DotTot is a website to enable parents to put no-longer-used children's things to good use with new families and away from landfill


UI/UX Designer


2 months




Parents with young children (0-12) years old often have items such as toys and clothes that are cluttering their homes and not always being used as often as they'd hope. Parents are spending so much on children's items because our society generally has a "buy buy buy" mentality. But this produces a lot of waste and trash for the environment over time. Waste is a huge societal problem. And kids outgrow their toys and clothes so quickly! Parents are constantly having to buy often. Not only is it costly but it also clutters the house.

Solution & Goals

  • Create a simple interface that allow parents to search for items they need/want locally
  • The web app must be responsive and location-based focused
  • Must help parents get rid of unwanted childrens' items
  • Must help the environment by reducing waste
  • Must help parents save money by finding children's items that are cheaper than retail price
  • Must be safe to use. Security is important!

Overall, I want to help parents take control of their buying power. Our society generally pushes us to buy and buy and with such a high cost to raise children nowadays, it would be ideal to create an outlet for parents to earn some money back and save some money when purchasing. It would also help the envioronment and reduce waste and plastic.

Design Process



User Research
User Interviews
Competitive Analysis
User Personas



User Flow



Style Guide



User Testing

User Research

My original idea was a donation kid app called "KidCycle". But after doing my user research and interviews, I decided to change my idea from donations to monetary exchange. Here are the results from the user interviews that made me re-visit my initial idea and ultimately tweak it to better suit my users needs. I interviewed 3 people. Ideally, I think it would be best to interview a wider range of people to further refine the project more.

Questions asked...

Interviewee #1

  • I'm a busy mom of 4 kids and I am constantly buying items to entertain them, cloth them, etc. Because there is a wide range of ages and gender, I literally have to buy different types of things depending on their age and gender. I buy so much stuff!!!
  • I kept a lot of items through the years because we never knew if we would have more kids. My friends and family would have kids and we shared some of our items with them. And the rest of the items, I simply just throw away.
  • Kids are expensive and I need to find ways to save money.
  • I've sold a few high end items but I don't often sell items because I'm scared to meet strangers in person. I also don't have much time to find outlets to sell my item. I don't know where to go to do that besides craigslist or offerup.
  • I prefer new products but I also don't mind gently used items. My kids don't care so I don't care. I just want to make sure its clean for them.
  • I prefer desktop where I can see everything easily. But sometimes I don't have time to go and sit at my computer so an app would be ideal too.
  • I would take anything from a donation pile that was clean and usable.

Interviewee #2

  • My son is huge and is growing rapidly. I'm buying constantly. Everytime a new season hits, I need to buy new clothes for that season.
  • I donate to Goodwill often. I don't have family or friends to give to. I also just want junk out of our small house. It takes up too much space. I won't even throw it away. I feel awful since it's lightly used and I know it's harming the environment. So if i just donate it.
  • I'm not a big spender. I love to save money every chance I get.
  • I try to sell often through FB marketplace or Offer up. I love earning anything I can back so I can buy more stuff again. But I admit, I get a little lazy to sell sometimes as it takes too long to prepare a post to sell the item sometimes. I wish it was a more seamless way to do it so I could list more items more often.
  • I prefer to receive donated items or buy gently used items if I could. I just have a hard time finding these items. I am willing to buy gently used items but I don't often see where to buy them or maybe I just don't know where to look.
  • I prefer mobile apps
  • I don't mind used items as long as it's still functional and well-maintained items.

Interviewee #3

  • I have a toddler who is growing fast. I buy a lot!
  • I'm not planning on having more kids so I am not saving any items. I just throw them away or I give them away. I hate for it to just sit there in my house for no reason. But I also hate when I throw things away. I feel like I am wasting when someone else could still use it. But sometimes I don't know who to give it to and I quickly want to get rid of it.
  • I love to save money. Kids are expensive!
  • I sold many items on FB mainly. I try to sell as often as I can. I just get a little scared meeting up. I've done porch pickups where you don't meet anyone in person and that was better for me.
  • I actually prefer to buy used if I can. I don't see the need to always buy new things.
  • I prefer mobile or tablet.
  • I will buy anything that's used like toys, clothes, etc.

Key Takeaways...

