Design an experience that will help connect people looking for a new pet with the right companion for them. Help an adopter find a pet which matches their lifestyle. (considering factors including breed, gender, age, temperament, and health status).

Time: 2 Days


Through research and analysis, 2 most important problems emerge:
1. The pet finding process is exhausting.
2. The pets some people adopted didn't match their lifestyles.

How might we help people find pets?

How might we ensure the pets match people's lifestyle?


i. EMpower the search


Choose the kind of pets when first entering the app. Since users won't change their mind about what kind of pets to adopt, the design makes the later browsing more efficient.


Pets are shown in card view to improve the .
Quick filter on top to help users quickly navigate through different dog categories or collections.
Full filter on top right provides more screening options.


Use the left-right column structure to make applying multiple filters more efficient.


Auto-play video shows the pet more vividly.Swipe left or right to go to other pets without returning to the previous list page. Scroll down the page can see detailed information about the pet.Save different pets for comparison



I started with 4 short user interviews and secondary researches to quickly understand the current pet adoption process and pain points.

Finding 1. the adoption process.

About the adjustment after the adoption:
Both adopters and pets need to learn to adjust to the new lives. It is like a relationship. First, you need to find the right one. Then when you guys move in together, you also need to learn how to live with each other .

Finding 2. The pet finding process is exhausting.

When there are too many choices, it is hard to make the decision. For big cities like New York or San Francisco, there is a lot of animal shelters. People don't want to miss out any potentials so they will go to as many animal shelters as possible. But that is a very tiring.
Other people choose to browse online first, which is a great way to do the first round screening. But there isn't a good tool for them to do the browsing.

finding 3. The pets some people adopted didn’t match their lifestyle.

The data is from American Humane Association (2012). The most common reason: unexpected costs, human health issues, destructive behaviors, disobedience, barking...

“1 in 10 of the adopted pets will be returned to animal shelters.”

— American Humane Association, 2012.

map the pain points to the process

I connect the two pain points with the processes that possibly lead to them:

The mismatch of lifestyle is related to all 3 process:

But since people have such great time interacting with pets during the adoption, I decide not to intervene with that.

So the design focus is on the first and the third process - before adoption and after adoption.


BEfore adoption: Factors to be considered when adopting pets…

Breeds, Appearance, Cost, Time & Energy Commitment, Temperament, Pet’s behaviors, Match the family members, People’s Health condition, Pets’ health condition…

Before adoption: THe best way to apply these considerations?

2 possible solutions came into my mind.

Filter Mode
Treat Pets as items.
More efficient to browse different results.What you want.
Tinder Mode
Treat Pets as person.
More emotion. More destiny.  
Reduce the search anxiety.
Who you are.
(algorithm recommend based on who you are)

I choose search filter in the end. Because the Tinder model won’t work here. Tinder has other people over the phone. So it is actually two people together to decide if one date is possible. But when you are looking for pets, the algorithm makes all the decisions based on your features. The recommendation might not be very accurate. And seeing only one pet at a time makes the inaccuracy more unbearable.

AFTER adoption: How to successfully go through the adjustment?

“People who asked for help before returning the pet were more likely to keep the pet.”

— American Humane Association, 2012.

Because the help from others lets people know:
1. It is normal to have problems getting along with newly adopted pets.
2. The problem could be fixed.
3. Provides useful solutions.
So I came up with different level of helping:

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