This project has been created following the Design Thinking process: Discovery, Define, Ideate & Develop. We added as well other techniques as the UX Strategy Blueprintwhere we define the goal, reach, activities and KPI’s.
These methodologies served as a guide through all the different steps, from desk research, user interviews and polls to test the final prototype. Moreover, we planned a series of design sprints in order to work asynchronously (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), trying to get done quickly every piece of the project.
Our first exercise was to think and locate issues and difficulties in any field, trying to not limit our creativity, but keeping in mind that it needed to have a certain impact and value for the current society. After a first brainstorming, we identify the three key values the final idea should have: Be a real problem that could have a digital solution, be scalable and achievable, and lastly, have a good impact on the community.
After voting, we decided to focus on mitigating animal abandonment.
”“Did you know that in 2020, a total of 183.103 dogs and 123.403 cats were abandoned by their owners?"- "Él nunca lo haría". Abandonment and adoption study for 2020
Pet abandonment is a tricky issue, where organizations and pet shelters work to try to raise awareness about the subject every year. To better understand this, we did a benchmark with different social campaigns trying to locate the source of the issue, as well as previous studies like the Affinity foundation or data about pet abandonment in the European Union.
Our first goal was to discover if were people willing to give their pet voluntarily to another person, both outside and inside of their social circle, and if where people interested in adopting a pet this way. With this goal in mind, our first question was: How can we assure that a pet will be in good hands once it is in a new home?
Take as normal the fact that life can change and maybe need to find a new home for our pets.
Before designing a strategy or solution to the problem we have aligned with, we must confront all the hypothesis on the table with qualitative (Interviews) and quantitative (Polls) data, coming up with the appropriate questions for both.
We also worked on other research strategies, like desk research and a benchmark with 44 apps or digital apps about pets.
Polls: 209 people
For access the poll results, click here (Spanish)
Interviews: 10 people differentiated into two different profiles:
- Profile 1: (3 interviews) People that voluntarily give their pet to another person because they can’t be their owners anymore.
- Profile 2: (7 interviews) People with pet adoption experience.
Interviews results and insights
After summing up the 10 interviews and 209 polls results, we proceeded to cluster all the data in Miro.
In order to choose which will be our main ideas, we started to identify the main patterns and the more relevant insights from our polls:
Lots of people don't know the emotional and physical stress of owning a pet
Mosts owners don't prepare for having a dog
Pets should never be a toy or a whim.
People usually thinks that adopting is free until they found a hidden cost of 200€
The dog's background is one of the key aspects for me, I want to know every possible aspect of the dog before bringing him home.
Sterilization would be only necessary to reduce abandonment
After having a clear view of all conclusions from interviews and polls, we realised that our main goal has to change from helping pets to find a new home to what we thought was the core issue behind animal abandonment, the expectations and knowledge about what really is to own a pet.
We also detected a lack of clear information about the pet when people tries to adopt, being afraid that organizations are sometimes not honest about the background of the dog they are going to get.
Moreover, after checking different answers, we clarified the dog as the pet to focus on when developing our product.
Our new main goal:
- Reduce abandonment due to the lack of previous knowledge when adopting a dog.
- Being a knowledge source on the user’s mind when adopting or buying a dog for the first time.
- Raise awareness in terms of quality of life, time, effort and money about owning a pet.
Lastly, after reviewing our patterns and verbatims followed by various sessions and discussions, we chose the following How Might We:
”How can we raise awareness about what is like to own a dog?
Our User Persona was defined using key characteristics and different variables such as age, job, annual income and living conditions (shares a house/ apartment vs living alone). We also tried our best to define patterns we detected in our interviews like needs, pains, character, goals and digital behaviour.
Originally, we designed two profiles (a woman and a man) which differents scenarios in mind. This was due to different behaviours and patterns that we found in our research, coming up with differentiated conclusions for each gender. The main profiles were:
- Profile 1: (Amanda Martínez) Person that would like to have a dog but doesn’t know if she has all the necessary skills.
- Profile 2: (Carles Puig) Person that already has a dog.
In order to provide a clear solution for our product, we decided to focus on Amanda Martinez, since we find it aligned user with our HMW and presents more needs and pains that needed to be solved.
Classifying our Customer Journey for Amanda in 4 sections (THINK, SEE, DO and CARE) helped us to separate further the main moments a person finds when tries to adopt a dog.
- THINK: starts to think and daydreaming about owning a dog.
- SEE: actively search puppies, dogs and other pets on Social media platforms, as well as more concrete information on Google.
- DO: contact dog shelters and organizations for more information.
- CARE: when starts having an emotional relationship with the animal and really start her experience.
We created a scenario where the person goes through all motivations, insecurities and feelings until she gets a pet at home and all the unpredicted behaviours arise. Due to this, we defined all the opportunities that could help our product.
After choosing Amanda as our User persona and looking through her Journey, we began the ideation process. We started working on the Sprint methodology, using its “work alone together” methodology, divided into 4 blocks.
First, we did a brainstorming where every member came up with the most possible quantity of ideas while answering to our established HMW.
