Home Network Security & Parental Control App Redesign

An app to cyber secure the home network and help kids set good screen time habits
Parental Control
Cyber Security
Native App

Team Members

Product Designer (Me)
Product Manager
API Developer
2 iOS Developers
2 Android Developers

Tools I Used

Pen & Paper
Mixpanel and Google Analytics

Scope of Work

Research, User Interviews, Wire framing,
Prototyping, Usability testing, UI Design.

Motivation for The Project

1. The old product was done without design thinking, no UX methodologies were implemented and there was no focus on the user.
2. The visual language was based on our client’s app and we needed to adapt the design to our needs.
3. More features needed to be added so the app is up to speed with competing brands and users needs.
4. High friction on many points in the app.
5. Features and microcopy in the old app were made by technical people with almost no regard to home users that are not fluent in cyber security.

The Security Challenge

Home users are exposed to cyber-attacks with every IoT (smart device) connected to their network. These attacks range from possible identity and bank details theft to unlocking the smart lock to your front door remotely.

Smart devices are internet connected and are able to interact with devices over the internet and grant remote access to a user for managing the device as per their need.

The Parental Challenge

Parents find it hard to control their children’s use of online devices leaving them with accessive use of screens and harmless content on the internet.

children who spent more than two hours a day on screen-time activities scored lower on language and thinking tests, and children spending seven hours experienced thinning of the brain’s cortex, the area of the brain related to critical thinking and reasoning.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2018

The Users

Home Owners With Wifi Network and Their Kids

First group of users: Ages 25 - 60, Parents or couples.
Sub group of users: Children ages 6-14 who use mobile phones, TVs, gaming consoles and computers.

There is a challenge in designing the features and flows in a clear way so that both young and older people can interact with the app without confusion. The average home network has between 10 to 20 smart devices (IoTs), each of them can pose a threat as its vulnerable without a cyber security solution.

Pain Points

A not secured home network may mean house not safe

When your home network is not secured, if your house uses a smart lock, an attacker can unlock the door through your smart coffee machine for instance.

Children are spending too much time with screens and responsibility is on the parent

Parents find themselves struggling with their children over the time their children spend online/mobile phones/online games.

Market Research

There are many products in the market, I focused on the ones that combine security + parental control and parental control only.
Some of the apps come with a dedicated router as a complete product.
Some have out of home control and cyber security features, others are limited to the confines of the home close to the router.
All the apps I examined include the same features, the differences are in the ways they are presented.

In general these apps are heavy with features, specifically features that require the user’s permission and without them won’t work properly. Therefore a delicate and guiding experience is needed as users are not so happy with approving permissions that conern their privacy.

The Solution:
Cyber Security & Parental Control Combined

A native app that accompanies the home network router, It reflects security insights about the network, provides cyber security for all smart connected devices, also for devices out of home.
The app helps parents control their children’s time with screens by creating profiles and setting limits for them:

1. Off time - Lets the parent set multiple times when their child is off the internet.
2. Daily limit - Set a limit on the daily use of screens.
3. Blocking apps and sites.  
4. setting allowed internet categories for each child according to their age group and needs.
5. Usage - Review security & parental control stats and insights.

The solution needs to be easy to use, once a parent sets restrictions for their child, they will usually not change the settings as routine dictates the restrictions.

App Main Page Redesign Process

Redesign process for the main page, from spent space to more value and more conventional design.

From Network Map to Network Guests & Blocked Devices

The network map lets the user see all the devices in their home network and in case a device is compromised or poses a threat it will be moved to the blocked zone. The guest zone is used whenenver a new device is added to the network. The user can approve this device and it will be moved to the Home Zone.

From Notifications to Stats & Insights

The below UI shows the transition in thinking and design from not valuable and recurring notifications to helping the user stay informed about security events and their child’s screen time and content usage.

Device Details and Pairing Optimized

The device screen lets the parent pause the internet on the child's device, select a plan to control and secure it and to delete it in case the device is no longer needed.

Next Steps

1. Critical security notifications (device was blocked) and Parental notifications for parent and child (for example: Notify 5 minutes before off time starts)
2. Child can ask for more time or request access to an app from the parent.
3. Wifi Settings - Letting users view/edit password of the router via the app instead of having to look for the admin web page on their computer.
4. The UI needs finalizing.
5. The design system needs to be developed further.


Working on this project is a challenge as it raises questions that are both technical and user centered. Not everything I wanted to design was possible in terms of developement since the app works with a cloud and a router.
As a parent to 2 wonderful kids especially in the pandemic period this app has a lot of value. Although they are not thrilled by the idea of it, they even took part in the usability tests.

As I’m writing these words, the framework and logic for the app is being developed by the mobile team and APIs that are missing or need modifications are being worked on. As more challenges arise I will add them here.