On-demand puppy visits for instant stress relief.
Our team was tasked with designing a new app for an existing puppy delivery 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.
MY ROLE: UX PROGRAM MANAGER
- Project Management: Combined expert project management skills with my passion for UX. I understood the strategic priorities of the client and project, working with designers to make the most impact possible under our tight schedule.
- Team Dynamics: I provided input, mitigated conflicts, and maintained cross-functional collaboration throughout the process to meet tight deadlines during research, testing, and delivery phases.
- Visual Design: Transforming medium-fidelity digital prototypes into the high-fidelity prototype.
INITIAL Survey & DATA 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.
COMPETITIVE & COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS
We analyzed three other competitors related to puppy rentals, as well as mobile delivery services that provide a similar user flows that users would expect to see in our app. While there were no direct competitors that infringed on BravePup's market space or geographic location, its top three competitors did lean on a marketing strategy referencing stress relief, enjoyment, and/or adoption. Indirect competitors like food delivery services provided insight into what potential users might expect from our future user interface and steps in the user flow.
We continued our research with observational study at 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 with high pedestrian traffic. We visited the site and interviewed SF 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.
USER INTERVIEWS & AFFINITY MAPPING
To get a deeper understanding of what users would want in a potential puppy delivery app we interviewed eight potential users who indicated an interest in puppies in our initial survey. 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.
Based on our research insights, we collaborated on a user flow that would simplify getting our user from start to finish in the fewest screens possible. We discussed types of affordances, form design, and other items like the copywriting for the initial on-boarding experience.
DESIGN STUDIO & PAPER PROTOTYPE
Our team went through three iterations of a high-fidelity paper prototype that informed changes to our user flow and content strategy. We learned that:
- Users didn't understand why they had to create an account before selecting puppies, so we moved the "paywall" after users selected puppies.
- 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.
LOW-FIDELTY DIGITAL PROTOTYPE
We created a low-fidelity digital prototype in AdobeXD and immediately tested it with new users to inform specific design changes to affordances, layout, and high-fidelity design. We found the following insights that informed changes for our high-fidelity iteration:
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
HIGH-FIDELITY DIGITAL PROTOTYPE
We tested our app with more users—refining very specific design elements along the way. In addition, we applied Google's Material Design language to our user interface to standardize our affordances and layout. Once user testers felt comfortable with our new prototype, we paused our design process and prepared for our final client presentation.
NEXT STEPS FOR OUR APP
- 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.
WHAT I LEARNED
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.
1. 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.
2. 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. Even with a many photos and assets, little items like photos of each paper prototype screen were lost in the speed of the project.
3. When frustrations arose, reminding team members of our collective goal to create a great app was extremely successful in mitigating conflicts and setting the stage to allow new thoughts and perspectives to be shared without social pressure.
4. 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.