Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation

Caring for premature babies and infants who require special attention: mobile app for a daily development navigation

Laboratorium Marzeń is a non-profit organization based in Poznań, Poland founded by Jolanta Uchman and Jolanta Żółkiewska. Together, they focus on helping families with premature infants and children who require special attention.

So far, Laboratorium Marzeń used e-books and events to promote their organization’s activities. Nevertheless, they had an idea for a mobile app that would help parents with navigation of their kids’ development and day-to-day lives.

With our experience and expertise in UX, we decided to take their idea and turn it into a reality as a pro bono project. For this reason, we helped the foundation with designing the app with a strong focus on the actual needs of the potential users and the struggles that they go through.

From this article you will learn:

Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation

Laboratorium Marzeń – taking a step back from the mobile app specification

A long list of specifications and modules were provided by Laboratorium Marzeń. To figure out which features would be the most impactful, we decided to step back and focus on the needs of the possible users. The following steps helped us achieve that:

  1. Firstly, we conducted two interviews with parents and one with a specialist in the field – Jolanta Uchman.
  2. Secondly, we organised a mini Google Design Sprint workshop in which. Jolanta Uchman and Joanna Żółkiewska were the participants.
  3. Thirdly, we created a very interactive prototype of the app.
  4. At the end, we conducted two usability tests of the prototype.

How product design workshop helped us focus our ideas on UX

Because of the current situation, we hosted the UX workshop online. Thanks to the use of proper methodology, we managed to get the most out of the three hours that we had planned for the meeting.

Summary of user interviews10 min
Comparable problem15 min
“How Might We” and affinity mapping10 min
Current Experience Mapping15 min
Break10 min
User Journey Mapping15 min
Importance/Difficulty Matrix15 min
Solution Sketch20-30 min
Sprint methods used during the workshop


To begin the process, we analysed the interviews with parents of a premature child and a child with a Down Syndrome. Then, we focused on current experience mapping. We emphasised the first moment when a user’s need occurs and listed out each step that they go through to try and fill their need currently. We included descriptions for each step and highlighted pain points.

Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation

After evaluating comparable problems, each participant created a user journey map which started at a discovery point – where the user does not use the app yet but learns about its existence. Along this process, more “How Might We” cards were created.

Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation
Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation

The next stages consisted of affinity mapping and creating a difficulty matrix of the “How Might We” sticky notes. Important parts of those stages were categorizing the cards and answering the question of “What if our app doesn’t have it, will it still be useful for users?”. This way, we created a list of the most crucial and urgent features.

Laboratorium Marzeń – UX Affinity mapping

The last step before working on the actual prototype was to draw a mock-up of what the user should see at some points of his journey by each participant of the workshop.

Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation
Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation
Laboratorium Marzeń - Caring for premature babies: mobile app for daily development navigation

Prototyping the solution and getting the users feedback

Based on the conclusions from the interviews and our findings from the UX workshop, we created an interactive prototype of the app. In addition, we asked the interviewed parents to test it and give us their feedback. The response was astonishing. One user kept repeating how amazing the prototype was.

The reaction of the interviewed parents confirmed that our app for Laboratorium Marzeń will change lives of families with premature babies and children who have special needs. Moreover, thanks to the first-hand insights, we could carry out some minor improvements.

More than a regular app design

The founders of Laboratorium Marzeń didn’t have any previous experience with mobile development. Because of that, the role of our UX Designer wasn’t solely limited to the design part. To provide the best service possible, Maciej used his experience in application planning and prioritization as well as in assessment of implementation difficulties and optimizing the costs of feature maintenance.

As a result of our cooperation, Laboratorium Marzeń has gained a clear image of the most important pain points to address. Therefore, they now have a list of functionalities that the first version of the app should include. The final design of the app itself, which we were in charge of creating, is currently in the final stages of the development process.

“We started working on our application with a vision of what needs it should respond to but we had no idea how to go about it. The workshop with Mr. Maciej from Espeo Software was an amazing journey that took us from the initial idea of ​​the application to a real prototype, which exceeded our wildest expectations. Professionalism, creativity, commitment and a focus on the needs of potential users at every stage of the cooperation were the characteristics that we valued the most at Espeo.”

Jolanta Uchman, co-founder of Laboratorium Marzeń

Do you want us to help you with the UX of your mobile app? Use the contact form below and one of our colleagues will come back to you shortly.

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