Find a pet based on your lifestyle.
A new mobile experience to adopt a pet based on your lifestyle. Choose one or more questions and we'll do the rest.
Design an experience that will help connect people with a pet which matches their lifestyle.
Adopting a pet may seem as easy as taking a photo and sharing it online (and sometimes it is) but how can you know which pet is truly suitable for you and your lifestyle? There are so many moving parts and when you're dealing with specific needs from people(or pets), and it can get very complex and overwhelming.
My first impression was to build something lightweight and simple-- using an API to get all the data from pets, or assuming there was no resources my other solution was, we could introduce a new system and get specific information from taking a preliminary quiz or a test, analyze that data and/or add an AI algorithm to learn patterns(?). Okay, as you can see, my mind starts to drift and I had many ideas going through my head in the begging but as always, things always take a different path when you talk to your audience and you start learning more about the market. With that in mind, lets jump right into it and see what we can learn.
Start Talking to People
Who are they and what are they like? Observe. Repeat overtime and measure the results.
Lets start by talking to our audience and define what their goals and motivations are. Find out where they hang out and listen! I've worked across the country and back and I'm stunned by how many designers get lost in this area and/or they lack common courtesy. Be kind and show gratitude when you talk to anyone for information (or in general). Everything starts from you in order to get the results you need.
At Apple we usually bring people onsite to test or interview for a new product or feature but I prefer talking to people in their own environment at least once if I get the opportunity.
However in this situation, I started with a list of nearby shelters and called them myself. The first person was Jason.
I politely introduced myself and asked him a few questions. I listened, took notes, and quickly discovered more problems:
• Most of the pets come from the streets with no paper work so that could be a problem in terms of creating a system that generates match results. In my case, I began to ask myself:
How am I suppose to match pets with people based on their lifestyle if I had limited resources or data?
How can I match pets or which tool should I explore to fix this problem?
After a few minutes of his time, I moved on to the next interview(s) to collect more information and compare.
Once we understand what the problem is, I put together a list of assumptions, I created 1-3 provisional personas and compared that later with our assumptions or feedback to make sure we are on the right path.
Below are some rough sketches of my notes and doodles. They are not in order or pretty (yet) but I just wanna share my process from end-to-end. 🙂
Defining our audience
After Identifying who they are, understanding their frustrations and motivations, I typically share this information with the team and measure the strengths and weakness.
Persona Data Analysis
What did I learn based on my initial assumptions?
Several interesting patterns came up and I wrote it all down:
Approximately 80% use their phone to find pets or search related topics (as shown in right Piechart)
22% of people are disabled or handicapped so its important to keep that in mind
Over 90% of shelters/foster homes only do in person interviews to verify you
Over 50% of the animals in shelters come from the streets so this can be a problem if we need their data to match our users based on their lifestyle (as shown in left Piechart)
Existing competitors are not fun to use and the information can be overwhelming for 46%
Adoption forms are "a pain" and inconsistent
Every shelter in every state have their own policy
Suggestion: Enabling the users location can help filter out this problem
36% of new families get rejected if they have newborn babies
Asking users this question in our on-boarding process can help us fix this problem early-on
The process of adoption can be overwhelming sometimes
What can we learn from what has already been done (or not)? Don't reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes.
As part of my user research, I quickly look for a wide range of competitors or products that are in the same space and list them down so I can compare strengths and weaknesses. I also research the leadership behind these products.
Who is head of product and what is their background? How long have they been operating? Learn from their mistakes and highlight my advantages and disadvantages and see where I can execute better from a high level business owner. This mindset has been useful for me over time and it has helped me align my business goals with the core product and reinforces my intention and purpose behind my design thinking. This was something I learned when I built Motown Music and I also learned this type of mentality through some of my close mentors at YCombinator.
Competitor Usability Testing
Based on user feedback:
Messaging Competitors don't have a consistent communication system and this is a problem for users when the need to contact clinics regarding adoption clinics.
This feature is frequently used and could be improved.
Website 63% of new users find their sites confusing, overwhelming or visually inconsistent with the mobile app
User Experience could be better across all platforms and readability could be greatly improved with more explicit content and better UX
Gimmicky the user experience comes-off as too playful, too easy, or it resembles tinder too much
Tinders-swipe interaction feature works well (this is debatable but its my strong opinion) because its easy and it fixes a specific problem! All problems are different on every product and it does not mean it will always work. Hence why these apps are not growing anymore and some will eventually fade away.