“I wish I had this when I was pregnant. Almost every expectant mother takes a picture of her belly at one point, and this app makes it so easy.” —Ana Serrano
“A fun, well-designed app for a great cause that too few people are aware of.” —Troy Lachance
Overview: In the United States, over 500,000 babies are born prematurely every year, and many of these premature births are preventable. To encourage healthy mothers to stay pregnant through their full term, March of Dimes aimed to provide a fun way for expectant moms to celebrate each week of their baby’s development. Seeing that many pregnant women use smartphones as their primary camera, BBDO New York and Uncorked Studios developed CineMama, a unique mobile experience that allows moms to take daily photos of their growing bellies and stitch them together into a time-lapse video keepsake. The app is just one facet of Healthy Babies are Worth the Wait, a comprehensive initiative by March of Dimes.
• CineMama was conceived and built over two months, in phases using the Agile development process, then launched to coincide with Prematurity Awareness Month.
• The native app uses the Parse platform to bridge mobile data to the web in a seamless way that obeys Facebook privacy rules. Videos are generated on user smartphones and uploaded to Vimeo for playback through the CineMama website.
• Weekly tips, a diary for tracking memories and milestones (like the first time you feel your baby kick!) and a calendar view of belly photos emphasize the focus on each week of pregnancy.
Comments by John Furukawa, chief operating officer at Uncorked and Sam White, account manager at BBDO:
Did you use any applications that you hadn’t used before? “The Parse platform was still in active development while we were building on top of it, and we encountered features with unexpected constraints and updates that broke old functionality. The Parse team was very responsive, however, and we were able to find timely solutions.”
How did time and cost constraints affect your final solution? “We had to work in phases and prioritize functionality based on what was most important to both user and client. In a collaborative brainstorm, we considered each possible scenario and crafted statements like: ‘As a mom, I want to be able to ________.’ We ranked each use case from most to least important and tried to fit as many features as possible into the final product. And since March of Dimes is a nonprofit with a limited budget, we also had to balance the production costs of including additional features with our desire to do as much as possible in our allotted time. Fortunately, many services were provided pro bono or at a reduced fee. The easiest part was getting passionate people involved. Prematurity is such a universal issue that everyone felt strongly about supporting March of Dimes and being part of the work.”