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Ruffly

An app that exchanges services such as interest or talents for pet care.

Background

People own pets because they provide unconditional love and joy. They may chew up our shoes or scratch up the curtains, but we love them like they are our own children. We are in a time when having a pet is easier than having a human child but pet care is just as expensive as childcare and not as reliable. We are working towards creating a platform that satisfies both of these needs.

ROLE

Designer and Researcher

DURATION

2 months

Problem

When owners have to leave their pets for a prolonged period of time, what care arrangements do they make? Currently owners have three main options; ask a friend, use kennels or rely on animal care apps. However, these can be costly and unreliable.

Option 1: Ask a friend

Option 2: Use Kennels

Option 3: Animal Care Apps

User Research

As animal lovers, our team has many different suggestions that could improve animal care. Having our own thoughts we wanted to see if our concerns were common amongst other pet owners and if there were more to be aware of. We interviewed 9 animal owners( from multi pet to special need) over the phone and narrowed it down to three questions:‚Äč

  1. Tell me about a recent time you had to leave your animal for a long period of time?

  2. What are your priorities/what do you look for when having to leave your pet behind?

  3. How would you define a good experience for your pet? 

We took notes of their experiences and the options they wished to see in current pet care. With the use of Affinity mapping, our team expanded on existing ideas as well as confirmed our initial thoughts and narrowed the pain points into three main groups: finding a trusted source, budget and a bad past experience.

Feature Prioritization

Utilizing the information gathered from Affinity mapping, we conducted competitive research and listed features that addressed these issues as well as patterns that were necessary when creating an app. 

 

During our user interviews, we discovered one user had used a form of bartering in order for her service. Inspired by this approach, we wanted to add this as one of our "must-have features" in the app. Since budget is a factor in pet owners decision-making, we believed it could be a unique approach to addressing the problem.

Using the Moscow Method, we narrowed down the features into four categories: "Must, Should, Could, Would" and prioritized which design solutions we would address first.

User Flow

Most users wanted to make sure they could trust this person with their animal so together we decided to start a flow that allows users to customize and scale how they want their pet to be treated by using a survey. That than filters a feed with the users top candidates where they can trade and request for a service

Iteration 1

With all the data collected, we organized what we felt was important when creating a profile and filtered an owner's ideal candidate. We tested these designs in early stages of sketches. In doing so, we learned that certain information we assumed was important was unfavorable and placement of certain information was expected to be shown earlier in the process.

Iteration 2

After the feedback, we adjusted the original designs and clarified the current confusion that arose during testing. We rearranged, added and took away information from the process to create a more accurate filter for the users. This design resulted in a positive response in its second round of testing. The users were going through the process less confused and appreciated the new additions from the first iteration.

Walk Through

By gathering all the data from the interviews, user personas, wireframes, and sketches these were the design solutions we came up with. Click below to walk through a scenario in our prototype where the user “Casey” will open the app, take the survey and request/trade with another user.

Outcome

Our team started this project as concerned pet owners wanting to improve the current care services. As a result we wanted to create an app in hopes that it could fix those current issues. However, after interviewing and finding common pain points we discovered a unique approach to these problems. After narrowing down what we needed to address we found ourselves wanting to incorporate more changes and addressing more possibilities in this app. There are so many ways we want to enhance this application to help make it easier and more enjoyable for users and want to continue exploring those options.