DOGGIES IN TOWN
Dog-owners struggle to spend more time with their best friends and part of the problem is the fact that it is hard to find places that will accept our canine friends.
Doggies in Town is a mobile app designed to help dog-owners to easily find dog-friendly places, services and activities.
As a UX/UI group project, we were contacted by Doggies in Town to create an app for dog owners in where they could easily find dog friendly places, events, discounts, activities and dog services.
Our job was to deliver a research report, user personas, onboarding and search process user flows, develop a visual identity and a high fidelity prototype.
Curated lists highlighting everyone’s favorite spots to go with your dog. From places to enjoy a fancy meal to the best hotels in town.
There are around 20 million pets in Spain, with around half of all households providing a home to at least one animal: dogs make up the majority (around 5.4 million) followed by cats (3.8 million).
And this pet population is rising hand in hand with the sector that is growing to meet their needs – last year it was worth around €2.2 billion, and it is increasing at around 5% annually.
Dogs have become real family members. In 2018, 24% of Spanish households had a dog, directly impacting the way their owners go on about their routines.
This field of research aims at improving the usability of the future product, service, or process by incorporating observational research methods to guide the design, development, and refinement of the app.
To better understand dog-owners' behaviors, needs, and motivations we conducted personal interviews and online surveys.
Dog-owners have a hard time integrating their dogs into their routine resulting in little time spent together.
Information online about dog-friendly places is neither accurate nor reliable.
And it always needs to be double checked.
90% of interviewees choose to spend their holidays with their dogs. All of them struggle to find dog-friendly places.
USE CASES & USER PERSONAS
During the research we identified a variety of users with different scenarios and tasks to accomplish. We considered all.
A use case is a written description of how users will perform tasks on our product. It outlines, from a user’s point of view, a system’s behavior as it responds to a request. Each use case is represented as a sequence of simple steps, beginning with a user's goal and ending when that goal is fulfilled.
Marc is living in Barcelona and looking to visit his family in Madrid. He's bringing his dog, so he's planning ahead and searching for a dog-friendly restaurants that are also gluten-free.
Gabriella has the weekend off and wants to spend her Sunday out with her dog.
She isn't quite sure where to go and is just looking for something to do in the city.
Melanie just came home from a long day's work and is craving some Vietnamese food. She hasn't spent time with her dog all day and wants to take him out but she isn't sure which places allow dogs.
Dog-owners need an easier way to find dog-friendly places, services and activities so that they can spend more quality time with their dogs.
Every pet is unique
Users might be going across the street or across the country. Some might have a Chihuahua, but others might have a Great Dane. It's hard to find more detailed information.
The reviews found online are not directly correlated with the experience with their dogs.
What to do. Where to go.
No Knowledge of things to do with a dog when users are on holidays or in an unknown location.
Provide upfront information
Users need detailed information about dog-friendly places and services, as well as a direct contact to them, in case there is missing information to accurately plan their activities.
Provide direct access to reviews given by other dog-owners about dog-friendly places.
Create clear and intuitive design
Provide maps on how to get to dog-friendly places, as well as recommendations of things to do.
A comparison for already existing dog-friendly apps as well as online marketplace platforms was done to help with the visualization of the features that should be included in the design.
Moreover, this analysis highlighted points that were not being covered or that could be combined into one design to create a differentiated product.
Choosing the right features to build means prioritizing from the long list of good ideas provided by the company for what’s most important, realistic, and urgent now. To be successful, prioritization can’t be personal, so we chose what we think is the right features for our company’s strategy and goals.
We used two different methods to define a set of potential features:
Users Value vs. Business Value — The 2x2 matrix.
The MoSCoW method helped us prioritize product features into four unambiguous buckets (must, should, could, would) in conjunction with fixed timeframes.
Considered “out of scope”
Not vital but are essential for the overall success
Desirable, but not critical
Products that start with a conceptual model have bigger chances of remaining consistent as they evolve and as new features are added. Creative concepts act as a north star to align everyone in the team in regards to how the product should evolve.
We first started to think of some attributes that would better describe the product to help us define the look and feel of it: accessible, friendly and resourceful.
Taking the hex code (#00CA9D) provided by the company, we created a green monochromatic color palette adding a dominant yellow to highlight important information and CTA buttons.
wireframes & rapid prototyping
With our three key solution ideas in mind, we created rough wireframes in Sketch of our screens. Because it was so important to make sure users could accurately use our design to find dog-friendly places, we wanted to get a prototype in the hands of users ASAP. We printed out our wireframes and conducted the first round of testing with a paper prototype - a fast way to create a flexible, functional digital test. This lead to two important learnings and improvements.
1 .DISCOUNTS FEELS MISPLACED
After 20 usability tests, we concluded that users felt that discounts took away the importance of actually finding a place and that it felt misplaced.
We felt the need to reprioritise features and concluded that for a first MVP, where the goal is to onboard as many new users as possible, offering a discount section where they had to sign up would represent a barrier. Users are mainly looking to get information about dog-friendly business, so they should be able to do as fast as possible.
2 .why filters are so hidden?
Users had trouble understanding the flow to get to final results. Some typed their desired searches direclty on the search bar and some went on to find more information in the burger menu. The overall feeling was that it took too long to reach the expected outcome.
Through the insights we gathered, we decided to test adding filters and categories on the first view, so that users would find the results right away and in a more intuitive way.
To assess users' attitudes toward aesthetics and visual appeal, we conducted a desirability testing session where we gave 10 participants a selection of terms both negative and positive to select from. They had to match 3 terms with the screen they were being presented.
"It feels I have already used this app before."
"It is clean design and the colors make it look very friendly and accessible"
"Feels straight forward and does what it needs to do."
"It would save me so much time to have all the information in a single app"
Filtered Map View
Detailed Business Info
Leave a Review
Book a Room
To ensure the frequent use of the app, instead of the competition of Google Maps, the MVP should offer no barrier to get to the final results and should provide accurate and reliable information about the businesses. It should also take into consideration that to access user's behaviours, such as interests, there is no need to make them create an account.
- Reviews can be imported from bigger sources, such as Google reviews.
- Recommendation can be given without interests selected by the user.
Favorites can be saved without an account.
Once there are enough users in the app, the interactions can be further explored. At this stage, it would make sense to add an account, so that reviews are given directly from the app, especially if the "book a room" option becomes available.
- Users will only pay for a service that they are comfortable and familiar with. Freemiums are a common practice to lure new users in: Spotify, Netflix, etc.
Generate a viable revenue source by converting standard users into premium users by offering them more tailored recommendations and the possibility to access and organize events.