pawrks

OVERVIEW

pawrks is a mobile application designed to help dog owners find the ideal dog park and create a social community for their dogs and other dog owners in an instant.

This is a project created in a design sprint that continues to be developed to better the mobile application design, as well as an addition of a web interface component.

ROLE

UX / UI Designer

Sketching, Wireframing, UI, Prototyping

Timeline – 2 weeks

Tools – Figma, Photoshop

The Challenge

Lack of connection and community

  • Users do not have access to accurate information about the condition and amenities of a dog park.
 
  • Users do not have access to the amount of visitors at the dog park ahead of their visit.
 
  • Users would like parks to be more social for humans, as they are for dogs.

The High - Level Goal

Design a platform to create connections

  • Allow users to filter through key amenities to find their ideal dog park based on their preferred fixed or current location.
 
  • Provide a check-in for users to keep a live count of current users at the selected location.
 
  • Create user profile and message feature to create community and communication between users.

Outcomes

Create a direct and welcoming social community for dog owners and their dogs to find their ideal dog park.

By allowing users to have immediate interaction with the interface, it prioritizes the user’s need to explore the mobile platform to achieve tasks clearly and successfully.

Custom Filter

Allow users to filter through key amenities to find their ideal dog park based on their preferred location.

After searching for dog parks near the user, they are able to filter their search by key amenities to customize their results. Providing the user with an efficient method to find their best result based on their preferences.

Live Check-In

Provide a check-in for users to keep a live count of current users at the selected location.

Users can check-in to keep an accurate count at the selected location and for users to see which user profiles have checked-in. Providing users with insights on check-in activity to find the best time to go based on amount of users.

Community Feed

Create user profile and messaging feature to create a community and communication between users.

Users can view other user profiles and its’ contents, as well as message or friend request them. Providing the user with the ability to create communication and community between them.

Design Process

Discovery

In order to understand the target audience, I conducted an initial interview with the client about key demographics, challenges, and understanding of user’s preferred media channels and content. This was the initial base of user research based on the client’s knowledge and understanding to analyze the findings based on the client interview.

Findings and Personas

1. Key Demographics

Age Range: 23-28
Gender: Male
Common Job Titles: Tech Engineer, Startup Workers
Values: time with their pet and time with their friendships Likes to: socialize and meet other dogs to feature them on social media platforms
Wants to: find compatible dogs for their dogs to socialize with on a regular basis

2. Challenges

  • Don’t have a platform to engage with other dog owners.
  • Don’t have accurate and updated park information.

3. Preferred Channels + Content

Email, Phone: texts, email or social media
Social Media Platforms: instagram, facebook, youtube
Preferred Content: videos over reading, but will read minimal amount of information

Sketching It Out

Once the problem was understood and mapped out, the focus was shifted on sketching solutions to address the problem using The Four Step Sketch.

Based on the sketching sessions, the following key user features were identified to create the main screens.

1. Notes - Key Info

2. Doodles - Ideas

3. User Story - Scenario

4. Solution Sketches - Details

Define

To brainstorm features for the mobile platform, How Might We’s were created to help develop the sketches and future digital wireframes.

How might we help Sam find and customize specific amenities?

  • Create specific icons for amenities that users can become familiar with.
  • Provide an interactive filter to highlight what the user is searching for.

How might we help Sam be aware of occupants at locations?

  • Provide a check-in function for users to view who is using the location.
  • Allow users to look at profiles and understand other users at specific locations.

How might we help Taylor have interactions with other users?

  • Provide a check-in function for users to view who is using the location.
  • Allow users to look at profiles and understand other users at specific locations.

Ideation

User Flows

The main point of the flow is to ensure that the functionality is always visible to the user, but not in an obstructive way.  The search bar is at the center of the screen, for instant recognition and usage. It’s only a tap away, but still not intrusive to the user.

Wireframes

The wireframes were designed to build the structure and architecture of the information only and then go to visual and interactions.

Onboarding to Landing

Search and Filter Through Results

View User Profile and Message

Validation

User Testing

This was conducted on a high-fidelity prototype on a mobile phone to see how users would complete certain tasks once they were given some context. The goal was to identify pain points that could be improved in future iterations. Tasks tested for:

  1. Search and scroll through search results.
  2. Filter results after search.
  3. Check-In at a dog park.
  4. View profile and message user.

Participant Profiles

Name       Age     Gender      Education      Profession

Cristina      25            F             Bachelor’s        Lab Tech

Daniel         24           M            Bachelor’s        Architect

Victor          29           M             Master’s           Teacher

Anna           35           F              Master’s            Barista

GOALS

  1. Test product concept with target audience.
  2. Reveal points of friction and confusing experiences.
  3. Identify bugs and issues with the product.

Participant Profiles

 Name       Age         Gender       Education      Profession

Cristina       25                F              Bachelor’s        Lab Tech

Daniel         24                M             Bachelor’s        Architect

Victor          29                M               Master’s          Teacher

Anna           35                F                Master’s           Barista

Participant Profiles

Name  Age Gender  Education  Profession

Cristina 25        F         Bachelor’s   Lab Tech

Daniel    24        M       Bachelor’s   Architect

Victor     29        M         Master’s     Teacher

Anna      35        F          Master’s      Barista

The main takeaways from these methods are:

The main takeaways from these methods are:

Users enjoy viewing live interactions, such as check-ins to feel a part of it

Users enjoy filtering their searched results for more personalization

Users enjoy the ability to view profiles and message them freely as they choose

Results

By decreasing the number of taps for action, but increasing to personalize and highlight visual cues, users are able to understand key features better and have access to accurate information and community building.

The Challenge

Lack of connection and community

The High - Level Goal

Design a platform to create connections

Takeaways + Next Steps

Some key takeaways from this projects are:
  • Focus on building an MVP. In a sprint, there is only so much time and effort you can invest, so it is important to focus on the features that can deliver the highest value for your users.
  • Focus on the problem. It is your users pains that you will be solving for so keeping that in mind at all times is essential, as it is easy to lose sight of this when you’re part of other tasks through the day.

Measuring success

I would gauge how successful the design is through the following weekly / monthly activities:

1. Accounts created
2. User check-ins
3. Parks favorited

Keep testing to improve usability

The next goal is to keep testing and developing to create a market for this product and for user’s to fully understand the value proposition. 

Create events feature - Emphasize Community

Based on the usability testing, users would like to see an “Events” feature, where users can post about upcoming events near the area to emphasize a community feed within the platform. 

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