A new app for an existing corporate service
Our goal was to build a straightforward experience that creates brand awareness and promotes alternative stress relief options that can be challenging to access during the busy work week.
BravePup already brings rescue puppies to corporate events in Seattle for employee health and wellness. Our aim was to deliver this experience to individuals so they can relieve anxiety using a proven social technique: puppy love.
As the UX program manager and visual designer for this project, I combined expert project management skills with my passion for user experience design. I provided input, mitigated conflicts, and empowered cross-functional collaboration throughout the process to meet tight deadlines during research, testing, and delivery phases. I also analyzed feedback from user testing to transform the medium-fidelity digital prototype into high-fidelity.
Disclaimer: All prices and business offerings in this app prototype do not reflect actual services provided by Bravepup and are only for purposes of this case study.
Potential for puppies
Screener survey and competitive analysis
Our team conducted initial research through a screener survey with questions related to workplace stress and interest in dogs.
We received 33 responses and ran statistical analyses (one-sample t-tests) to determine if there were any trends in our data. We found a correlation between having a higher interest in puppies and higher stress levels at work.
We also compared three indirect competitors, located across the country. We found that no service combined an hourly-rental service for individuals, a mobile app, and dog profile pages. We used these insights to determine what the main features of our potential app would be. We new it had to be a service, primarily done through a mobile app, with the ability to rent puppies on-demand.
Doggies in the window
We continued our research by visiting a local pet adoption event in downtown San Francisco.
Because of the holiday season, Macy's was holding their annual pet adoption event that places puppies and kittens that are ready for adoption in their storefront windows. We interviewed SPCA volunteers who provided us with adoption statistics and reasons behind adopting pets during the holiday season. We learned that over 280 puppies and kittens were adopted within a 3-week period before the Christmas holiday.
From this observational research, we learned these major insights:
- People of all ages are interested in looking at or admiring puppies and kittens, regardless of a storefront window location.
- People seem happier or filled with more joy when seeing these animals.
- People want to adopt these animals simply by seeing them close up.
- The need for pet adoption is significant regardless of the holiday season.
Macy's department store - San Francisco storefront window
Crowds gather at adoption event
Puppies for adoption
User interviews and affinity mapping
To get a deeper understanding of what users would want in a potential puppy delivery app we interviewed eight potential users.
We combined our interview data into an affinity map to examine trends that users had in relationship to a potential puppy delivery app. It became apparent that because potential users were externally busy during the week they would like to have an "instant" delivery service that provides them with stress relief during the work week. Therefore, our new app had to be easy to use and quick at scheduling a delivery. We created a user persona and began work designing our user flow.
Brainstorming app features
Brainstorming design elements
Putting it all together
Creating a new user flow
We simplified over 30 different steps in the original user flow into 15 simplified screens.
We discussed types of affordances, form design, and other items like the copywriting for the initial on-boarding experience. We thoroughly analyzed the current user flow and site map to find critical pain points and complex usability features. In mapping out the site map and user flow, we knew we would have to make significant changes to address concerns both for the client and for our new users. We made the following recommendations for our design:
- Remove extraneous personal and vehicle information that confused users or slowed down the sign up and scheduling process.
- Integrate a short boarding process to educate users.
- Make sure users select a company that Coast currently services before providing any personal information.
- Remove the email verification process in the middle of the user flow, which eliminated three intermediary steps requiring users to exit the Coast app.
- Allow users to schedule their own appointment times, removing multiple pages from the original user flow and multiple email messages sent to users.
We then collaborated on a new user flow that would simplify getting our users from the welcome screen to their appointment confirmation in the most intuitive way possible. We discussed types of user actions, user interface elements, and other important details like clear copywriting for the initial on-boarding screens.
New user flow with low-fidelity sketches
Designing user flow
Discussing and editing
Sketching low-fidelity screens
Ready to go
Paper prototype and user testing
Our team went through three iterations of a paper prototype that informed changes to our user flow and content strategy.
We tested with a handful of potential users and discussed, as a team, what changes we would integrate into our digital prototype. Our top three insights were:
- Users didn't understand why they had to create an account before selecting puppies, so we moved the "paywall" after users selected puppies they wanted to meet with.
- Users didn't want a home screen, so we removed it and focused primarily on the user flow.
- Users didn't expect to see certain modules on the delivery confirmation screen, so we made two screens: one for an order confirmation before payment and another for delivery status.
User testing paper prototype
Additional user testing
Making it digital
We created and tested multiple iterations in AdobeXD to inform specific design changes to affordances, layout, and native UI design.
Following insights & feedback informed our team of changes for our final design:
At the end of their experience, users wanted to rate different aspects of their experience, not just give an overall rating.
- Users expected to see a more standardized layout when selecting puppies and they also wanted to see more photos of each pup.
- Users wanted a credit card form that was simpler and also integrated PayPal to eliminate typing in a lot of information.
- Users didn't understand the countdown timer screen design, but understood its function
Our final design
We tested our app with more users—refining very specific design elements along the way. In addition, we applied Material Design language to our UI to standardize our layout and affordances.
Wrapping it up
Next steps and takeaways
BravePup was happy to have us work on a pro-bono project for them and enjoyed seeing the final product as a means to increase adoption rates and grow their brand presence.
Our next steps and recommendations include:
- User testing for a sign-in feature and determine its placement within the current user flow.
- Allow users to see their reservation history via a home screen or hamburger menu.
- Incorporate ways for users to share experiences through social media; likely integrating a Facebook Live API or something similar.
As a UX Program Manager for this project, I was fortunate to work with my amazing team members: James Kaguyutan, Jamie Chow, and Anna Curtis. While my team was wonderful, I still gained personal insights from this design project:
Project management in a compressed time schedule with a small team requires daily scrums and constant communication, as every work hour is critical. A Gantt Chart was especially useful for this short-term project.When frustrations arose, reminding team members of our collective goal to create a great app was successful in mitigating conflicts and setting the stage to allow new thoughts and perspectives to be shared.
Taking photos and documenting each stage of the design process is critical for case study creation and should be taken seriously by all team members. There were missed photo opportunities because of our rapid pace. While working on this project for two weeks, I missed my two dogs at home more than usual. I reaffirmed my love for dogs and encourage everyone to adopt a dog (or cat) at their local shelter.