Petpie - Project Overview

Capstone Project @ BrainStation | 10 weeks | 2021
Petpie is a social network aimed at helping pet owners get more reliable and accurate information on pet care by connecting each other and pet experts.

Role: Product Designer
Tools: Figma, InVision, Adobe Illustrator
View Prototype

Discover

The Problem

As pet ownership is on the rise, more various products and services are available on the market. Thus, we spend a lot of time making decisions, but cannot assure whether they are suitable for our pets. What's more, we need a channel for us to make accurate choices. Personally, I also always want to make good decisions for my pet, and keep him happy.

Secondary Research

In order to gain a better understanding of the pet ownership experience for all. I started reading articles about pets in Canada to learn about the most common issues pet owners encounter when it comes to pet ownership.

Approximately 35% of Canadian households have a dog, while 38% have a cat. That’s a 10 percent increase over the past 10 years

Canadians love their pets, they do not always make the best choice when it comes to nutrition, physical exercise, and regular veterinary care

51% of dog owners and 58% of cat owners in Canada claim their pet(s) have no health issues or seem to be in perfect health

Base on these insights,  I determined even though people love their pets, the majority of pet owners need a solution to help them the best choice for their precious pets.

Primary Research - User Interviews

I conducted 6 one-on-one interviews, with millennial pet owners. The objective was to learn about the experience of potential users. I was able to understand their needs and pain points and confirm assumptions as well as collect insights. These findings are shown below.
Difficult to find reliable information
Pet owners cannot determine the authenticity of network information and take time to find information about a particular problem related to their pet.
Trust professionals’ advice
Pet owners tend to trust and follow experts (veterinarian)’ advice because less risk and the professional authority
Share experience with other pet owners
Sharing experiences with other pet owners can resonate and easier to get useful information.
Shop on multiple platforms
Due to each platform offering different brands and types of products, pet owners are forced to shop on several platforms.
These pet owners often rely on the internet searching for pet-related information when they need help in the first place. However, there is no trustable platform. They consume time and energy to search for solutions without a clue. These factors inspired me and helped me narrow down the problem space, and led me to the question...
How Might We Help Pet Owners Instantly Find Trustable And Useful Pet-Related Information In Order To Keep Their Pets In Perfect Health?

Define

Competitor Analysis

Before moving further. I compared the existing digital solutions, and discover what's missing to find out a better opportunity to tackle the problem. The analysis indicated there were gaps and opportunities across the solutions to develop specific functionalities and features.

User Persona & Experience Map

The persona was developed with interview findings, reflecting target users’ pain points, goals and behaviours, and guide this design project as a reference tool.
Persona
By mapping out the experience of a typical moment in pet keeping, which allowed me to identify the low points for Olivia, and turn them into opportunities. A young VFX Artist is looking for a reliable platform to help her find useful information about her pet problem when she needed it.
Experience Map

Develop

Task Development

By keep Olivia's needs and pain points in mind, and I developed a value proposition for the product. I also wrote down dozens of user stories and categorize them into epics to start idea the design.

Value Proposition

Connect pet owners with each other and pet experts (veterinarians, nutritionists) to build a reliable community, as well as allow Olivia to read pet experts' certification content to get the most authoritative and trustworthy pet-related information.

Core Epic

Finding Useful Information
Selected Task
Keywords searching
Read Recommended Posts
Check Experts' Opinion
Save for later reference
View Related Content

Sketching

To complete the user story, I created a simple task flow. I started to sketch out low-fidelity screens. These are my final sketches below for the finding useful information journey.

Usability testing & Iteration

Base on my sketches, I created lo-fi wireframes and a prototype in Figma. As a part of the design process, I conducted two rounds of user testing, getting real-time feedback from a total of 10 users. The insights from the test were incorporated to mapped out to determine the priority for implementation. From each round and iteration I was able to improve the design to meet the user's needs.
New Task Flow

Deliver

Visual Identity

Once I had the functionality of my product defined, I started thinking about the visual identity of the brand before getting into high-fidelity prototyping. I began by listing out adjectives and created a moldboard that I felt represented the brand. The adjectives would help me collect imagery that reflects the vibe of the app.
As a pet related application I decided to go for a mascot logo to let users feel inviting. The logo generating was an exciting moment for my branding processes, with lots of paper sketching and experiment going, my final version was selected to represent my brand.
Logo Generation

See The Final Product

After reiteration from usability testing, I put all the UI pieces together in my wireframes. I have made my final prototype.

My design is now ready for pet person like Olivia to rely on, no more overwhelming moment when they are seeking for help to take better care of their adored animals.

What I Learned

Usability Testing Is The Key

During the development of the project,I found out usability testing plays the key role to success. The iteration helped me stick with user-centered design, and I realized that the actual user behaviour will never be predictable the way we imagined. Therefore, each round of testing and iteration is essential to validate the implementation.

Think The Feature Prioritization

From the test result, I also learned that during design we need to consider the user frequency and the importance of features which would help me to prioritize them. With this in mind, I can optimize my wireframes to improve the user experience and better convey the concept to the user.
This capstone project has been a super challenging and most rewarding challenge to me. Can not be more incredible to see my growth, and I'm proud of my work that complete in such a short amount of time.  I am grateful for the lessons I've learned from BrainStation, this experience will be my start journey as a UX/UI design.
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