Objective: Design the user experience for an iPhone app that connects pet owners with certified experts.
Role: Sole UX Designer
Pet owners need a way to get expert help on many different topics quickly, since doing an online search for help can be time consuming and the information is not always reliable. Pet owners are not always able to visit their veterinarians for issues, and sometimes an in-person visit isn’t necessary. This case study explores the process involved in researching and implementing the UX design for an easy-to-use app that provides pet owners with access to pet experts that are certified in their fields.
Surveys and Interviews
Surveys and interviews were conducted to get a more in-depth understanding of pet owner’s needs, wants, and goals. In total, three interviews were performed, and 17 participants were surveyed. Below are the insights gained.
Behaviours, Attitudes, and Goals
Pet owners care not only about their pet’s health, but also seek answers for behaviour and training issues.
Pet owners would consider paying for reliable help from certified experts, instead of the conflicting and sometimes incomplete information they find online.
Sometimes traveling to a veterinarian is difficult and not necessary in non-emergency situations.
Pet owners want convenient ways to communicate with certified experts such as video chatting, texting.
Pet owners want a “one-stop” shop for all pet related needs where they can not only find expert help but also other relevant information about their pets and store it in one place.
Taking these insights from the surveys and interviews, two personas were created to to stay focused on who the users are throughout the design process. Various needs, behaviours, and frustrations were selected from each of the interviewees, whose ages were between 35-48 years old.
Based on the research up to this point, as well as the personas and user journey created, the following opportunities were identified for the app.
Free articles/tips written by certified experts
Search feature to find general pet information relating to behaviour issues
Users can create pet profiles where they can save articles they found in the app
Create a user’s reviews/ratings section
Make video chatting an optional communication method
Provide proof of expert certification
A closed digital card sort analysis was conducted that consisted of 3 categories and 19 cards to sort; this gave a better idea of where users expected to find information within the app.
IA and Site Map
Using the results from the card sort helped create the information architecture to organise the app’s content. From there, the sitemap was created, keeping the navigation simple.
Usability and Peer Testing
The prototype was tested with six individuals; four peers reviewed it as well. Some of the insights gleaned from the results included:
The "Narrow Search" button title may not be the right phrasing
Similar buttons makes it harder for users to know what the CTA is
Text is floating there [in the article list] without any grounding elements
Both suggestions from peers and the results of user testing were used to iterate on the the original prototype. Below, a glimpse of some changes between the original design (on the left) and the updated version (on the right).