Competition Analysis

I started my research by finding similar apps and websites and did a UX analysis and a SWOT analysis. I found 3 similar website/apps that potentially have similar ideas and goals in mind.

Offer Up

Web app

Strengths:Currently a strong brand, easy use of website and app interface, strong security measures, and strong customer base
Weaknesses:They aren't creating something we don't already have. There are other websites such as craigslist that was created first. There is a learning curve to learning how to navigate their website and app.
Opportunities:Technological innovation with their website and app. Possibly going global in the future.
Threats:High competition. Possible brand can be defamed if security becomes an issue.


Web app

Strengths:Strong customer base, pretty user interface, clean, ease of use both on website and app
Weaknesses:There is a learning curve to using their app and website. It is not technically a location based app. You are not looking for anything "local" but mainly buying something that is to be shipped to you. Not something you can just go pick up immediately.
Opportunities:Technological innovation with their website and app.
Threats:High competition with other apps like mercari and poshmark.

Buy Nothing


Strengths:Easy to use. Just post a picture and have them pick up at your porch. Ease of communication.
Weaknesses:It is not a standalone app or website. It is a private group within facebook that you have to find yourself. So it's not very easy to find. It is also focused on a very tight local radius. So you cannot see items for neighboring cities.
Opportunities:It could become a standalone app or website
Threats:Security. There is no security. You pick up at your own risk and deal with users at your own risk. There is no reviews or accountability.

Key takeaways...

There isn't a direct competitor that is like DotTot. Yes, there are apps that help you donate or sell. Yes, there are apps specifically to buy/sell used childrens clothing. But there is no app that is a buy/sell app for children's items - not just clothes, but also toys and other items.

The important thing is to make it easy to use and have a strong security in place for transactions.

User Persona

After I compiled the outtakes from the research, I was able to create a persona that represents the main user group.

User Flow

The journey for the user to Log In, search for an item, and make an offer on an item

Mid Fidelity Wireframes

User Testing

Before finalizing anything, I decided to do user testing on 10 users in order to gain feedback which would allow me to make improvements to my web app.

As mentioned, I initially had the idea of doing a purely donation app. But after doing some user testing, there was a lot of confusion about the coin system I had in place. I realized that the coin system would need to be explained somehow and refined further but it may not be necessary. I decided to simplify it and make it a monetary transaction. Based on the previous user research as well as user testing, it just solidified the fact that the web app needed to be tweaked into a monetary transaction.

All of the users really liked the communication feature in order to meet up. They loved the idea of a safe community meet up spot as an option. The location pin was also very helpful they said.

Also, having the option to review was important because they felt safer to do a transaction if the user had a lot of reviews.

Style Guide

Final UI Design



The main thing I learned from this project was that I realized my initial ideas can always grow and evolve as I continue my testing and research and design process. I initially wanted this to be a donation app. But after doing some analysis and research, I found it to be quite difficult in logistics and figuring out a way to encourage users to use the app and donate quality items. Because if users do not donate quality items, the app would definitely fail since users would not be receiving quality items. So I changed my initial idea and made it monetary and realized users truly value money even more so. It helped to revise my initial idea based on interviewing potential users and designing the app itself.

I also learned that researching competitors is very important. Competitors doesn't have to be another direct competition like another mobile app. It can be almost anything such as a facebook group as shown above. But knowing and learning about your competition can help improve your design and learn more about your user and their needs.

Also, this particular user story was mainly focused on a user who is searching for an item and purchasing an item. I would definitely do more further user testing for the user story of posting an item. It is equality important to make sure that process is seamless and easy for the user.

Overall, I am really proud of my design. I felt that I truly heard my users and learned what their needs and wants are and truly focused on meeting them. I always kept the users needs in mind when designing the app. Being a parent myself, also helped because I could relate to my users. I love the idea to create a strong community within a community with this app. For example, I want this app to be the go-to app that parents use to shop for used items but also an app that may foster local meetups to encourage parents to meet other parents to help one another even more. That old saying "It takes a village to help raise a child" is true and it would be ideal to use this app as a means to further help parents in many other ways. So having the option of local meetups, maybe a local "yard sale", maybe a way to add a friend, etc. The ideas are endless and it would be nice to slowly build upon this idea in the future.

It truly is a good feeling to create a product that would help users in their everyday life!