Kids Online Safety - App for Parents

Class Project at NYU


We created a prototype for an an educational app to support parents as they help their children navigate online safety.

The Problem

Many parents and guardians struggle to help their children safely navigate the internet. As technology becomes more and more ubiquitous, many parents struggle to help their children safely navigate the internet.

For our project, we decided to focus on parents of children 6-10 years old. At that age, many children are gaining more access to online content, but are likely still operating under any limits their parents have set up. We wanted to find out what would help parents feel more confident in addressing online safety.

Screenshot of a Mural board with sticky notes organized into categoriesA pie chart showing data from the question asking parents what issue they want to help their children with the most. The majority selected "Online Exposure"

User Research

We started with user interviews so that we could hear about the specific issues parents and guardians were facing. Our interviews gave us some possible directions, so we used surveys to gather even more information and start to narrow down the most important problems parents were dealing with.

We learned that parents need help managing their children’s online exposure. Many of our user’s children use apps such as Netflix, Roblox, and YouTube. However, even when parents use a platforms’ built-in security measures, children can still be exposed to content that the parents consider inappropriate. Managing exposure was important to our users because of the potential for youth to be harmed or influenced negatively by what they encounter online.

A picture of two user personas. One is "Gabby Guide", the parent who wants to learn about ways to help their child build online safety skills. The other is "Sally Shield", a parent who takes a more protective measure to prevent  negative online exposureA white piece of paper with several small sketches of product ideas

User Needs

Our research led us to our user needs statement: "I am the parent of a 6-10 year old and I need to manage my child's exposure to online content because they are being influenced by things they encounter online."  Using our data, we also created two personas to guide our design decisions.

From there, we brainstormed ways we might solve our user's needs. We decided to design an app that provides a customized learning journey based on the user's specific values and needs.

Our idea included easy-to-understand modules that feature interactive learning methods such as videos, conversation starters, scenarios, and more. Some of the modules would be for parents to do with their children, and some to do on their own.

A screenshot of a Figma board showing all of the pages designed in the prototype A sample page from the prototype.  A phone screen reads "Stressed out managing your child's online activities? We're here to help! Our customized learning journey will provide you with tools and support you need."


For usability testing, I created a prototype on Figma that followed the onboarding process of our proposed app. Our goal during testing was to investigate the user's emotions and overall experience of the onboarding process. We conducted usability tests using a think-aloud protocol and semi-structured interviewing.

Through our tests, we learned that users appreciate the calming color palette, the straightforward process, and getting personalized results. We also discovered ways that our design could be improved. For example, one of the pages had multiple, wordy paragraphs that overwhelmed users. To fix this, we created an option for parents to skip the information entirely or view the paragraphs one at a time rather than all at once.


I am positive that if we did another round of tests we would find even more ways to improve the user experience of our concept. For one thing, in the time since creating this prototype, my own skills in Figma and graphic design have improved tremendously, so I could see myself making improvements to the user interface and graphics.


Abigail Adams