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Identifying the problems

Ann Arbor has a population of 30,000 dogs. Yet in my 2 months of being in this city, I had not interacted with more than 2 dogs. And neither did I find a medium to meet with these dog owners. So I listed down the possible positives and negatives around this problem.


A mobile application for dog lovers to connect with dogs (and their owners).


User research, interaction design


September 2016 - December 2016

Target Audience

Based on the problem, I identified 3 types of audience and conducted 5 interviews [2 dog lovers, 2 dog owner, 1 dog foster specialist]

Dog lovers

“We love petting dogs and talking about them with their owners. We also visit dog parks, but since they are quite far or very few in town we don’t get time to visit them. Good social mediums are Facebook, Meetup or physical conversation with people.”

Dog owners

“Most of us have friendly attitude towards dog lovers. We like it when people are friendly towards our dogs because it is like they want to play with my kid. Yeah it is better that they ask me about petting my dog because I am out of my house to pet my dog and not for a dog show, however I don’t want to be asked by every 2nd person about petting my dog."

Dog shelters

“We have social media pages and people show a lot of interest in our activities. However, we get a very few dog adoptions and many dogs are returned as abused because dog owners can’t take care of them. We want our shelter dogs to spend time with domesticated ones and volunteers because a change in environment and faces can be very beneficial to their personality and confidence."

Pain points

Most events have more dog lovers and less dogs because dog owners don’t turn up.

Dog owners are apprehensive about letting their dogs be with a stranger without supervision.

Dog shelters find it difficult to get the youth interested in volunteering.

Product Features

After gathering the data from my target audience and competitive analysis I did a design rationale of my solution features. I identified 3 features of my app:

  1. Collar bar code scan of a dog gives points which results in discounts

  2. Dog-sitting availability calendar

  3. Instagram-like page of dogs maintained by dog owners

I realized that by involving a wider target audience, I was trying to solve a problem which was delusional. Hence I decided to narrow down my problem scope for dog lovers and dog owners of age-group 16-50. 


I used the principles learned in the Sketching User Experiences: The Workbook for my sketching assignment. I tried to focus on the idea reflected by the sketch rather than using words. As I sketched I got more and more ideas because it is easier to erase them and redraw something rather than do ctrl-Z. Even though these sketches were just steps a solution will follow, I had them as a reference when making my mid fidelity sketches.

Paper Prototyping

What I learnt from my paper prototype:
  • Give the user option to skip onboarding

  • Get rid of fields which don’t contribute to this app’s purpose

  • Tell them about something which is not common in every app.

  • Don’t lose your mind if the user is confused. Re-work on your solution

My paper prototype helped me get rid of the noise that was making the users confused. I redid my "clichéd" user profile design and got rid of fields and features which were not contributing to the solution.


I created the first version of my interactive wireframes using Axure. Since I am not good with graphic design and wanted my stakeholder to focus on functionality and not how pretty the wireframes look, I stuck to the basic black-white-grey palette. 

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