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Mobile app, Daycare, Startup, Education


1 PM, 1 UX, 7 software engineers, 1 QA


Zachar Tolmachev (Founder)

Time Span

4 months (Apr - Aug 2020)


Leiden, Holland (Work remotely)


Led the design from exploration to MVP launch

Built user flows & rapid prototypes to empower user studies & design iterations

Screenshot 2020-06-17 at 16.55.25.png

Zaycare aims to lower Schools & Daycares operational cost and increase the value that teachers can give to children in need, by digitalizing their workflows from HR to Finance, from Scheduling to Communications. Furthermore, we help NGOs with their mission to provide free education to these affected communities.

Currently, the app is available to download on iOS or Android:

App Store.png
Google Play.png

My role & responsibilities

While working at Zaycare, I was the first and the principal Product Designer so many things had to be built from the ground: the mobile app (iOS & Android) user experience, a new marketing website, a design system.

In the beginning, I mainly worked with the founder in Holland and engineers in India, building role-based features including organisation setup, daily schedule, children grid, etc. Then we hired another awesome product designer.

The challenge

It's important to start by saying that we're an early-stage EdTech startup and we're about to release our first market-ready product.

Also, we needed to be careful because we already had some users using our original app (more or less active), since we were testing more features, we had to make sure that our users would understand the changes. So we had to prepare the right communication to inform them about our change: Instant message via Slack, email campaign, in-app notification.

Target Audience

We decided to focus on

  • 💼 Directors / Administrators: I have some administrative roles or management side of the org

  • 🧑🏻‍🏫 Teachers: I have a classroom and manage my children and do class attendance

For V2 or later, we will go far beyond that by focusing on 

  • 👨‍👩‍👦 Parents: I have a child (/children) going to school, and want to join an organisation

Actions & Key screens

Redesign the Onboarding:

Create your daycare, classes & groups

User onboarding is a once in a user’s lifecycle experience that — when done well — shortens a user's time to value. We refer to this moment of value as a user’s wow or aha moment —like “Wow this is awesome!” Or “Aha! Now I get it!”



In the current solution, we don’t have an automated sign up flow nor does it have any onboarding.

This is a manual process where

  • Added through MongoDB

  • Admin user within Zaycare creates users (f.e. 🧑🏻‍🏫 TEACHER, 👨‍👩‍👦 PARENT ) without any verification process

📥 Requirements:

Zaycare onboarding flow must be as frictionless as possible, users must not be frightened with too many questions when 

  • Adding Teachers & Staff Members

  • Entering Daycare Information & Contact Details

✅ Solution:

In 9 minutes or fewer users can run their organisation paperlessmy and more efficiently. We promise!

We pull users straight into Onboarding once they click the bright Pink - Orange CTA "Set up your organisation".

The bait-and-switch survey is to the point. Minimal screens, legible text. All 17 answers were presumably used for calculating some thingies. Default settings are provided. Users just need to review them, of course, they could always change them in SETTINGS later.


Simplify the current attendance


Children are being checked in as it happens (real-time). Teachers could check them in later and add the time manually. The information about who is checking them in is also provided to increase attendance accuracy and security.



The current FAB icon (Floating Action Button) placed in the lower right corner of the screen does promote user action. However, that's where some problems emerge:

  • FABs, although very small, could block content (it becomes impossible to scroll to get past it if that image thumbnail is the last one)

  • Perhaps we want to include more options behind the button than Absent and Check in


✅ Solution:

So we decided to replace the FAB with a bottom toolbar

  • doesn't conflict with iOS UI layouts

  • Suitable for apps that are content-heavy or have more than one primary action

We need to take care not to mix Actions with Navigation in the Bar, ensure we're using recognized, consistent icons. And be sure to create a strategic information hierarchy that makes sense.

Attendance (1).png

Children Grid best practices



How to fit a wide data table on mobile screens without losing its purpose and readability? How to provide them with information that is relevant to their needs?

  • In vertical mode, rotating the Phone Is a Last Resort → narrow mobile phone interfaces

  • With large amounts of data and various types of content

  • Make the results of our work as responsive as possible

💡 Insight:

The answer to that question depends on the user task, user behavior and the type of data. Users didn’t need all information presented at once to achieve their goal.

📐 Design Approach:

  • Clarify use cases: to understand how users used and interacted with this data in our WebApp. The different ways that users consumed the data determined the design of its mobile counterpart.

  • Satisfy use cases: Limiting the presented content to the absolutely relevant by focusing on the discrete steps of how information is consumed and catering to their use cases allowed us to ideate different layouts appropriate for a mobile form factor.

  • Cooperate closely with a front-end dev to pick the most reasonable solution in terms of time consumption and technical requirements needed to apply.

✅ Solution:

This guide will focus on generic functionality and overall design (/aesthetics).


Product Roadmap

Building a roadmap is both exciting and challenging. We designed our roadmap to envision how our service would be implemented in different versions and what additional value we could add in the future. 

We dream to give directors, managers, owners the total control of their daycare, enable them to do whatever they want to run their business, but not limited by what the software provides them. Therefore, automation side would be our focus for the V2 and later.

  • Rule engine: Set / generate policy

  • Workstream: Automate workflow

⚠️ The roadmap is not a todo list. It means there will be changes, iterations, last minute surprises...

Product Roadmap.png


We managed to release our new app focusing on allowing both Directors and Teachers to manage their classrooms & receive the reporting surrounding everything in their day-to-day. All the marketing materials we planned (Marketing website, stores description) were also part of this release.

The results were encouraging 🚀🚀🎉🎉 :​


Screenshot from our Slack team channel

The following weeks we continued to work on the app, adding new features (and solving bugs 🐛) to improve the experience of our users.