Reinventing the parent letter for the 21st century
Public Services & NGOs
> Insight & Concepts > Prototyping & Testing
applied methods
> Qualitative user interviews > Creative brainstorming > Rapid prototyping > User testing
Spark Labs
2 months
Pro Juventute, a Swiss foundation supporting the rights and needs of children, wanted to modernise and redefine their iconic parent letter, which has provided Swiss parents and families with essential information for over forty years.

1. User research

We conducted qualitative interviews with Swiss parents to discover their needs, pain points, and the behaviours involved in how they consume information and receive support at the start of parenthood.

2. Analysis

Based on our collected data, we identified the primary pain points and areas of opportunity to develop a modern, digital version of Pro Juventute’s parent letter, creating personas and user journeys to highlight relevant points.

3. Ideation

Using our extensive insights from the research, we designed and facilitated a co-creation workshop in which internal experts, parents, and designers worked together to generate a wide range of ideas, potential features and digital applications.

4. Prototyping

We prioritised and selected high-potential ideas for the digital parent letter, then created a first, rough prototype based on wireframes which incorporated the main components of the solution we envisioned.

5. User testing

We conducted two rounds of qualitative user testing with different clickable prototypes to validate our assumptions, get direct feedback from parents and iteratively refine the solution.

steps in-depth

1. User research

We performed an extensive ethnographic inquiry to gain insights into the contemporary needs and pain points of Swiss parents. Approx. 70 interviews and experiments were conducted with new parents and parenting experts, allowing us to develop different personas, understand parent user journeys and identify stigmas and conflicts.

5. User testing

After evaluating, filtering, merging, prototyping and testing promising ideas during 2 iterative rounds of user testings, our designers were able to come up with an initial version of the new digital “newsletter for parents”. The prototype was designed as an app with personalised content based on the age of the child and included interactive features.

A full wireframe of the digital prototype was tested over two iteration cycles with a small user group to receive focused, qualitative feedback. We developed a quantitative evaluation of desirability using a smoke-test; this allowed us to gain an in-depth understanding of the needs of modern-day Swiss parents and insights into what the future of the parent letter should look like.
By discovering the relevant needs and pain points of modern parents, Pro Juventute was able to envision a new way of providing essential information about early parenthood to the future generation of Swiss parents. The refreshed parent letter provided new value for parents using an individualised, digital approach, while still preserving the heritage of the iconic letters.
Key insight

“One surprising outcome were the distinct differences between the German and French speaking part of Switzerland when it comes to parenthood and education. In the French speaking part parents see themselves as more “laissez-faire” and driven by intuition, whereas parents in the German speaking part seem to rely more on objective information from trusted sources. We have never considered before that there might be different solutions required for different parts of the country.”