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Lifelong friendship
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Helping dog parents build better health & wellness habits with their doggo.

About this project

Dog-Go! is a responsive web application that empowers & engages dog parents in creating healthier & happier bonds with their dog, through digital health records, activity tracking & community building.

Timeline: 2022 - Completed part-time 

Role: Sole UX / Product Designer - Educational Project completed through CareerFoundry.

Tools: Pen & paper, Canva Pro, Figma, Usability Hub, Optimal Workshops & Zoom.

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Designing on purpose

During this project, I learned that my curiosity, intuition & empathy drive an explorative design process.  I enjoy envisioning the possibilities and allowing data to lead my decision making.

Explore & Observe
  • Problem Statement

  • Competitive Analysis

  • Business Requirements

  • User Interviews

Conceptualize
  • Personas

  • User Journeys

  • User Flows

  • Card Sorting

  • Site Map

Iteration
  • Wireframes

  • Prototyping

  • Usability Testing

  • Preference Testing

  • Refining the Design

Explorative Phase
Explorative phase

The initial idea was conceived out of an awareness of the challenges dog parents face. Upon doing some quick online research, I was able to observe some gaps in the pet-health market which informed my problem statement.

Defining the problem

Dog parents need a way to feel engaged & in control in their dog’s health & wellness by having easy access to shareable health information because dog parents value their pet's health the same as any other family member.

Creative solutioning

Dog parents need a process that streamlines caring for their dog's health & wellbeing with easy to access shareable records, a way to track their health, connect with providers, care givers, and a source for reliable dog knowledge. 

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Competitive analysis

From reviewing the two top competitors that have proven concepts on the market, PetDesk & Pawprint, I identified the following opportunities:

  • A dog-parent centered design that empowers users & gives them greater control over their information.

  • An experience that doesn't rely heavily on Veterinary participation.

  • Designing a web-responsive app that expands accessibility.

  • Create more value & reasons for engagement.

  • Solutions that are easy & fun to use.

I also reviewed Garmin & Fitbit for analogous inspirations, which provided insight on how gamification could play a role in this design.

The global pet market is valued at $180 Billion.

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Business requirements

Based on market research, a pet health app would be a viable & lucrative pursuit.  Millennials & Younger Generation X (ages 25-48) make up the target demographic.  This is based on their spending habits, engagement and data on the average age of dog parents.  Below are a handful of the interesting insights gained.

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The average pet parent spends $1500 annually on basic pet expenses.

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Dogs hold the majority in US households, at 76.2% of pets.

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39% of dogs in the US are considered obese.

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48.5 million couples face infertility globally.

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70% of millienals view their dog as their child.

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76% of Millennials are choosing pets over children.

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45% of pet owners value their dog's health,  the same as their own.

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User interviews

Moderated remote interviews were conducted to create a deeper understanding of user's behaviors, motivations & how they engage with their dog's health. It was important to me to be fully present to listen & observe not only their verbal responses, but also to what wasn't said. The following are the top 4 insights gained through this research.

Currently there are no solutions that bridge the gap between dog parents, pet providers & pet community.

80% desire a streamlined system for appointments & reminders.

The challenge in this task was to keep it natural while asking non-leading objective questions, and being mindful not to insert my own bias.  Also, I would've liked to have broadened my scope of participants to include pet providers to determine how they may benefit from Dog-Go!.

A girl and her dog

80% desire to connect with other dog parents for community & advice.

80% feel their dogs encourage them to engage in mutually beneficial & healthy activities they may not do on their own.

Conceptualization Phase
Conceptualization

Personas

3 personas were created to ground the project going forward, these were synthesized based on data & insights gained from both market research & interviews.  The goal with these personas is to keep everyone on the same page so we can better empathize with real people, their motivations, behaviors, needs, goals & frustrations.  

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User flows

To assist in design prioritization, filtering & editing, Each personas was given a likely task to complete, breaking it down into three components, Task Flow, Task Analysis & User Flow.

These are the initial user flows that informed my sketching & wireframing.

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Iterative Phase
Iteration

Wireframing & Prototyping

I began with pen & paper to brainstorm ideas and create a general flow before moving into Figma.

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User Testing

50% of participants were unable to locate the send button to share their dog's record.

6 participants were recruited from across the country to participate in a virtual study.  As this is a MVP product I chose to test the 3 main use cases based on interview feedback (Adding a Pet, Sending a Record & Scheduling an Appointment). The main objective was to determine if my designs hit the mark both in concept & ease of use.  I had users verbalize their thoughts out loud so I could observe their full interaction with my initial designs.

 

Based on my observations I was able to locate 3 top priorities.

Before

After

67% of participants appeared to be confused by how to schedule an appointment in the app, leading to 16% failure of task completion.

Before

After

50% of participants appeared distracted and/or confused by button placement & language, this also lead to 50% failure in task completion.

Before

After

Due to the choice to test a more diverse group of participants, I was also met with a various levels of experience with tools & technology, which was both beneficial and challenging. I learned that the most important part of conducting a study is to be prepared, but to also be flexible and ready to pivot. Being able to communicate effectively was a huge benefit.

 

When met with challenges during the study I was able to communicate in a way that honored the participant while staying professional & being mindful not to insert too much direction or create bias.

To me testing is an excellent opportunity to take a step back and  view your designs through the user's eyes.  If we get too personal about our solutions, we run the risk of becoming narrow in our thinking and forget who we're designing for...which in turn is a risk for the product & the business.

Refining the Design

UI Design 

After testing and refining the foundation of my designs, I began working to increase fidelity by adding visual design components, consulting Gestalt Laws, Visual Design Principles, and Accessibility guidelines.

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Design Language System

Taking into account the goals of Dog-Go!, I created a Style Guide and Design Language System that would convey Dog-Go’s values and represent the brand’s identity.

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Final MVP 

Before moving forward with my final MVP, I requested feedback from peers as well as my mentor to gain a different perspective, which led to a few revisions to correct some size & scale concerns and better address accessibility.

Overall, I believe Dog-Go!'s MVP does an excellent job delivering a streamlined solution that users can be excited about. 

Dog-Go! offers dog parents...

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Pet Profiles: Store, manage & share your doggo’s vital information.

Calendar: Keep track of all your doggo’s important dates.

Community: Connect to your fellow dog-parents for fun, friendship & support

With Dog-Go! users will finally have a health & wellness app for their life on the go with their doggo!