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The aim of this mobile app experience is to match rescues and potential adopters. Users can utilize extensive search features, see nearby pets available and connect with shelters easily

My contribution throughout the process was conducting expert interviews on-site at Austin Pets Alive animal shelter, synthesizing research insights, creating sitemaps, card sort, physical experience mockups and user testing.

Group Project - HCD Acumen

Project Type: Designing for Social Good
Duration: 6 weeks
Role: Research, Interviews, Userflow, Design
Team: Kennedy Patlan, Robert Alexander, Przemek Jalowski, Chris Wong, Wendy Lee


6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelter every year - ASPCA

The shelter experience is an incredibly stressful experience. It is more common for adopters to see a scared and defensive dog than the expected tail wagging, happy/cuddly animal that they long for. There is a need to educate adopters and to manage their expectations while providing the best adoption experience for both adopters and the rescue. 


Shelters need to improve adoption experience for adopters and rescues.


We found that potential adopters experienced:

1. Long screenings and paperworks
2. Long wait time on enquiries
3. Lack of medical and behavior history
4. Lack of follow ups
5. Unaware of adoption process


We found that shelter workers faced some of these challenges:

1. Willingness to invest in pet search
2. Bias and stereotypes
3. Lack of knowledge
- Shelter animals behave differently under stressful environment vs home
- Rescues comes with complex histories and challenging personalities

4. Breeds preferences
5. Need to increase adoption rates

General Public

We found some misconceptions from the general public about shelter pets:

1. Difficult to teach and handle
2. Trust and behavior issues - due to animal’s unknown history
3. Health factors - senior dogs are less welcomed


We conducted surveys with 3 types of audiences involved with our issue and conducted on-site interviews at an animal shelter to speak with the experts of our problem.


Primary Research: In a survey response, 70% responded that they have little to no knowledge of the adoption process.

Shelter matchmakers also faced challenges from the stereotypes that shelter animals gets, from both the general public and potential adopters.

Secondary Research:
We seek analogous inspiration through online research on the topic of adoption and found AdoptUSKids. Their focus was to help prospective adopters and fosters to successfully adopt a child or teen from from foster care by giving clear steps and centralizing all their information. 


Provide a better adoption experience with care to the animal and adopters comfort throughout the entire process?



From our insights, we generated a persona that we felt would best described our users. Tech Savvy young professionals who just moved to a new city, ready to adopt their furry best friend and begin their new adventure.


Our competitors consist of private breeders, puppy mills and other shelters. We compare them in terms of ethical value, availability, prices, quality and post adoption service.

We conclude the importance to differentiate us from competitors is through making adoption the more preferred method to get a pet. We strive to make it more accessible, affordable and helpful to owners.



1. Book and schedule appointments on the app for in-person or virtual meet & greet
2. Geo location - nearby shelters show adoptable pets (in your city)
3. Profile Settings - Sort and Filter match preferences
4. Breed info with pet stories (sync to website)
5. After adoption service - in-app ability to send email for adoption enquiries
6. Pet Stories - marketing opportunity for shelters, showcase top pets/ featured pets
7. Favorites - keep track of interested pets and nearby shelters



Our key features include sort/filter, geo location, pet tinder matchmaking, post adoption follow up communication method, stories - to feature pets and booking & scheduling system....



I sketched out some logos to generate the look and feel that my app was going to take. As I was sketching out my wireframes, I asked myself some critical questions to guide myself in the decision making process:

1. Am I solving a real people problem?

2. Are these design decisions actually helping the user towards their goals?

3. Will these implementations be meaningful for their experience?



The user flow of the app shows how our users will walkthrough the entire app. From onboarding to in-app exploration through testing and finally getting the job done.



State: Hannah is ready to adopt as she begins her career in a new city. She doesn't mind the breed, she prefers to adopt rather than shop as she is a very empathetic person. 

1. Ability to search and compare dogs near by.

2. Detail information - behavior, age, gender, medical history,
testimonials, photos/videos.

3. Adoption process walkthrough


I conducted testing with 5 users. They are people who are looking to adopt cats, people who are looking to adopt dogs, people who are looking to foster cats, people who are looking to foster dogs and people who are not looking but are interested in knowing the adoption/fostering process.

Users were able to easily navigate through the tasks and complete them.



If I had more time, I would like to improve the experience as such:

1. Add in-app Fact of the Day to educate users on adoption knowledge while keeping it bite-sized for users

2. Add in testimonials from rescue's handler in quote form on pet's profile - for marketing

3. Add Chatbots - to ease shelter's workload of manually replying to every user enquiry. Standard FAQ should be easily answered

4. Add in comments section under pet's profile so shelter or handlers can easily reply users


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