During the process of building Little Doors, there would be times where we couldn’t agree on feature details, or priorities, or actions a user would take.

“Well, if I were a parent, I would…. blahblahblah”

But the thing is, Little Doors isn’t just for us. It’s for many kinds of parents. And grandparents. And aunts and uncles. All over the country.

So we decided to ask them.

Let’s make a survey

I put together a little survey covering general habits, thoughts, and actions. It took about 7-10 minutes – which I knew was a bit long. We sent the longer survey to our closest family and friends and then made some tweaks (based on answers that were interesting and those that weren’t or maybe could be condensed). We posted this “new and improved” survey on social media and to more friends. If you want a peek or to take that survey yourself it can be found here: https://lunarlincoln.typeform.com/to/bntKEv

Sidenote: No where in the survey did we ask about Little Door’s features specifically because we wanted to know what kinds of values and thoughts our potential audience shared pre-Little Doors. It’s much easier to fit into a niche that is already formed than trying to get honest opinions on something entirely new and specific.

We also used Typeform so that I could have a single branching survey instead of one survey for parents and one for family and friends. This made sharing easier – but parsing responses a bit more difficult since about half of the survey was completed each time depending on who you were. I also love the way Typeform handles the UI and analytics for surveys – very user friendly on both web and mobile.

I was shooting for 15-30 responses. Nothing statistically significant but enough to capture the various kinds of parents and family members. Surprisingly my friends and family are awesome and helpful and we ended up with 62 responses, doubling my goal. Boosh!


Interesting things we learned

  • Not a single parent or family member thinks their children spend enough time with long distance family members. Everyone wants to do a better job with this. (Interestingly the parents seem to feel slightly worse about it than the extended family).
  • Scheduling seems to be a big issue, whether its time zones, busy work schedules, or having to have a parent present to facilitate.
  • Everyone prefers video – so that they can see that kiddo’s cute, growing face.
  • Attention span for toddlers seems an issue – coming up with interesting topics to chat about can be challenging. (Oooooh, could there be an additional feature here?)
  • Single children homes are much less likely to allow screentime for their toddlers whereas multichildren homes seem a bit more lenient. (Makes sense, and I would love to see a geographic breakdown of this sentiment too)
  • Most families ensure that the content their child is viewing is educational in addition to being entertaining.

Why do a survey?

If we had learned that parents think they’re doing a great job, video chatting is a breeze, and not a single person would let a 4 year old use an app – well then….we might be barking up the wrong tree. It’s good to challenge your assumptions and make sure your product is something people need and want. Luckily most of our responses fit within our previous assumptions.

Surveys also give you insight. We managed to learn about specific markets to focus on (multichildren families), and additional features we could add (suggestions prior to recording a video).

Surveys give me an engaged list of potential beta testers. We’re planning on sending versions of the app out next week and I already have a short list of who to reach out to.

Finally surveys are an amazing, lightweight way to get outside of your office and peek into other perspectives. You may not always BE your  target audience, but surveys will let you peek into their brains if only for a few minutes.