Maid Esy


Brian is stoked. He has a new idea for an app – a digital hiring platform connecting domestic helpers and household employers.

It’s big money in Hong Kong. There are over 350,000 helpers here, making a minimum salary of $4,310 (£430) per month. And new contracts are signed every day.

Framing the Problem

Scams are rampant

Hiring a domestic helper is a big deal for parents. It means keeping the house organized so they can go out to work, while providing a healthy upbringing to their kids.

Recruitment agencies use this to their advantage by charging a hefty commission, around 1.5 to 2 times the helper’s monthly salary (up to £900).

Not only that, complaints of agencies providing false information are all too common. It’s a one-off deal, so agencies want to reap as much profit from it as possible.

Mobile-first economy

Smartphones have been around for years now. Helpers use them all the time. And parents trust them enough for hiring.

It’s only a matter of time when physical agencies become redundant and recruitment processes are done electronically.

3 Common Complaints with Agencies

It’s on the news – agencies tricking customers with inaccurate information and even colluding with helpers to increase their profits.

Here are the three major pain points customers have with hiring agencies:

1. Helper no-show

How an app solves this
- Client can message with helpers directly, greatly reducing the chance of no-show.

2. Poor performance

How an app solves this
- Client can personally interview multiple helpers before making a decision
- Client can rehire within the plan period without extra cost

3. Early resignation

How an app solves this
- Client can report helper in our follow-up review
- Client can rehire within the plan period without extra cost


Our main competitor is HelperChoice. Founded in 2012, they’ve grown to a 450K Facebook following and have frequent listings on their website and app.

Their brand combines a community-driven mission with a lively vibe to appeal to its customers. They’re active on Facebook, posting every week, and receive enthusiastic engagement.

Blue Ocean

Maid Esy can stand out in two ways:

1. Streamline the hiring process with an exceptional mobile-first experience. Customers will want to use the most effective service.

2. Target helpers already living in Hong Kong. This will simplify communication and allow a better selection process of helpers.

[ Persona ]

User Journey

1. Discovery phase

2. Onboarding

3. Browse helpers

4. Buy plan

5. Contact helpers

6. Arrange interviews

7. Sign contract

8. Follow-up review

[ Journey map ]

The App

With research out of the way, I create a mockup. Brian sees the benefits for both of our customers – household employers and domestic helpers.

Employer Benefits

1. Latest market offers at your fingertips.

2. Recruit helpers based on your specific needs

3. Contact helpers directly

4. Forget about the process. Focus on picking the best candidate for you!

5. All you need to know about the candidate

6. Know exactly what you’re paying for. Then, forget about fees.

Helper Benefits

1. Set up your profile in four easy steps

2. Add personality to your profile with a video

3. Know who’s hiring, today

4. Speak to employers in your own words

5. Know if your profile is getting noticed


Brian is happy with how the app looks and functions. But he’s concerned about promoting the product. The network effect means that we’ll need a substantial number of helpers listed before employers will consider using our app, and vice versa.

The solution is to create a brand that promotes itself, something that’s worth talking about.

At first, Brian was sceptical. Can we have a clever tagline to use for our logo and social media?

I explained to him that a brand is not a logo or tagline or design. It is the gut feeling our customers have for our product. To illustrate my point, I give a few examples.

App Facebook Face-to-face contract signing Things we have less control over: Media coverage How people talk about Maid Sis Need to build a brand: fair recruitment


Brian feels confident in proceeding to development with the design.

Just to make sure he knows what he’s getting, I create an interactive prototype and offer it to him for no extra cost.

The developers happily take the prototype and resource files from me.

Thank You

Like what you see? We could be working together.

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