Dogstay
2016
Side project; a tailored dog boarding experience

Elevator pitch

Every year thousands of dog owners travel for business and pleasure, and need a place for their dog to stay while they're away. DogStay helps dog owners find a home which matches their preferences, considering factors including lifestyle, type of accommodation, and available services such as dog park visits, grooming, dog massages, and more.

User journey mapping and sketching

Mapping out the typical customer journey helped me to understand the particular pain points customers experience, and how I can best solve these problems. As a busy dog owner who has used multiple dog boarding services for over five years, I had my own personal experience to draw from. I also drew from experiences written on online forums and family and friends.

For each touchpoint along the customer journey, I wrote down potential painpoints and possible solutions (both tech and non-tech). After defining the user goals, listing assumptions, mapping the typical customer journey, I was ready to sketch.

customer journey ideal journey

Wireframes

I considered how best the app could match dog boarding services with particular dogs and their families. If signed in and the profile information is filled out, the app could match the user with particular dog boarders based on a number of factors such as energy-level, type of accommodation, availability, and experience.

Signed in user, booking based on compatibility

wireframe profile
wireframe filters

Mockups

Rosanna, booking a boarding service for her dog Priscilla

mockup journey
mockup new message

Prototype

Here's a Framer prototype showing how the user flow, from scanning for potential dog boarders to requesting a booking.

Next steps

Here are a few ideas of what I'd do next for DogStay:

I. DogStay delegates; receiving updates

I'd like to explore the idea of a DogStay "delegate"; a person other than the dog boarder who receives information about the dog while the dog owner is away, such as pictures or video of the dog's experiences during their DogStay. The dog owner vacationing can be comforted knowing that a 'delegate' is receiving information about their furry loved one.

II. Location context

One benefit of using DogStay is that the person boarding the dog picks up and drops the dog off wherever it's convenient for the dog owner. But is it near good dog parks? Is it near her dog's vet? Is it going to be safe? Some of this assumption comes from reading AirBnB's design research in location context for neighborhood search. A feature to explore would be for the dog owner to look at a map and see how compatible each area is for her specific dog.

III. Compatibility rating research

DogStay is an app that combines both profile and search filters to find the most compatible experience for their dog. But this means that dog owners would have to provide a decent amount of information about their dog and themselves in their profile so that DogStay could provide better recommendations. Are dog owners willing to provide more information? I would like to explore this further.

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