The goal of this project is to design a mobile app for dog care needs, specifically for new dog owners to understand their pet’s needs as they grow. The app will allow owners to learn about their dog's breed, keep a track of training, and find a community.

UX Research
Usability Testing

2 Months


Background and Goals

In 2020, I learned a lot of information on pet care exists and it is not consolidated and difficult to disgest. With the surge of new dog owners, I wanted to create a platform for new and future dog owners to prepare them for the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. When people encounter problems with training their dog, in extreme cases they rehome dog. Other times, people get dogs on an impulse and are completely oblivious to its needs.

My goal is to help new dog owners by consolidating research on topics necessary for them to prepare for a new dog. By providing all care tips and information in one place, users will be better informed to take care of their dogs.


Secondary Research and New Insights


Understanding a dog’s compatibility with one’s life and access to correct information could support owners in monitoring the wellbeing of their dogs.


The importance of the decision-making processes should include: how large a family is, income, economic status, resources, time, energy, and commitment needed.


Dog Care Enclycopedia’s reviews show that users want more specific information to care for their dogs.


YouTube Videos

Puppies grow fast and require a lot of attention; someone who is not prepared in advance may not be able to meet the needs of their pet.


What methods can we use to understand our audience?

We used surveys to help justify our assumptions and claims. The target audience was new dog owners (dog acquired within 1 year), long-time dog owners (has owned a dog for longer than a year) and future dog owners (going to own a dog within a year).

Conducted over Zoom, participants gave consent and were screened before questions.

  • 7 long term dog owners
  • 2 new dog owners
  • 1  future dog owner

Distributed on Facebook, Instagram, & Reddit - receiving 232 responses.

  • 162 long time dog owners
  • 45 new dog owners
  • 16 future dog owners


What information do the survey results provide?


Evaluating responses to identify relationships


Affinity Map

New dog owners don’t completely understand what they need to know to properly care for their pet.

New dog owners want a simple system that gives them an appropriate breadth of knowledge regarding dog care.

Key Themes from Affinity Map
• Information Overload/Confliction
• Feeding Troubles
• Want for a calm temperament
• Tracking dog’s needs
• Adjusting to a home
• Groomers
• Stores
• Vets


What did we learn from this information?


of survey participants did not have a clear idea of which breed they wanted.

Users would be interested in information that applies to their breed specifically. We caputured where participants would look for this information.


of the participants felt frustrated from researching in preparation.

There is a lot of cognitive overload. Information is rampant but conflicting. Many use sources that are not supported by evidence or expert opinions.


of participants expressed they were unaware of dog's eating complications.

Paw parents struggled with food allergies, finding the right equipment, and food types to ensure their dog ate and stayed healthy.


felt they were unprepared to provide daily stimulation to their dogs.

Owners were surprised to find out that mental stimulation is just as important as physical. Finding new ways was challenging and got expensive quick.


Understanding Pain Points to define User Needs


Developing a Persona

Meet Nancy (a new dog owner), 28 years old and lives in an apartment with her boyfriend. This meets the criteria of living alone and having the need for a companion.


Empathy Map

Nancy was surprised with a puppy from her boyfriend. She's only had the puppy for one day. She didn't get a chance to do any research, or prepare for the puppy’s arrival.


As-Is Scenario

The scenario contains 5 key steps. Within the group, we voted for points of opportunities.


What creative solutions can we come up with?

Needs Statement

1. Nancy needs a way to find a reliable vet so she can provide care for her pet’s health needs.
2. Nancy needs a way to find a pet owners’ community so that she can interact with and learn from other pet owners. 
3. Nancy needs to find a reliable pet store so that she can buy supplies for her pet. 
4. Nancy needs to train her pet so he won’t misbehave while she’s working


Idea Prioritization Grid

Which key features are important and why?
1. Community Space -  Big Bet/Quick Win (Medium feasibility and high impact)
2. Dog training reminders - Big Bet/Quick Win (Medium feasibility and high impact)
3. Map - Big Bet/Quick Win (Medium feasibility and high impact)
4. Supplies Checklist - Quick Win (High feasibility and medium impact)


Turning ideas to sketches and beyond


To-Be Scenario Map


Low-Fi Sketches Usability Testing

Testing with pet owners to see if they can identify the user flow and access features with ease.


Low-Fi Storyboarding

Creating user flows according to analysis of pain points & usability tests.


What does our audience think and feel?


Mid-Fi Mocks & Sequential Storyboard Usability Test

Features that worked

  • Integrated training Calendar
  • Map Carousel to find Groomers, Vets, Store, etc.
  • Curated content of the dog training
  • Reminders for dog training

Things that didn't work

  • Option to input dog breed from drop-in menu: lots of dogs are not pure bred
  • Training feature needs to incorporate more visuals
  • Mapping should allow to search by location
  • Overview of location to include store address and phone number for more information


Designs and Solutions 



Lessons Learned and What I would do Next Time

Pawsh was my first research project and I'm so grateful to have worked with Leigh-Ann, Monty, and Usama. Together, we went through a lot hurdles and came with such an amazing experience! I'm really proud of us <3.

📣 Communicate! Communicate!
Communication is very important in remote settings. For future design projects, I realized it is important to check in with the client/other stakeholders so that as designers we can be on the same page as them and understand what the goals are as they evolve.

✍🏼 Stay Organized & Know My Audience
Presenting work with knowlege of the right terms can make a big impact on the audience. It's important for me to have artifacts organized in a way that is legible and organized for all stakeholders to understand.

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