at a glance

Three mockup screens of the Perfect Paws App


Me, myself and I


UX Researcher, Visual Designer


Figma, Miro, Maze, Adobe Illustrator


Aug - Sep 2021 (8 weeks)



Pets are human best friends. However, roughly 6.5 million abandoned animals enter shelters and foster each year in the U.S., but only half of them are adopted. Besides, adopted pets are sent back to shelters with an adoption return rate of about 8-10% of all adoptions (AHS).

| Pet Adoption Statistics for 2021 by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals |

The problem

Although millions of animals need homes, it is hard to adopt one. With so many animals to choose from, it is challenging to find the right companion.

The solution

With these pain points in mind, I designed Perfect Paw, a pet adoption app, to help adopters connect with a pet that matches their desires and lifestyle.


If this solution is successful, we'll see:

  • an improvement in the overpopulation in shelters and foster
  • an increase in the successful adoption rate
  • a decrease in the percentage of adoption returned rate




Trait matching

  • The trait matching feature helps match the pet profiles to users' desired traits, so users don't need help from the shelter workers to find their matched pets.

Playday Scheduling

  • The play-day scheduling feature helps users track pets' availability and request dates & times to meet up.

Design thinking framework

This is how I came up with the solutions, let me walk you through.



Competitive Analysis
User Interview & Survey
Affinity Map



User Persona
User Journey
Problem Statement
Brainstorming Feature





prototype & test

Usability Testing
High-Fidelity Prototype
Affinity Map
Final Prototype

01. empathize

Understand the market & users

User Research

  1. Gain insight into people's experiences with pet rescue or their honest thoughts in the adoption process.
  2. Understand users' needs from an online pet adopting app.
I interviewed 5 people who either have a pet and recently looking for a pet, asking about their experience with the pet adoption process. I pulled the highlights from the interview transcript onto sticky notes and organized them into an Affinity Map. I then grouped my findings into different categories to reflect the needs and pain points of the participants.
Affinity Map for Perfect Paws App
Key findings
  • The most common reasons that make adopters rejected are their environment and lifestyle.
  • Three participants expressed the frustration of long waiting for the response for their application from shelters (2-4 weeks of waiting).
  • 75% of first-time adopters do not have enough knowledge of what their pet will need once it gets home with them.
  • 60% of participants value about the pet's characters over their breed or demographics (40%).

competitive analysis

Petfinder is the top competitor within the pet adoption app community.
  • Users can find the pet based on their preferences.
  • The result isn't updated frequently. It shows some posts that are from 2-5 years ago.


Concreting the problems

User PERsona

Based on my research, I found that users generally had mixed feelings and experiences about the pet adoption/rescue process. With an understanding of the users, I analyzed and synthesized/the research data and came up with personas of different types of users for the app. And I decided to focus on Sarah and John, a first-time adopter and a second-time pet owner, to put my ideation efforts.

User Persona 01 for Perfect Paws appUser Persona 02 for Perfect Paws app


With the user journey, persona, and insights from the research stage, I generated a series of How Might We questions to fuel my process for a solution brainstorming session later on.

  • How might we design a system that allows users to easily find, match and schedule to meet animals from shelters?


Next, I started the brainstorming stage with the listed How Might We questions. I spent 2-3 minutes brainstorming the solutions for each problem to develop as many solutions as possible. Then, I arranged all the ideas into a 2x2 feature prioritization matrix to rank the level of effort and value. This helps to communicate with stakeholders in terms of the priority of product development.

Identified Missions
  1. A realistic MVP must balance our product's usability, quality, and affordability.
  2. Present a simple and straightforward survey for adopters.
  3. Help users match with the pet based on their desires and lifestyle.
2x2 Feature Prioritization Matrix

03. ideate

generating solutions to the problems


After deciding what features to include, I created a site map to define the overall content structure of the Perfect Paws app. The goal is to make a logical and easy route for users to navigate while shying them away from being overwhelmed when my persona is in the mood for looking a pet for adoption
and doesn't want to waste time to obtain the goals.

User Flow for Perfect Paws app

Wireframing & Prototype

I created a wire flow to represent the layout of the pages in tandem with communicating ideas regarding interaction design and user workflows. These designs focused on social interaction, recommendations, and privacy settings to help users stay engaged with their loved ones within the app and have complete control over their activities.

Wireframing and Prototype for Perfect Paws app

Wireframe & prototype

04. Prototype & Test

Usability Testing

With the initial prototype ready, I then drafted an early usability test plan by defining the core tasks for users to complete, and questions for them during the testing process through Maze.

I used Maze to create 4 Tester paths to test with 7 users:

  • 42.9% of people had trouble in the Sign-up and they gave up on this step.
  • Easy to finish the trait matching quiz (100% success).
  • 100% success in making an appointment to meet their pet, but only 71.4% of testers completed the mission via the expected path(s). The rest is an unexpected success (28.6%).


Users are easily confused between "sign up" and sign in."

➡️ Arrange the "Sign-up" and "Sign-in" buttons equally. Change Sign-in to Log-in. Using different verbs, colors, and styles helps the user make fewer mistakes.

On the Sign-up task, testers can't go back if they mistakenly click the Login button.

➡️ Add a sentence "Don't have an account? Sign up". Then, users can click it to sign-up for an account. Vice versa, add a sentence "Already have an account? Login", so users can go back to the login page.

Wireframe testing helped my design evolve in a way that made it more usable and functional. It helps me find the errors early in the process, which saves me time and energy for building high-fidelity.

High-fidelity for Perfect Paws app

Wanna say hey?

If you’d like to talk about a project, collaboration, or just to say hello over coffee, please feel free to drop me a line here or email me at
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