A thorough user experience research project that begins from A to Z. This is an overhaul of BETA's existing UI/UX that aims to boost the NGO's online presence by conducting user research and heuristic analysis to create a data-informed and a data-driven design approach.
To identify the scope, I needed a basis for it. What if Lebanon didn't care about pet adoption? There were a multitude of questions that needed answering, and those answers would then serve as a basis for this proposal - if it was needed at all. The research can effectively be broken down into three different phases:
- User Use Case Study
After compiling the survey and interview results, I studied the patterns and relationships that were occurring within them. Sure I could have easily pulled the results from the internet and assumed they applied in Lebanon, except there were several local factors that would render them invalid.
The data analysis made it easier to proceed without basing my work on false assumptions.
Based on all the data gathered, two personas were created.
- person26 Years Old
- schoolAmerican University of Beirut
- business_centerSoftware Developer
- location_onBeirut, Lebanon
- homeLives with Family
Jad is a busy body, and works from 9 to 5. He is a yogi and likes to keep healthy. His family recently occasionally showed interest in adopting a dog but they ended up talking themselves out of it because they were unsure of their abilities to care for a dog. Jad's biggest concern about getting a dog is his father's allergies.
- Dog care education.
- Medium-sized dog.
- An easy to care for dog.
- Quiet dog.
- Hypoallergenic dog.
- Thinks it's easier to just buy a dog.
- Unsure which breed suits his needs.
- No previous experience with pets.
- Unsure which dogs are available.
- person31 Years Old
- schoolLebanese American University
- business_centerArt Director
- location_onSin El Fil, Lebanon
- homeLives Alone
Maya has a fairly busy work day though her work hours are not very consistent. Maya has family in a nearby village that she visits on weekends. She grew up with pets in her household, and is no stranger to taking care of animals. Two of her closest friends have dogs, and have expressed willingness to help her out when needed.
- Dog suited for small spaces.
- Information on dog availability.
- Information on adoption process.
- Pet medical history.
The issues needed to be addressed two-fold: once for the human user, and the second time for the animals - who are also users of this application.
The biggest precaution I took was to ensure that by addressing and fixing a problem, that I am not creating a new one in the process.
Using the 5 Whys Principles, as established in the IBM Enterprise Design Thinking process, two problem statements were formed:
Initial Statement 1
- Animals in shelters live in overpopulated spaces.
- Less animals are adopted out than taken in.
- Purebred, younger, or animals considered attractive are considered more desirable.
- Some pets are considered more valuable than others and are actively sought out by people.
- People are ill-informed of the responsibilities of owning and caring for pet, and tend to choose to pets that are not suited for their lifestyles.
Problem Statement 1
People are not filtered to suit the needs of the animals to be adopted in shelters.
Initial Statement 2
- People prefer to buy pets over adopting them.
- People do not generally consider that pet adoption is an available option.
- Adoption isn´t considered an option because accessing the information is inconvenient.
- The information is poorly organised and getting to it puts people off from continuing the process.
- People tend to quit the process because it is much more convenient to find the local pet store.
Problem Statement 2
Local pet stores are easier and quicker to deal than animal shelters.
One of the key constraints I've set aside for this project is the attempt to make do without a hamburger menu. The biggest issue is that there's a fair amount of menu items, and so a menu button was necessary to avoid needless clutter.
The compromise then was to study which pages needed to be prioritised, and which were secondary pages. The homepage also takes on a menu-styled layout that allows quick access to the pages the websites offer, with the only exception being the topmost segment which acts as a hub for critical issues that requires community mobilisation.
News and Homepage
When we design solutions we're usually really ecstatic about having solved a problem but we need to make sure that our solutions aren't replacing one problem with another. In the case of pet adoption, we tend to forget that the pets are our users as well. Granted they can't use the application, but at the end of the day, the decisions made within the app will affect the rest of their lives.
Experience design shines when it is allowed to address both the primary users and the secondary users or users that are directly or indirectly affected by the actions taken by the primary users. Taking into consideration all possible users will ensure that the application will have a net positive contribution to society rather than a negative impact.