This is the challenge I have been exploring for the last 11 weeks. It has been an exciting journey talking to owners and testing out my ideas. Here is the process I took, tackling issues dog owners face to build a dedicated app that gives owners the confidence to book a stranger to care for their family member.
Dog owners spend way too much time finding a dog walker/sitter. They don't feel safe handing over their dog when their walker has no qualifications or recommendations.
It was clear from talking with dog owners they wanted to have regular updates, and responsive dog walkers, an easy way to see their ability and to know who they are contacting.
This valuable information was fed into the user flows and ideas.
Now the ideas and creative part. I already had some initial ideas but now we looked at many ways we could help owners trust walkers.
Those ideas now started taking shape. I wanted the app to feel professional to build confidence for the users as well as to be approachable. These qualities lead to a lot of the choices for layout and content. For example, when searching by location I wanted the screen to focus on this task alone and not overwhelm the user with other tasks or options.
Through out this app, I used natural colours and a muted pallet. I loved this approach as it made the app feel approachable and a natural choice for the dog owner to sign up to.
I made a very deliberate choice with the fonts to be bold, clean and modern. There was no fuss. This was to keep the focus on the content and ensure the app came across as professional.
During testing, this was a chance to challenge my ideas and see if they are worth the time and effort. After testing, I realised the navigation was not clear, in fact, it was worse than that, it was confusing. This needed to be addressed, so I changed the design on all the splash screens making the navigation easier to use with an option to skip the intro screens.
Throughout the prototype, bold and crisp photography has been used to emotionally captivate the users.
This was a key question I give a lot of thought to. I know from the research, price, skills and location where key so these are on the cards. Also adding the option to favourite a dog walker lets the user quickly compare and make an informed choice.
The user research highlighted a lack of communication between dog walkers and owners. I wanted to make it easy for both parties to freely talk with an instant response. Making instant communication part of the app experience now gives both the owner and walker the tools needed to stay in touch before, during and after a dog walking service.
Thank you for taking the time to look at this case study. I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did. It would be awesome to hear your feedback, please leave a comment.
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