Goal: To create a high-fidelity prototype for a sprint design challenge using all of the skills that I’ve learned from Springboard to date. I was tasked with having to create a website for a dog adoption website called CityPups.
CityPups Design Sprint
MATCHING URBAN RESIDENTS WITH THEIR IDEAL DOG
CityPups is a mock startup that was created to help urban residents find the perfect dog to suit their unique needs. Based on the research that was provided to me for the challenge, I determined that the solution to solve this issues was simple. By creating a filtering system that would serve as the MVP to help match people to the perfect dog it would give users the flexibility to give users the ability to customize their search results.
Besides time, other design constraints included:
- Designing with web browsers for large devices.
- Once a user starts the adoption process, they’re required to contact a third-party site.
- Focusing on helping users find the right dog to adopt.
UX RESEARCH AND DESIGN
Since I was working independently to design CityPups and most of the research was prepared for me in advance, my responsibilities mostly came down to synthesizing the research and then creating a working prototype and move through the design process within a condensed timeframe.
MAKING SENSE OF THE PIECES
As all of the research was prepared for me ahead of time through BiteSizeUX, the process for creating CityPups was very straightforward. In contrast to my capstone project, Sphere, where I had to identify, research and design to solve a problem the problem here was immediately presented to me; to help urban residents find the ideal dog to suit their individual needs. As the problem was already present, it was perfectly suited to be solved using a short 5-day design sprint where I would just need to focus on synthesizing the research, designing a solution and then learn if it worked from my usability tests.
The first thing that I did was to analyze the user persona for the project, Ellie a 27-year old female living out of a New York apartment. Her biggest frustrations was that she largely falls in love with dogs whose needs that she can’t provide for and that the descriptions for dogs on most sites were too general. Her ultimate goal was to adopt and find a dog that would be a good match for her.
Although most of the information was presented to me through a series of web videos and PDFs, there was one user interview that was provided to me that reviewed another online dog adoption project called Adopt Pure Love. From here, I was able to discern what pain points including how people were searching for dogs to adopt as well as that a lot of the current solutions lack information on whether or not a dog would suit someone’s specific lifestyle.
BiteSizeUX’s Provided User Interview for CityPups
Finding Participants for Usability Testing
Since I knew that I had to prepare 5 usability tests at the end of the week, I began preparing to find participants in advance. Luckily I was able to schedule all of them by creating a single post on my personal Facebook page so the only issue became the logistics of scheduling them. In the end, I managed to host 4 moderated online tests through Zoom and 1 in-person test with a family member that I was sheltering-in-place with.
While I originally had the know-how to try and create an affinity map based on the notes that I was taking while reading the provided PDFs, it occurred to me that a lot of search criteria that people were looking for when trying to adopt a dog could be distilled into a quiz or large filter. Some of the most common pain points were that people were looking for a dog that would suit their specific household and lifestyle with specific characteristics/personalities.
The series of notes that I was preparing based off of provided research.
PIECING IT TOGETHER
As time was of the essence, one of the exciting milestones of the Design Sprint to me was trying to come up with a red route on Day One. After spending just a short time learning about and identifying the problem, I was tasked with creating a red route of a possible end-to-end user experience. I chose to try and focus on how a user might go about contacting a shelter to adopt a dog and all of the steps in between.
The original red route that I designed on Day One after looking at research.
Using the red route that I created on Day One, I created a solution sketch by mashing together some inspiration from Day 2’s crazy 8 and lightning demo activities.
8 minutes to create 8 sketches? No problem!
After performing a quick analysis, it occurred to me that a quiz combined with online dating matching would be the easiest way to provide a solution to helping people find the perfect dog to suit their individual needs.
Quick sketches using my ideas from the Crazy 8/Lightning Demo activities.
As time was of the essence, I chose to use the quick sketches that I created on Day 2 and 3 as my low-fidelity wireframe to help expedite the design process. After importing them into Sketch, I began to use the provided logo and brand identity to build a quick visual design schematic in my head. By using Sketch’s layer styles to ensure consistency across the site for buttons and typography.
CityPup’s 3 primary landing pages: the homepage, search results and bio page (from left to right).
From my 5 usability tests, one of the things that stood out the most was that it was easy-to-use website and that the matching system made sense. However, one of the biggest changes that I had iterated in my current revision was the addition of an additional CTA at the top of the bio page and extra information about the shelters. As the original bio page only had one “ask me” CTA below a brief synopsis of the shelter, one of my participants suggested that it would be nice to have one at the top right below the photos.
My fourth usabiliy test for CityPups.
FINDING THE PERFECT PUP QUIZ
Besides the 3 primary landing pages, the single most important is arguably my quiz. Not only did I design it to help people find the perfect dog based on some common characteristics, but I added some additional questions on the owner’s lifestyle such as how active they are, how much training they’d be willing to put in and how large their living space is. Through a series of nine questions and matching system, I believe that I was able to come up with a solution that pairs people with the best dog suited for them.
MEETING THE NEEDS OF URBAN DOG OWNERS
As I was tasked to find a solution on how to match potential urban dog owners with their ideal dog, I performed a short qualitative study on the existing solutions and their current issues. To me, one of the biggest takeaways was that a lot of the current adoption solutions aren’t easy to use for people who want to find a dog suited to their lifestyle and living space. Most sites just give a quick rundown of the type of breed, size and age without letting a user know the dog’s personality.
Since this was a point of emphasis in my project, I believe that through the use of my quiz I was able to provide something that was both functional and fun to use. Additionally, as an experienced visual designer I also attempted to carry the same visual flair to the biography page as well to help give potential dog owners a more hopeful look at the dog’s personality. If my usability tests were anything to go by, I firmly believe that I successfully achieved my task!