PawPal Native App for Dog Owners

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
PawPal is a native mobile app for dog owners. It helps users find local dog friendly locations like dog parks, trails, pet friendly stores, lodging, restaurants and services. It also features helpful reviews, maps and general information like store hours and contact information.

MY ROLE
I was responsible for the User Interface Design, including competitive market research, user flows and testing, wireframing, prototypes and finished interface design.

PURPOSE & CONTEXT
This was a Course Project focused on the distinction between iOS and Android native apps, which each rely heavily on Material Design and Human Interface Design guidelines. I chose to create a pet service app because I am a dog owner who understands the frustration of accommodating my pet on the go.

OBJECTIVE
Dog owners want to spend time outside of the house with their four-legged best friends. But not every place is dog friendly, and that can be a frustrating hassle to navigate.

But so many restaurants, hotels and retail stores around town will accommodate your pet. Dog owners just need to know where to look. PawPal now makes it possible to look up the highest rated destinations for you to reliably take your furry family member.

Anytime dog owners want to take their dog with them to public places, this reliable on-the-go app will indeed serve as their other best friend.

MY APPROACH
This project began by identifying the scope of the project, and then conducting a competitive analysis of similar apps in the market. I then identified some key features I wanted to include. At the same time, I had to identify some key distinctions between the iOS and Android versions I was to design for.

USER STORIES & FLOW
Next, I developed a set of User Stories that broke down the steps necessary to complete each hypothetical user task that created an intuitive User Flow I could use to guide my wireframe process.

LOW FIDELITY WIREFRAMES
I then started with pencil and paper and sketched out several Low-Fidelity Wireframes for both iOS and Android versions of the app. Along the way I identified useful patterns and solutions from other apps that I could incorporate into the function of this app.

MID FIDELITY WIREFRAMES
Once I had a pretty solid plan in place with my Lo-Fi Wireframes I digitized them in Sketch, taking care to adhere to Human Interface and Material Design Guidelines.

ICONOGRAPHY
Here I decided that iconography would be an important factor with this app as there are many destination categories, so I crafted several icons that could represent destinations, as well as interface categories.

HIGH FIDELITY WIREFRAMES
Once I had a clear vision for the look and feel of the app, I began populating the UI with Photos, Type and Color to create the final High-Fidelity Wireframes.

PROTOTYPING
Next I created a comprehensive Prototype for each platform and tested them on 5 different users, from both iOS and Android backgrounds, and made adjustments based upon their feedback and suggestions.

FINAL RESULTS
The result is a final User Interface Design that meets the needs of users looking to find local dog friendly locations like lodging, restaurants, dog parks, trails, pet friendly stores and services, and who can share their photos, reviews and overall experiences with other like-minded dog owners.

RETROSPECT
The biggest challenge I encountered was implementing the Material Design and Human Interface differences. It was really difficult to get the Android perspective from existing apps, seeing as how I only had an iPhone to work with, but the feedback I received from other Android users (and even iOS users) helped clue me into some blind spots I had.

LINKS
iOS Prototype: https://www.sketch.com/s/33d3b902-2c6b-4e14-83bc-ecd3073d6b82/a/522Ezv8/play

Android Prototype: https://sketch.cloud/s/9a1c3c2b-a76e-4e04-9d36-2e6e23f980fe

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