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MyChild

Imagine preschools with no paperwork, where teachers and parents connect to make sure children get the very best start in life. With MyChild, it’s finally possible. MyChild helps young children learn and develop through the very best of mobile technology.

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“The team is experienced in project management and scrum – they have smoothly integrated our in-house team and supported us in doing technical trade offs and managing the expectations. Technically speaking, they have an awesome team that is capable of onboarding on complex and demanding projects in a short time window”

Mauro Bonêco

Mauro Bonêco, VP Product

The Project

MyChild is a Parent Engagement System that helps child care centres and preschools to ease the process of running their activities efficiently AND become paperless.

Teachers keep parents updated on their child’s learning and development using a universal iPhone and iPad application by securely documenting a child’s activities and progress. The app is designed to be easy to use for everyone, and it’s also designed to be as simple as possible for the MyChild team to manage by having a universal codebase.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH BUILDING SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

Creating a mobile app that needs to appeal to a number of stakeholders, all with their individual needs and different usage habits sure isn’t simple. But when the cause is to help improve the futures of pre-school aged children and improve their readiness for “big school”, all the complexity in the world is worth it.

The MyChilld project is an ambitious one: reduce the time spent by teachers on paperwork from 40%of their total workload to as little time as possible, by applying the very best aspects of web and mobile technology. This does not just free up their time, it also enables teachers to focus on aspects of their work that are much more valuable to everyone.

Back in 2013 to 2014 we had already worked with the MyChild product team to help launch the first version of this app. Now, our task was to work with the team again and help them process the lessons learned from users in order to adapt the app to the growing complexity of use cases.

Essentially, the mission was to create a carefully evolved product that would keep the current users as happy as ever, and help with the on-boarding of even more new teachers and parents. Technically, this translated into retaining the excellent user experience that the app had already become known for, while ensuring the new version of the product could scale efficiently. The new version should also be available for tablets, and to keep maintenance costs low, the same codebase should be used for iPhone and iPad.

How did we overcome those challenges?

To overcome the challenges posed by the requirements and to deliver solid code quickly, our team worked extremely closely with the MyChild product team in order to help design an evolved architecture and re-write some key user interface elements.

Making each feature asynchronous was incredibly challenging technically, but absolutely necessary to ensure the success of the application among end-users. Handling merges from several threads across the team was demanding, but handled well through the close daily communications that the technical team had set up between themselves.

At Imaginary Cloud, we needed to ensure that the right people were selected to help with the project to the required high standard. Both Natalia and Miguel (who worked on the project) are senior iOS developers that could move quickly with difficult problems and apply their years of experience of iOS to ensure that all the features and code were compliant with Apple’s standards. The main goal in any project is to always create the very best experience for not just the end user, but also for all of the stakeholders of the project who should know that their product will be delivered to a high standard and on time.

The Takeaways

This was a project where the founding team grew the business in absolutely the right order. The MyChild team had delivered a first version of the product to market and attract a significant amount of long term users, whose feedback was incredibly valuable in making the next version of the product even better. At this point, the team could now confidently make the investment into creating a much more solid product that answered to the needs of their customers.

At the project level, the main success was great teamwork and camaraderie. Daily communication and regular code reviews meant that the project always moved in the right direction, at the expected quality and at the right speed.

Our involvement in the project

Technologies used

  • iOS