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Disney Parent

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Role: Product Designer
Timeline: 4 weeks
The Idea

Help parents easily request world-class childcare for their 6-month through 12-year-old during their time at Disney World.

Is this the right thing to build?


The original idea for Disney Parent was a social network for parents visiting Disney World to meet up and watch each other’s kids while they ride the rides. My first question as the Product Designer was, “Is this the right thing to build?” I was not convinced that many parents, if any, would be willing to leave their kids with random strangers. I did some research and I discovered that Disney already offers childcare services but you have to call them to schedule it. I thought this was a much better service than the original idea, but there was definitely room for improvement in the overall process and experience. I consulted with my Project Manager and challenged the idea by

  • Explaining the original concept

  • Expressing my concerns about parents being unwilling to leave their child with a stranger

  • Proposing a solution for an app that improves the process for an already existing service


We agreed that this idea was a lot less sketchy. It was really cool to be able to address a problem, research potential solutions, and defend my work in order to design a product that I believe would be very helpful.

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Approximately 150 million people visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida each year. While the theme park is considered to be one of the top family vacation spots in the world, it also attracts guests for other reasons such as conventions, marathons, and sporting events. Disney Parent is a new mobile app that connects parents at Walt Disney World with premiere childcare specialists. Disney Parent processes requests for in-room babysitting at Walt Disney World Resorts or park assistance for any Walt Disney World theme park. Parents can create an account, add information about themselves, spouse, and kid(s), then browse profiles of first-aid and CPR certified caregivers. Whether they’re there for business, or just want an adult night out, Disney Parent is here to provide parents with worry-free childcare during their stay at Walt Disney World.

Tools: Market Research & User Recruiting

After some initial research, I discovered that Walt Disney World offers in-room babysitting and park assistance through a third-party service called Kids Nite Out (however for the simplicity of this project, I designed it to go through Disney directly.) Disney also has a helpful website linked to their main one called Mom’s Panel, which allows people to ask questions and get answers from parents who are experts on all things Disney. I searched “childcare” and “park assistance” and found numerous people asking about childcare services and how they can utilize them.


Hi, do you know if there is a babysitter service available? We would like to have an adult night out. Thanks.

We're going to be going in February with our 9 month old son and 8 year old daughter. We saw on the Disney site that there is "in park assistance" but can't find details. What is that and how do you book it?

I am looking into my husband and I running in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon. I will be at Disney for a work trip and plan to take my whole family, including 2 kids, 12 and 2. Is there childcare options during the half marathon? Thanks!!

User Recruiting

A few weeks prior to this project, I created a database on Airtable to recruit people that I know to test and provide feedback on my projects. I shared it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Lambda School’s Slack and was able to collect demographics for over 50 people from around the world. I sent out a screener survey to try and filter for parents who have taken their kids to Disney World. Of the 29 people who responded, 10 had kids, and only 7 of them have taken their kid(s) to Disney World.

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Tools: Proto-User Persona & User Journey Map
Disney Parent Proto-Persona

In order to better visualize the target audience for Disney Parent, I quickly created a proto-user persona.

The proto-user persona helped me understand some thoughts and feelings a parent would have when planning a vacation with their children. I imagined a hard-working mom that loves her family but maybe doesn’t get to spend as much time with them as she would like to, so it’s incredibly important to her that this trip to Disney World goes well. She wants to create great memories with her kids and would be delighted to get some extra time with just her husband.

I used the park assistance service to create a User Journey Map because it was easiest for me to imagine that someone who had never heard of Disney Parent could discover it on-site and try it out by requesting a helping hand, and if that goes well then utilize in-room babysitting. Thinking about this specific journey helped me brainstorm different ways parents could use Disney Parent. Being able to quickly and confidently request park assistance could improve the overall experience for groups traveling with members that have physical or mental disabilities, kids that are too small or scared to ride attractions, or even just to help optimize time spent in the park by having someone who’s extremely familiar with Disney World. 

