Blossom is building a better community through better and effective communication between parents and teachers so that we can keep our focus on what truly matters – the needs of the children.
Developed for the Lean Launchpad™ class by Steve Blank at Haas School of Business.
Role: UX Designer
Skills: Customer Development, Interaction design, Business Model Generation
Communication between parents and teachers today happens over many fractured channels. Sometimes in person, sometimes over pieces of paper, sometimes over email, sometimes over SMS, sometimes over photosharing sites. And quite often, not at all.
Parents are afraid that they would miss out on or forget important communication. And teachers are afraid that the parents would miss out on or forget important communication.
Between all these different channels, parents and teachers have a tough time managing all the communication. They are both bombarded with communication they don’t want, and don’t get enough communication they do want.
The Product Vision
Blossom connects parents and teachers to create a better, stronger community around each child.
We want to be the one app that has all the communication revolving around the child, whether it is between parents and teachers, parents and other parents, or between the parents of the child themselves.
Version 1 of Blossom for Parents
Version 2 of Blossom for Parents
What We Did
Following the Lean Startups and Customer Development approach taught by Steve Blank, we conducted 120+ interviews with different stakeholders, customers and partners. We used the Business Model Canvas to understand our value propositions, and highlight our biggest assumptions.
Our initial assumptions had been that parents of kids in day-care would be our greatest customers, and that receiving photos of their kids while the parents were at work would have a very strong emotional pull for them.
Straightaway, our team realized that our assumptions about our value propositions as well as customer segments were wrong. After interviewing a few parents, we realized that while they do want more information, they don’t really care about it as much at the day-care stage. We got a very unenthusiastic response from them for all .
However, we learnt a lot from our interviews that as kids grow older, formal communication between parents and teachers increases, and becomes more important.
Over the course of tens of interviews and many observation studies, we realized that having all aspects of communication regarding a child, e.g. the class calendar, class announcements, volunteer signups, etc. were far more important to parents and teachers alike. Parents also really loved the ability to self-select which conversations they wanted to be a part of.
We incorporated those changes and found teachers and parents alike asking us how soon we could build this app! We found a product that people were readily willing to pay for!
What I Would Do Differently Today
We spent a lot of time early on trying to navigate different feedback that we received from different parents. While it was definitely necessary at the need finding stage, it would have saved us a lot of time and effort to have had clearly defined success criteria for each experiment we ran. By not having them, we left the results open to interpretation and debate, which cost us quite a bit of time.
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