Hitch

Branding | Research | UX & UI | Responsive Web | App Concept

 

Project Background

Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. In 2016, it was estimated that there were more than 24 million pets in Australia. About 62% of Australian households own pets. 13% of Australian households are planning to get a pet in the next 12 months. Pets were a normal part of childhood for more than 83% of Australians. Of the Australians who do not currently own a pet, 59% would like to do so in the future.

However, more than a quarter of a million healthy but unwanted cats and dogs are killed in Australian municipal pounds every year because there are not enough homes for them. Those are a lot of pets! Breeders don’t help on this, every time someone purchases a puppy or kitten from a breeder instead of adopting them, it increases the chances of animals being euthanized. 

 

Hitch wants to change this. 

Project Goal

By partnering with No-kill shelters all over the country — Hitch wants to create a platform dedicated to No-kill shelters to upload animal information, connect with volunteers and animal carers, while the public can easily search for available animals in any No-kill shelter close to them (or not). Awareness and discoverability are the primary things Hitch wants to address. It is important to make the adoption process transparent, direct, and simpleIn a hope to achieve zero euthanasia of healthy and treatable animals.  

My Role

Working as a sole designer for this project, my tasks involved conducting market & user research, map out the user journey, identity design, UX design, and prototyping a responsive UI for desktop, tablet, as well as a mobile web app. 

Define Problems & Provisional Persona 

A critical component of our design process is identifying the target customer persona through Market research and User interviews. This allows us to fine-tune content that speaks directly to potential audience segments with specific priorities, mindset, and needs. During the 1-on-1 user interviews, I spoke to 5 people (age 25-39) living in Victoria, Australia who had bought, fostered, or adopted pets within the past 5 years; and people who are planning or consider having a pet in the next 12 months. I learned that most people have little to no knowledge about the differences between Traditional shelters v.s. No-kill shelters due to most of the No-kill shelters are not well-known and lack of resources to promo themselves. Nevertheless, a lot of the rescue websites are not mobile-friendly and hard to reach for pets.

Sitemap

The Hitch sitemap was strictly designed to help both users and search engines navigate the site.

User Flow  

According to User Research, most users enter the site through Google search. Therefore, in this User Flow, the persona already knows the type of animal he wants and he wishes to adopt the pet from a "No-kill" shelter. 

Branding & UI Kit  

I wanted to create a friendly and welcoming brand identity for this organization to make it more appealing to the younger market. I chose the royal blue code as the primary color to carry out a sense of trust and stability while having a bright and bold color palette as accents to bring out the playful side of the brand. The font used for the brandmark also emphasizes the vivid and cheerful personality of the brand.

Wireframe  

To provide adopters with an effortless searching and browsing experience, the wireframe is first tested with two different design patterns (see images below). One is "swiping," similar to Tinder, while the other one is "continuous scrolling," similar to Instagram. 4 out of 5 users prefer the "continuous scrolling" style and 5 out of 5 users liked the quick selection buttons at the top. Accordingly, the final screen was created to fulfil the users' preference.

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Usability Test & Findings

There were a total of 5 participants. The task was for them to search for a dog to adopt, and test the overall quality of the navigation and flow. The test was done individually on mobile with the Marvel web app. I sat next to them to observe the progress and asked questions when finished. Below is the summary of feedback: 

  1.  5/5 participants experienced no issue completing the search.

  2.  5/5 participants claimed the UI is relatively simple and the flow is easy to follow.

  3.  Most of the feedback was in reference to specific design considerations, such as the font size used and the use of color.

  4.  2/5 of the interviewees mentioned that the checkout/adoption process. Specifically, in regards to how setting appointments are fulfilled: that it seems incomplete without a confirmation page after appointments are set.

 

High-Fidelity Prototype 

The result is a strategically designed Responsive website that not only fulfills Hitch’s vision to simplify the adoption process but also provides an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. It allows easy reading and navigation without the drudgery of resizing, panning, and scrolling. Creating an easy yet delightful browsing experience that satisfies the users' expectations.

 

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© Renee W. Fok 2020 All human and animal rights carefully reserved and preserved.