Disney Parent User Jouney Map
Tools: UX Brainstorming Workshops, App Map, User Flow Map, UI Requirements

Since I decided to re-imagine the original idea of Disney Parent, it was solely up to me to figure out exactly what the MVP should be capable of doing and what the UI requirements were. First, I created an app map on Google Sheets to try and organize the functionality. The parent dashboard needed to have a place for parents to request both services, browse caregiver profiles, and request childcare. Requesting childcare should allow parents to select their resort or theme park, date, timeframe, and kid(s) that would be given care. Additionally, I thought parents should be able to create profiles for themselves, spouses, and kid(s), view their childcare history, review a caregiver, and be able to contact the caregiver through in-app messaging.

User Flows

Next, I created a user flow map that shows the processes. Before developer hand-off, I updated the original user flow map with the artboards I created in Sketch.

Disney Parent User Flows


I used the “Crazy 8” method to sketch a mobile landing page.  I went into it thinking that I already had an idea of what I wanted to do but still pushed myself to come up with new ideas. I thought I was going with idea #3 originally, but I really liked the simplicity of #7. I decided that #3 would look better as a web landing page while #7 was better suited for a phone.

These are some of my sketches for the mobile landing page of Disney Parent

These are sketches for a sign-up/sign-in page. I want them to look relatively similar so I mostly focused on creating a few sign-up screens. I also created one wireframe for the web view.

UX Workshop

I used Whimsical to conduct a UX Workshop (brainstorming, affinity mapping, and dot-voting) with two participants. I created brainstorming spaces that included blank, colored cards. They were given 5 minutes to give feedback on the cards.


We went over each card and categorized them. Finally, each participant voted on which cards they felt were most crucial to implement.


This brainstorming workshop helped uncover some important aspects of the UI and functionality. It’s crucial for the parent to be able to feel comfortable disclosing information about themselves and kid(s), so initial on-boarding needed to be represented in that way. One participant also brought up the scenario of requesting a caregiver. Do you just request one and hope they answer back in time? Do you request multiple so you have better odds of someone accepting the request? What do you do if multiple caregivers accept your requests? These were great questions that I hadn’t thought about at that point and honestly didn’t have enough time to fully think through right away. In my mind someone would use Disney Parent in the same way they would request an Airbnb: the user requests what they want, the request is confirmed quickly (preferably instantly or within a couple of hours), or the user has the ability to cancel if they change their mind.

Tools: Whimsical (Wireframing), Sketch, InVision (Prototype)

I used Whimsical to create low-fidelity wireframes. Having the main flow planned out helped me better understand the steps and interactions that were involved, thus helping me create higher-fidelity designs more rapidly.

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I searched Pinterest for color palette inspiration. I wanted the colors to be calming and reassuring, and also have that Disney look. I found a palette that was based on the colors of Cinderella’s castle in Disney World, mostly various shades of blue. I selected the typeface “Avenir” because that’s what's used on Disney’s website and I wanted to stay as on-brand as possible (without getting sued).

Requesting a Caregiver
This is the most important flow once a parent is signed in. They're able to select what kind of help they want, browse profiles, read more about individual caregivers, and make a request.

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Child Care History
Having a record of who a child has been with and when puts a parent's mind at ease. The Child Care History feature also includes a place to rate caregivers and message them.


Disney Parent allows users to create profiles for their entire family, including emergency contacts. Child profiles include languages, dietary restrictions, and special assistance fields. Parent profiles include payment methods.

Tools: Maze

Using Maze I set up missions to conduct usability tests. I used my Airtable database to recruit 28 people to check out Disney Parent. Overall, the participants did great. Most of their misclicks were from trying to look at other profiles and read reviews on Mary P.


If I’ve learned anything throughout this process, it’s that designing is not a linear process. I followed the design cycle, but ultimately still had to go back and either re-test, re-design, or re-think a process. Some of the things I wish I would have done differently include:

  • Use a mood board (I think that’s a fun way to stimulate ideas)

  • Solidify my design system

  • Design a caregiver dashboard (Would be up to Disney to onboard cast members, run background checks, certifications, etc.)

  • Use more interactions and animation to create a better “Disney” feel

  • Create a better developer handoff experience

  • Validate more assumptions

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