Petwin

733,000 pets were euthanized in animal shelters in 2019 and the main reason for euthanasia is overpopulation. However, according to animal shelter facts and surveys, 96% of US citizens believe that humans are morally obliged to protect animals. The goal of Petwin is to improve the experience for animal adoption/foster and promote the visibility of shelters and public awareness about rescued animals that eventually lower the euthanasia rate.

Role:

Clients:

Time:

UI/UX Design, User Research,

Visual Design

Austin Animal Center

Austin Pet Alive!

10 weeks

Solution

Challenge

Due to limited funding and manpower shortage, the communication between pet seekers and shelters is long-winded, intransparent and inefficient which makes people prefer to buy pets from breeders over shelters.

My team and I (3 people) spend 10 weeks to design a mobile app that provides a seamless experience for adoption/foster and touchpoints for pet owners to engage with animal shelters. 

DESIGN OUTCOME

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Search by what's really important

Lifestyle is also important when it comes to living together. By searching for lifestyles helps to find match pets easily.

Seamless adoption/foster process

Submit your adoption/foster application on Petwin without switching to phone calls, emails or online forms.

Progress tracking with direct communication channel

After submitting an application, you can track your application and use online chat to communicate with shelter staff directly.

Training programs for post-adoption/foster assistance

Tailored Training programs reduce the burden of pet owners and also create touchpoints for pet owners who don't adopt pets from shelters.

PROCESS

Problem Space & Key Questions

INITIAL IDEA

All animal shelters in Austin, Texas are no-kill and the shelters are having hard times to keep over 90% save rate. From the meetings with stakeholders from Austin Animal Center and Austin Pets Alive, we understood that spacing is the one of the most critical issues. Without euthanizing animals, the only two outcomes from shelters are adoption and fostering. However, based on the data from shelters, the number of intakes is 37% more than the number of outcomes, which has made shelters run out of space and sometimes shelters need to transfer animals to other places.


Based on the problem space, we came up with key questions that need to be answered:


- How people adopt/foster pets from shelters?

- Why people decide to get or not pets from shelters?

- What are the pain points of adopting/fostering pets from shelters?

- What are the difficulties people face as an owner?

Semi-structured Interviews

USER RESEARCH

To answer the key questions, we conducted semi-structured interviews with two kinds of potential users:

- Pet owners who adopted/fostered animals from shelters

- Pet owners who bought animals from breeders


We interviewed 5 people, 5 of them adopted/foster animals from shelters and the other 2 bought animals from breeders and our interviews questions were divided by different stages.

Meet Chris who’s looking for a pet

Background

How many pets do you have?

Can you tell us about your pet?

How long have you owned pets?

What motivated you to keep pet?

Where did you get your pets?

Pre adoption/buying

Where did you get information about pets?

Why did you choose breeders/shelters?

How did you decide to get the pet?

What were the challenges you faced?

Was there anything frustrating or exciting?

During adoption/buying

What’s the process of adopting or buying pets?

What were the challenges you faced?

Was there anything frustrating or exciting?

Post adoption/buying

How did your pet and you get along?

What were the challenges you faced

Was there anything frustrating or exciting?


How to adopt a pet from shelters?

Research Insights

Internet plays an important role

Pet adoption starts with searching on the internet. Pet seekers visit shelters' websites and social media or download their apps as the first step.

Ineffective information

On most of the shelters' platforms, users can only view a pet’s type, age, gender and size. However, lifestyle is more important to pet seekers when it comes to living together.

Uneven quality of information

Not every pet has a high quality profile with clear photos, video and text descriptions. It's difficult for pet seekers to learn and compare pets. 

Interaction is the key

Pet seekers are willing to spend extra time to interact with pets first and decide if they want the pet or not. Interaction accelerates their decision-making process.

Preconception about shelter

Pet seekers may have some preconceptions about animal shelters like the animals there are hard to train or have health issues which lower their willingness for adoption.

Training is an universal pain point

No matter buying or adopting pets, training is a huge pain point and it requires time and money.

Awareness of animal shelter

Although pet seekers are aware of shelters, they only aware of parts of shelter services. 

Inefficient communication

Cross-platform communication without transparency makes it inefficient and also makes pet seekers tense.

Visions & Ideations

We synthesized research findings into key insights to find a direction for solutions by an affinity diagram.

How might we create a platform with effective information and interaction and efficient communication that increases pet seekers' willingness to adopt and foster pets from shelters?

Moreover, we envisioned our solution will be:

- A touchpoint for pet buyers or other people to be engaged with animal shelters or rescued animal community.

- A promotion to increase the awareness of animal shelters and rescued animals.


Based the HMW and visions, we ideated 50 features first and narrowed them down by prioritizing their impacts and feasibility.

search available pets with more user-aligned filters

progress tracking of application

direct application and communication

training resources

event calendar

Initial features

Finalized features

Design & Iteration

After having a clear vision about the solution, I created wireframes and prototypes and validated the designs with my team and stakeholders.

Feeds

Pros

- Easy to browse

-  Seamless experience



Cons

- Unclear separation of each category

Rows

Pros

-  Separation for each category

-  Easy to browse

-  Seamless experience



Cons

- Each category could be similar

Tabs

Pros

- Separation for each category

-  Clear information structure

Cons

- Extra step for browsing

1st iteration - Justify designs

Rows

Final Design

-  Separation for each category

-  Easy to browse

-  Seamless experience

-  Clear information structure with different sizes of grid/card





1st iteration - Updated Homepage

Information Architecture & Flow

In order to help stakeholders and devs better understand how the design works and ask them for feedback, I built an IA diagram and a UI flow chart that visualize the complicated flow and architecture. 

Overall IA Diagram

Search, submit application and track progress UI flow

User Testing  & Iteration

To further improve the design, I did another round of user testing with 4 pet seekers.  They were asked to navigate through submitting an application and give feedback to each screen.

2nd iteration - Home

2

3

1

 Users prefer to know locations rather than host organizations.

2

Gender is not a primary factor for considering a pet

3

Intro is wordy and repeated in the training program page

1

Before

After

1

Locations as secondary info

2

Knowing the sizes of pets helps users to make decisions

3

A clean design with difficulty level and progress

1

2

3

2nd iteration - Search

2

1

The dropdown is unintuitive for multiple selections

2

Good with other pets/kids is an important factor to help users narrow down search scope

1

Before

After

1

Button groups for easy multiple selections

2

Move good with other pets/kids to higher priority

1

2

2nd iteration - Profile

Before

After

1

Close button is not noticeable

2

The table is crowded and overwhelming

2

CTA buttons are buried down at the bottom that requires extra scroll to find

1

2

3

1

Add a background color to make icons stand out

2

Divide information into groups with icons to increase the readability

1

2

3

3

Move CTA buttons to a more salient place