Lead Product Designer
RescuePals matches animals to a user's specific criteria from neighboring shelters and rescues, and allow the users to connect directly with the shelters from within the app. This solution, combined with an experience that is enjoyable and easy to use, aims to lower the rate of animal euthanasia and increase the rate of adoption.
According to the 2016 release and euthanasia rates from the Los Angeles Animal Care and Control Center, about 20% (3,057) of all dogs that entered it’s shelters were euthanized, while about 80% (11,781) were adopted. For cats, about 59% (9,295) were euthanized and only 41% (6,471) were adopted.
While the ratio of dogs being adopted vs euthanized is better than that of cats, these numbers can always benefit from being improved so that the rate of euthanasia goes even further down and more animals find loving homes.
I interviewed 6 people, half of which were current pet owners and the other half were interested in looking for pets to adopt. Based on these interviews, I created 3 personas for the development of the product.
Empathy, Integrity, History
31, Married, Regulatory Manager, Los Angeles CA, 2 dogs
“Shelter’s never provide enough details about the animals they receive. I want to know as much as I can before going in."
Goals: Gain a better understanding of the animal's history. Adopt a pet that will live harmoniously with her 2 other dogs.
Freedom, Data, Integration
48, single, Production Artist, New York NY, 1 dog 1 cat
“There are too many animal shelters to keep track of. I wish I could browse through all of them in one place.”
Goals: Quickly browse through available pets, regardless of location. Adopt a pet that will live happily with his dog and cat.
Intimacy, Relationships, Communication
22, Boyfriend, Massage Therapist, Orlando FL, no pets
“Too many shelters and not enough time. I wish there was one place to see them all and quickly contact them."
Goals: Have conversations with shelter worker when learning about the animals she is interested in.
IA & User Journey
High-level flows allowed me to better understand the solution and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in it's concept. From there, I continued to brainstorm and refine the idea, always making sure to stay in-line with what the user's needs and goals are.
Once the overall goal is defined in the flow stage of my process, I move onto rough sketch wireframes that go alongside the defined flow from earlier. These sketches are typically very lose, as the process of building a product is always organic and changing. Slowly going from rough sketches to a more refined wireframe allows the design and layout of the product to take shape, while still being flexible.
I believe every aspect of design should be considered for the user and their experience when using a product, which is why branding and visual design also played an important role in the development of the RescuePals app.
I started off by brainstorming fun, but meaningful product names and eventually landed on RescuePals. From there, I sketched out thumbnails for the logo and began refining the brand.
During the hi-fidelity design part of the process, I made sure to always stick with the brand's visual language, while continuing to adhere to the user’s goal with the product.
After designing the hi-fidelity screens, I prototyped the user flow with InVision. This stage is very important as it allowed me to experience how the product would feel, as well as test it to users and get their valuable feedback or validation. From there, I go back to refining the product based on user feedback, as there will always be ways to improve an experience for the user.
What's outlined here in this project is only a small portion of the user/adopter side of what RescuePals has to offer. Of course, there is an entire administrative and management side to consider in order to fully realize this product. When considering the admin portion of RescuePals, it is easy to understand how powerful a tool it can be in a shelter's workflow.