We followed up with a selection of the 5 most attractive, creative and viable ideas.
Then, we applied the Crazy 8 technique to sketch some ideas and delve into the ones obtained in the previous step.
Each member of the team, selected one unique idea from the Crazy 8, developing a more detailed sketch. In 30 min every one developed a different proposal.
Days after, we meet again in order to pitch each one of us their final ideas. After exposing and applied the recommended feedback for each idea, we measure the four ideas against the desirable features our product should have (Easy to develop, innovative, answers the goal, scalability and engagement):
After analyzing the scale, we realized that there wasn’t a winner idea that could perform better than the others, dividing the team in which concept should be further developed.
To break the deadlock, we decided to use the dot voting system which worked as a heat map to detect which features and functionalities interested us the most. Besides, we gave a step back to reconsider our options and did a second brainstorming, not without establishing a common ground and valuation criteria.
Four proposals were developed for the second round, becoming the main pillars of doog:
On the other hand, we defined a value proposition in order to fit our user needs and pain with our solutions and gains.
Our solution is based on helping people who wants to have a dog, to reduce the uncertainty of how to take care of it.
In our business model, we tried to find a differential solution from other apps in the market and faced our project from a business perspective. In order to keep a good number of sources of income, we reinforced the need for a Fremium model, a well as other revenues such as ads within the app, an internal marketplace for accessories and toys, as well as a small fee for every donation made to dog shelters and organizations from our product.
We began this last phase with a task flow to structure the main features we wrote down in our value proposition. References and inspirations from other apps inside and outside of this field were key, in order to differentiate us further from the competition.
Once we obtained a general perspective of components and actions within the app, we began to move the content to low-fi wireframes in Figma.
First, we have the Home screen, where at the top bar the user can access his virtual pet and have a counter of how many Pawcoins has. The main screen has the challenge tree, visually connecting unlocked areas with the ones completed. Finally, the bottom bar helps to change quickly between the home and the other main screens, Pawcoins, Costs and Profile.
The Pawcoins screen aims to buy more coins if needed along with donating those coins to a shelter of your choice, providing the option as well to read more information about how they will be used and bookmark the favourite ones.
The Costs section helps to keep track of how much will cost to own a dog after a short form, taking also relevant info from the parameter of the virtual pet.
Lastly, the Profile section where the user can check certain parameters, in addition to previously bookmarked dog shelters.
Colors & Material
The home screen represents the various areas of basic knowledge about how to take care of a dog, like food, environment, hygiene, adaptation to his surroundings, etc. When tapping one area, the user will begin to play a series of challenges to gain pawcoins, and will unblock new ones as the user progress through them.
The user can also access his virtual pet or “doog” where can select his size and age to deliver a custom experience in all challenges going forward.
Any knowledge is made of several challenges that will help to increase the level of knowledge of the user (beginner, advanced, expert). After he completes any part of the challenge, we reinforce positively his success or failure, giving him the option to know a little bit more about that specific part he has completed.
This type of virtual coin is rewarded after the user completes a challenge. In a more advanced phase, it will be obtained as well for ad views or completing certain tasks. Pawcoins can be donated to a dog shelter of the user choice, showing the equivalency in his local currency in the main section and at the moment of making the donation.
Using an automated calculation, doog estimates the monthly and annual expenses of owning a dog, adjusted to user preferences and monthly income. in In future iterations, this budget is also linked to a marketplace, where the user can access products and more info.
Lastly, the user can check his saved dog shelters in bookmarks as well as his progress within the app, like the awareness level, donations made and time spent int the app.
At the end of the onboarding section and challenges, a series of animations will appear, to reinforce the positive feedback and rewards the user obtaines.
After a high-fi prototype, we began to test it with real users, trying to see if the app match the proposed goal and if it is accessible and intuitive.
We wrote down a script with all the relevant questions and steps, which we reflected in a test card. Then, we reviewed each test session and completed the previous step with a learning card.
Conclusions and next steps
The test users value the warmth and colours of the design, finding really helpful as well the Pawcoins screen for donating to dog shelters and expenses calculation thorugh the Costs section. The positive messages when the user completes a challenge, and the ability to custom their main doog, drives them to keep experimenting with the app to become a better owner.
On the negative side, users indicated to us the UX copy for the onboarding section and some challenges are confusing, since is not telling directly the users which actions should do, being this the main barriers when using our product. In future iterations, we must make those indications clear or completely discard the onboarding process for a product tour instead. In certain challenges, some users also noticed that would be useful to have the feature to donate just after finish the challenge, to avoid having to go to the Pawcoins section later.
We want to say thank you to all the people that helped us to create doog, from the ones we contacted directly through the interviews, to the ones who participated in the polls. Special mention to the UX/UI Course from UXER SCHOOL, which have us all the tools we needed to show our vision to the world. We are really proud about achieving this project, despite the fact of all members being in different locations and countries, trying to give the best of ourselves while working in our current jobs and dealing with a global pandemic.
And if you made it this far, thank you for reading!