Care for Others
Cultivating Social Emotional Learning in children
January  -
March 2022
User Research + Testing, Visuals, Prototyping, Illustration
Adobe XD

The Problem

Parents and caregivers want to raise children who are social and emotionally intelligent. I found a lack of general knowledge by many parents about how to promote emotional development in children.

Design Challenge
How might we develop a tool that is both engaging and educational for children and those who care for them?

The Solution

Care for Others is a mobile app focused on social and emotional learning for children. The app is a tool designed to help teach children about empathy, emotion management, and encourage self-reflection on the part of the child. The app is accompanied by the responsive website which provides caregivers with resources to help encourage and cultivate SEL in children's daily lives.

My Responsibilities

Conducting interviews, paper and digital wire framing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, iterating on designs, determining information architecture, and responsive design.

Research & Analysis

Designing for children presents many challenges. I did a lot of initial research into the subject, conducted competitive audits, and collected data on how children best learn. I used these findings to develop questions, which were then used in interviews. Adult participants were most concerned with child safety and privacy when using an app. Parents also need an app that has a clear purpose and is educational in some way. Children were most concerned with playing, having fun, and being entertained. 

Caregivers reported wanting to raise self-aware, empathetic children but did not readily seek out strategies for educating their children. The feedback received through interviews made it clear that users would be open and willing to work with their child if they had access to an easy-to-use tool to help guide them.


I did a quick ideation exercises to explore possible solutions to each user groups needs. I was focused on fun, interactive, educational elements for kids without being text heavy. For the parents, I directed my attention to child privacy/safety, customization, and parental controls.

Site Map and User Flows

After brainstorming potential solutions and looking at user pain points, I created a site map outlining where each of Care for Others features would be developed.

Wireframes and Low-Fidelity Prototype

Laying out pages for all the key features.

User testing and Updated Wireframes

I needed to do several rounds of user testing. The children tested did not understand the concept of wireframes and would not engage. I did gain useful insights from questions children asked, like "Why isn't there color?" "Where are the pictures?" "Why can't I do this?"

Through the testing and iterations, I gradually developed the app based on parental and child suggestions and developed areas where users showed most interest. One of the big challenges through this process was striking a balance between what users wanted and what Adobe XD is capable of prototyping. I was able to do quick illustrations to increase the visual appeal for children, but was limited by XD's interaction capabilities.

Ultimately, both children and caregivers were most interested in the Journal function of the app, which is where are I focused most of my attention going forward. Now that I had a direction for the app, I could really get in to the designs.

Mockups and High-Fidelity Prototype

Having to do multiple rounds of user testing, was a huge setback for the project. Although the app did now have a definite direction, I had less time to really flesh out how the Kid's Journal would work.

Key Features

A walkthrough of Care for Others key features.

User Flow: Journal Customization (Caregiver)

Caregivers can customize the Journal prompt type and what that prompt asks. Caregivers can also record audio questions and directions for children who can not yet read.

User Flow: Journal Drawing Prompt (Child)

Care for Others allows multiple journals for different children and daily customizable journal prompts for the child to answer each day. Knowing what your child is thinking can make it easier to start conversations with them about their emotions. Below shows how a child answers the prompt. Prompt questions are written out however, parents have the ability to record prompts for children who can not yet read.

Website design

Giving caregivers resources to reinforce children's learning in daily life.

With the app designs completed, I started work on designing the responsive website, addressing the needs of caregivers. I used the Care for Others visuals to guide the organization and design for the website to ensure a cohesive and consistent experience across devices.

After doing all the custom illustrations for the app, I was comfortable using Adobe XD as a drawing tool. For the website I needed even more imagery, so I again chose to do the illustrations to maintain a unified feel between the app and the website.

By this point I had a good sense of how I wanted the website to feel, so I quickly starting iterating on designs.

Wire frame iterations Care for Others UX design
Main pages for Care for Others UX design

Responsive design


Users shared that the app makes Social Emotional Learning seem like something they could actually do with their child. Both caregivers and children reported the app and website easy to use. One parent said the journal was a great way for their young child (who can not yet read or write) to document their feelings. The parent also noted that looking at the child's journal was a great way to know how the child is feeling and opens the door to talk to them about those feelings.


I learned that even though the problem I was trying to solve was a big one with two distinct user groups (children and adults), diligently going through each step of the design process and aligning with specific user needs helped me come up with solutions that were both feasible and useful.

Designing for children was a challenge. It required a lot of initial research and testing multiple prototype iterations. The children I worked with had difficulties understanding the wireframes and low-fidelity prototypes. I tested several times with children, increasing fidelity each time.

The project was a fun challenge. I learned a lot about user testing and communicating through design, relying less on written language.

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