The perfect pet for you and your lifestyle is just a click away.

 

Finding Your Match

Imagine browsing options fully tailored to you and your needs when adopting a pet. If you've adopted a pet online before, you understand how much of a back and forth game it can be. With ResQueue, it's easy.

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We ask users a series of questions to see what exactly what they're looking for in a pet.

What energy level are you wanting in a pet?

Are you looking for a cardio companion?

How smart would you like your pet to be?

Filling out a detailed series of questions not only matches the user with their best pet candidates, but also makes submitting an adoption application feasible at any time. Personal, lifestyle, and preferential information is saved and used as a digital adoption application whenever they apply to adopt.

 

User Research

According to 2014 report by PetSmart Charities, almost half of people who are looking to adopt are very uneducated when it comes to proper pet care. The report says 40% of all people looking to adopt a pet don’t do anything to prepare beforehand. Among cat parents, the number of people who did nothing was even higher at 48%. 

Additionally, 27% of people don’t even consider cats as an option. Sadly, this can often lead to adopting a dog that is later surrendered because it doesn’t match the owner’s lifestyle. I’m not going try to tell you that cats are better than dogs, but it certainly sounds like some of these short-term owners opinion's on pet type are very uneducated.

Regardless of personal preference, I noticed a large pain-point during the adoption process is a general misunderstanding of types of pets, both species and breed differences, whether people know it or not.

Another pain-point is a lack of awareness of different types of rescue groups across the country. About 34% of people adopting say they want a purebred animal and 36% of people say their local shelter didn’t have the type of dog/cat they were looking for. However, there are breed-specific rescue groups for even the most niche breeds of domestic animals all over the country.

According to the Animal Humane Society’s June 2015 Report to the Community, pet adoption rates are increasing every year. The AHS’s report also said their euthanasia rates have dropped to half of what they were in the last decade; although, this isn’t reflective of every shelter.

What This Means:

The problem isn’t people not wanting to adopt animals from shelters. The problem is a general misconception of differences between species or breeds and a lack of visibility of shelters matching their needs.

 

 

Which one is right for me?

Finding the right pet for you can be difficult. 

Just like us, every animal has a unique personality, making adopting a pet a grab bag of results. Shelters often have little information on the background of their animals, making personalities difficult to decipher. While we may not have specific insight into an animal's learned demeanor, we can allude a lot based on their species, age, and breed. These classifications contain a lot of information about the type of pet they'll be, which is why ResQueue pulls these traits out to help users understand the adoption landscape.

While the algorithm connecting an Australian Shepard's age to energy level and obedience would be invisible to the users, this app would provide a percentage based score on how well a user matches with the animal they're viewing.

 

 

 

 

User Types

While it's hard to pinpoint the exact type of people who want to adopt a pet, there are 3 demographics that stand out among the rest. 

Single Adults tend to be the most open with their choice of pet. While they're the leading persona to adopt high-energy pets, Single Adults don't discriminate and adopt pets with personalities matching their lifestyle. They are the most likely to own pets out of the 3 user types.

Adults with Children are the leaders in adopting newborn and young pets. These adults are already in the mindset to nurture, so they're more prone to continue that with puppies, kittens, and the like.

Older Adults aren't looking for high-energy animals - been there, done that. Because of this, they're one of the most important demographics in pet adoptions. Leading in adopting low-energy animals age 3 and up, they're the reason many older animals survive. Animals age 2 and under have a much higher rate of getting adopted than their 3 and up counterparts. Lower energy and lower independence make older animals the perfect match for Older Adults. 

 

 

User Flow

When deciding the flow, I realized that regardless of user type, their main journey will be the same. Because of this, the flow focuses on unregistered and registered users rather than the 3 user types.

One assumption I had was that Single Adults would be more inclined to submit multiple adoption applications. This assumption is based on how the same age group uses online dating applications like Tinder and OkCupid. With endless dating options, these users are playing the field and talking to many potential matches; I feel it's safe to say this could easily play into other facets of their digital lives. To prepare for this use case, I designed the experience to allow for multiple pending applications that are always accessible in a primary menu page.

Wireframes

The wireframes are laid out to mimic the natural flow of the app, with additional screens to account for different use cases.

Users can sign up with Google to autofill any information saved in their Google account when asked for it in the app. This also allows users to access their in-app messages from any Google Hangout experience, on any device.

 

Design

When designing I wanted to maintain a light design that's easy to look at. Adopting a pet can be stressful enough - the UI should help take away from that.

Most animal shelters don’t have the time or resources to take high quality photos of their animals. To help photos with poor lighting and color, I added a 10% opacity gradient from #E6E4F5 to #EBF8FF to #F5FCEA diagonally across all photos in the app. This is a non-obtrusive way to make potentially dreary photos look much better. These pets just want to be adopted and we don’t want any of them to be overlooked due to poor photo lighting.

The color of the percent match square is a result of overlaying the opacity of a pet's energy, obedience, & independence scores together and brightening the result. E.G. - In Denise's chart, she has roughly 65% Energy, 93% Obedience, and 50% Independence. I overlaid 65% opacity of #E6E4F5 (the Energy purple) on 93% of Obedience and 50% of Independence's colors to create the color filling the 87% match box.

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Scaling to Something Bigger

What would be next for ResQueue? I think a great next step would be to focus on the users who are unsure if they can handle having a pet. Fortunately, most shelters allow (and love) when people foster pets before adopting to get a sense of what they can and can't handle as an animal parent. It not only helps free up space in the shelter, but helps eliminate unplanned adoption returns. In ResQueue 2.0, I would suggest adding fostering as a feature.

But once I started thinking about monetizing ResQueue, the concept of fostering could be even bigger. Along with ResQueue 2.0, we could launch a sister app from the same family called “Sit! by ResQueue” that focuses on fostering pets. Users who are interested in fostering can foster pets seamlessly through the app. If a user fosters pets for 21 days total (days can be broken up into sessions with multiple animals), their adoption fee would be free.

Don’t worry, we’re actually making more money this way. The animals that these users are fostering aren’t from a shelter - they’re pet owners in need of a pet sitter. We market to animal lovers who understand the importance of animal shelters and give them a reduced rate of $25 a day to board their pet in someone else’s home. All sitters undergo a background check and home visit to make sure pets will be in safe and healthy conditions while the owners are away. The average pet boarding company charges $40 per day. Not only do the owners feel good about helping somebody get ready to own a pet, but they get a $15 dollar discount on top of it. The $25 a day fee goes directly towards ResQueue and the shelters it supports.

 

In Conclusion

I wish I had this app two months ago when I adopted my cat Jiggy (seen in screen 4.0). The whole process would have been much smoother.

I think this would alleviate a lot of stress for people looking to adopt a pet, as well as the individuals who devote so much time to rescuing animals. I'm sure the animals would like it too.