Pet Proof Outline Screen - Reduced content and provided more visual space to cards to allow easier scannability and reduce cognitive load.
PetPaths is an app created to help current and future pet parents be more prepared and confident in caring for and maintaining long and healthy relationships with their pets. The idea arose from the record numbers of pets being surrendered to shelters as the pandemic began lifting.
Capstone project at BrainStation Bootcamp
Total: 10 weeks
Discovery & Research:
Design and Testing:
Branding, UI Library & Future Designs: 4 weeks
The Challenge - The Capstone Project
The Challenge (The Project): For my capstone, I created an end-to-end mobile app in just ten weeks to solve a unique pet-related problem.
The Problem: With the surge in pet adoption during the COVID-19 pandemic, new and future pet parents were facing the challenge of generic, inconsistent, and overwhelming online information about planning and caring for their pets. This highlights the urgent need for a more motivating, concise, and personalized solution that simplifies and addresses the individual needs of each pet owner.
The Solution: I created an educational app called PetPaths for new and prospective pet parents. PetPaths provides pathways for guidance on preparing the home, incentives with rewards, and a personalized profile to manage items related to their pet(s). It also offers the capability of future features on pet care, nutrition, training, and behaviour, with the ability to design and implement future features. The ultimate goal of PetPaths is to reduce the number of pets surrendered to shelters and improve the lives of both pets and their owners.
Personalization: To find the right amount of relevant information quickly and at the right time.
Credible Information & Guidance: Educate the user with helpful information and provide actionable steps to help pet parents feel confident and sure of their decisions.
Motivation: Provide incentives to encourage continued use and help pet parents buy products for their pets.
65% Increase in Pet Surrenders
In Toronto, an upsurge of 65% in pet surrenders to shelters after the pandemic. According to Toronto Adoption Shelters, residents still have a waitlist to surrender their pets.
Demographic | Millennials
Educating the millennial demographic on pets would have the most significant impact for two reasons.
Of 58% of Canadians who own a pet, 32% are millennials, making them the most extensive pet owners in Canada.
The overwhelming trend to adopt pets over having children. According to an article in the Toronto Sun, approximately 58% of millennials prefer pets to children.
I believe that if millennials were educated and guided by credible information, they would feel more prepared and confident to adopt and care for a pet successfully.
I will know I'm right when three or more interviewees believe that education and reliable resources are essential to preparing to be a pet parent.
After interviewing five millennials with various new and existing experiences with pets, some of the common responses were:
Online pet information was overwhelming.
Looking for reliable and reputable pet resources and products.
Ideal scenarios are often depicted, not relatable.
Unsure how to prepare their homes for their pet.
Curious about the steps of care for pets.
Want to know what to expect at each stage.
Overall, there were a lot of uncertainties around reliable resources for pet care and preparation, so this is the direction I started to plan for.
Original Key Insight Error
I mistakenly concluded a solution without fully testing the idea. Instead, the key insight from the user interviews was that future pet parents want to better understand what caring for a pet entails before committing.
Revised Key Insight
Future pet parents would be more willing to adopt a pet if they had accurate and actionable steps on what to expect and how to prepare before adopting a pet.
Why This Works
The critical point here is that I better understand the interviewees' needs. They want step-by-step information to help them prepare and feel ready, and I have refrained from proposing a solution. I can better construct the How Might We statement, Persona, and Experience Map with this insight.
How Might We Statement
How might we educate millennials on the actionable steps in order to feel prepared and confident to become a pet parent?
After identifying the theme, key insight, and How Might We statement, the next step was to put me in the user's shoes. Using an experience map, I charted the typical journey of someone searching for a pet online, identifying common pain points and brainstorming possible solutions to improve the experience and motivation.
Epics & User Stories:
The Pre-Pet Planning Stage - Main Features Include:
In creating the epics from the user stories, I wanted an Epic that would encompass showcase the app the best, the MVP. Pre-Planning does this because it provides knowledge, step-by-step instructions and confidence, the main requirements from the user interviews.
Exploratory to Solution Sketches
Learning Map, Rewards, and Summary Page
Round 1 User Testing
Overall: keep shapes and sizes consistent.
Overall: Ensure titles and names make sense and clarify only when needed.
Add buttons and/or a link navigation bar to make transitioning between pages seamless.
Add a search or filter to the learning pages.
Add modals to the quiz page to minimize pages and information.
Remove redundant or unnecessary information.
Round 2 User Testing
Overall: Personalize the experience more
Learning Map: Remove the locks
Toxic Plants Page: Clarify the search feature
Quiz Me Page: Align elements, use checkmarks, and revise the confidence rating to be less cluttered.
Round 3 - Final Revisions
Based on user testing, I reduced text, made the page more visual, and incorporated personalization.
The PetPaths wordmark was designed to communicate the app's mission of helping pet parents raise healthy and happy pets through multiple pathways.
The design incorporates a paw icon to represent pets, while the letter "P" is stylized to resemble pathways. This visual approach effectively conveys the app's purpose and message.
To ensure visual consistency, the word mark uses the brand's signature shades of blue, magenta, coral, and teal. The result is a visually appealing and memorable logo that effectively communicates the app's mission to its target audience.
App Icon Explorations
In designing the PetPaths icon, I aimed to create a simple and recognizable image that conveyed the app's purpose of guiding pet parents on their journey.
I incorporated a paw print within a single "P" to visually represent the pathway concept and subtly indicate the app's focus on pets.
While I am satisfied with the final design, I also considered incorporating a second "P" to further emphasize the app's name and mission. Nonetheless, the icon's friendly and approachable pet face and the brand's signature shades of blue, magenta, coral, and teal create a cohesive visual identity that reflects the app's values and purpose.
In thinking about the multi-platform challenge, I chose an iPad to highlight the My Lists feature. In using the iPad, it can resemble a notebook which will be activate content memory more effectively.
I would like to include a feature for podcasts. This addition provides opportunities for further learning growth and alternative ways to engage with the app. The idea would be to have future trending pet topics and user can even make suggestions for podcast suggestions.
Revisit | My Lists
If I had more time on my capstone project, I would have liked to further develop the "My List" feature. I would include most customization and information hierarchy to organize the information for optimal user interaction.
Another feature I would have liked to add, if time allowed, are news articles. This could be an engaging feature that pops up as notifications on interesting and important news on pets. Also, I would create the ability to share the stories on social media, also connected to the app.
If the mother nature was my client, my product would change in the following ways:
Eco-Friendly Products: products suggested in the app would be ethically sourced and safe for the environment.
Eco-Conscious Companies: The app would only accept endorsements from environmentally responsible retailers.
Eco-Friendly Marketing Campaigns: Having an environmentally conscious app would be a great marketing tool and attract more users to the app.
Thank you for reading my case study!
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