieve this vision they chose Blue Label Labs as their mobile design and development partner.

The brief

Hello Sitter was envisioned to provide an “Uber”-like experience that took the stress out of finding quality childcare. Whether it was a last minute meeting or a much needed date night, Hello Sitter wanted to create a seamless experience that made scheduling babysitting as frictionless and easy as it is to arrange for a pickup from a car sharing service. In selecting Blue Label Labs as their mobile app design and development partner, Hello Sitter looked to Blue Label to not only design a mobile app that brought their vision to life but also to build, test and deploy the product so that it was ready for a Spring 2016 launch.

user experience

The first step in bringing Hello Sitter to life was understanding what was most important to parents who might be looking to Hello Sitter to solve their immediate child care needs. To help understand these problems the Blue Label design team created a series of simple black and white wireframes that illustrated different concepts for the app which the Hello Sitter team then used in a series of focus group tests with potential users.

Through multiple iterations of wireframes and focus group testing it became clear that Hello Sitter needed to be more than just a simple way to book a babysitter on an iPhone, it had to give parents piece of mind that they were choosing a sitter that they felt comfortable and to whom they could trust their children with. Just as important as it was to provide a simple 3-step process to search, select and pay for a sitter, Hello Sitter had to provide an easy way for a parent to learn about each potential sitter. The wireframes for the Hello Sitter evolved to include both a compact summary of qualifications along with a streamed video biography of each sitter designed to give a parent the most important details without cluttering the small form factor of an iPhone.

Design

Designing an app around the concept wireframes for Hello Sitter required the Blue Label app design team to combine the lessons of the focus group process with the brand identity established by the Hello Sitter team. Blue Label designers set out to create a user interface design that was reassuring and supportive that encouraged parents to trust the app and gave them the feeling that everything would be fine. In that spirit, the Blue Label team designed the Hello Sitter app with a simple color pallete of greens and whites that was intended to be welcoming and project a sense of warmth. Combined with was the use of the Sorts Mill Goudy serif font for titles and the Johnson ITC sans-serif for the body text which helped to convey a sense of trust with the user while making it easy for a parent on the go to read and navigate through the app.

SITTER RECOMENDATION ALGORITHM

Through the initial focus groups it became clear to the Blue Label app design and development team that more than just creating a simple user experience that empowered parents to use Hello Sitter, the app itself had to take the guess work out of selecting a sitter. The Hello Sitter app needed to be smart; it had to help parents by recommending the right sitter to a parent based on the unique needs of each family and child. To meet this need the Blue Label and Hello Sitter teams worked to create a proprietary matching algorithm that recommended to a parent a slate of potential sitters who were likely to be the best match for them and the unique needs of their children.

SEAMLESS PAYMENT PROCESSING

Hello Sitter was conceived to bring the convenience of modern ondemand services to the world of child care which meant that the app needed to make payments seamless and easy. The Blue Label app design and development team leveraged Braintree’s Marketplace platform to securely store payment information and to automatically process payments at the end of each appointment and then route all earnings directly to a Sitter’s account.

DUAL LOGIN SITTER APP

The Hello Sitter app was created to be two distinct apps bundled together. In addition to providing a seamless experience for parents, the Hello Sitter app contains an entirely separate set of functionality meant to empower the sitter’s at the heart of Hello Sitter service. Through the use of a unique dual login mechanism, the Blue Label Labs app development team built a complete set of functionality to enable sitters to arrange their availability for upcoming weeks through a simple and easy to use calendar mechanism. Furthermore, sitters use the Hello Sitter app to manage their bookings and trigger payment processing and completion once they’ve successfully completed an appointment.

THE RESULT

The Blue Label Labs team successfully delivered the completed Hello Sitter iPhone app in early 2016. Through the spring the Blue Label team worked with Hello Sitter to use feedback from a wide beta program to further refine and shake down the app in preparation for it’s launch. In June 2016, Hello Sitter officially launched where it quickly won the attention of the general public after being featured on the Today Show, the New York Post and Crain’s Business Daily. Hello Sitter has been praised for its simplicity and ease of use and has won acclaim for the piece of mind and sense of security Hello Sitter offers to parents looking for on-demand childcare.