Dog Days: a dog playdate app

UI/UX, Brand

For my Interaction Design 1 class at Northeastern, our main project throughout the semester was to create an app of our choosing. We were charged with going through the full process of researching and interviewing stakeholders and putting our knowledge to the test in high fidelity prototypes of our very own apps.




concept & research

As the mom of an energetic pup who loves other dogs, and as a student who doesn't always have time to make it out to the dog park, I decided to tackle the problem of conveniently finding friends for your dog. While the concept changed, I initially pitched it as "tinder for dogs".

I held informal interviews with other dog owners around Boston as well as in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I determined that the most commonly occurring concerns and overarching themes were who, when, and where.

I broke these themes down in depth in a theme mapping/diagramming activity. This highlighted responses to the interviews while also using my own experience and knowledge to guide my creation of the app.



low-fidelity prototyping

After organizing my research, I began thinking more specifically about the required functionality and overall structure of the site. I made a rough sitemap which highlighted this before moving on to wireframes.

     

With these wireframes I was able to usertest with other designers in my class to make sure all of my choices made sense, especially concerning the matchmaking/search options. I was able to narrow down some of the options and make the matching/searching experience a lot smoother by removing clunky text and letting fewer words speak louder.


branding

Because this was an interaction design class, we did not spend much time on overall branding. Still, I knew the app I was creating was fun and cute, much like dogs themselves, so I highlighted the light-heartedness of a dog matchmaking app with bright colors and cute illustrations via thenounproject. I chose the san serif font Lato because it was sleek with an edge of playfulness. I also created a design system of font sizes, colors, icons, and card styles to work with.


final high fidelity prototype

Applying the UI to the existing wireframes tied together the app beautifully. Above is a simple on-boarding process I created for newcomers to the app to easily understand the process to get started.

My main priority was to make the app feel fun and easy, because being a dog owner can be hard enough, especially if you're a student or working full time.

The partially clickable prototype is available here. The final presentation I gave to my class which goes further into section-by-section design decisions is also available here.