B.E.T.A

Preface

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.

Due Diligence

User Research

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:

  1. Surveys
  2. Interviews
  3. 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.

Infographic

All the research and collected data has been compiled in a easy to digest infographic. Do you really want to go through a table when you can see illustrations of cute dogs and cats?

Infographic on the attitude of the average Lebanese towards pet ownership
Tap image to view full infographic.
Infographic on the attitude of the average Lebanese towards pet ownership

User Use Case Study

Site Map and Navigation

The existing site map is unnecessarily long, with many pages that could be easily consolidated. The goal here is to reduce the number of steps needed to access information or create a conversion.

The current sitemap tree of BETA The current sitemap tree of BETA

BETA has a major piece of information missing or at least hidden: their physical address. How are potential volunteers or adopter supposed to know how to reach the shelter? As a shelter based in Lebanon, I would also suggest covering all the major languages in Lebanon, such as Arabic, English, and French.

Site Analysis

There are two paths to the adoption page but land on different pages. The process itself is non-linear and could easily confuse potential adopters.

User flow analysis for the current BETA website
Route 1: Through the Hamburger Menu
User flow analysis for the current BETA website
User flow analysis for the current BETA website
Route 2: Through the CTA Button
User flow analysis for the current BETA website

Competitive Analysis

B.E.T.A isn't the only animal shelter in Lebanon. Animals Lebanon is another similar NGO which could be viewed as a 'competitor', and as a local case study that could aid in the development of the new B.E.T.A experience.

Finding the adoption page in Animal's Lebanon's website was like a treasure hunt. It took too much guesswork to find it on the menu, and the CTA was hidden at the bottom of the landing page.

User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website
I've done the hard part for you and found the Adoption Page
User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website
User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website
Route 1: Following the Words
User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website
User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website
Route 2: Following the Cats
User flow analysis for the Animal's Lebanon website

User Flow

Below you'll find a comparison that counts every single step it takes to reach the adoption page on both B.E.T.A and Animals Lebanon.

A UX user flow diagram explaining the different paths a user must go through to reach the adoption page in BETA
B.E.T.A Adoption Flow Chart
A UX user flow diagram explaining the different paths a user must go through to reach the adoption page in BETA
A UX user flow diagram explaining the different paths a user must go through to reach the adoption page in Animals Lebanon
Animals Lebanon: Adoption Flow Chart
A UX user flow diagram explaining the different paths a user must go through to reach the adoption page in Animals Lebanon
Journey B.E.T.A Animals
Clicks 4 4
Accesibility Easy Medium
Time to Page 18s 35s
Route 1 Steps 8 12-13
Route 2 Steps 9 8-9
Call to Action Landing Page Bottom

Design Pain Points

  1. Long load time
  2. Poor content distribution
  3. Clumsy interface
  4. Poor user flow

Research Conclusion

The pet adoption platforms available in Lebanon suffer from:

  1. An inability to create quick conversions.
  2. A lack of vital information
  3. Overly structured navigation.

On the upside B.E.T.A is doing something right with its Call-To-Action button but does poorly in creating conversions. They also do a better job with their navigation though there are one too many pages.

I hypothesise that these platforms were too nice and not aggressive enough in the "you want a pet" or "you want to donate" department.

The User

Based on all the data gathered, two personas were created.

  • person26 Years Old
  • schoolAmerican University of Beirut
  • business_centerSoftware Developer
  • account_balance_wallet$1,500/mo
  • location_onBeirut, Lebanon
  • homeLives with Family

Personality

  • Healthy
  • Extrovert
  • Friendly
  • Ambitious
  • Easy-going

About Jad

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.

Needs

  1. Dog care education.
  2. Medium-sized dog.
  3. An easy to care for dog.
  4. Quiet dog.
  5. Hypoallergenic dog.

Frustrations

  1. Thinks it's easier to just buy a dog.
  2. Unsure which breed suits his needs.
  3. No previous experience with pets.
  4. Unsure which dogs are available.

Empathy Map

UX User Empathy Map for the Persona Jad UX User Empathy Map for the Persona Jad
  • person31 Years Old
  • schoolLebanese American University
  • business_centerArt Director
  • account_balance_wallet$3,000/mo
  • location_onSin El Fil, Lebanon
  • homeLives Alone

Personality

  • Ambitious
  • Homebody
  • Workaholic
  • Introvert
  • Friendly

About Maya

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.

Needs

  1. Dog suited for small spaces.
  2. Information on dog availability.
  3. Information on adoption process.
  4. Pet medical history.
  5. Companionship.

Frustrations

  1. Unsure which dogs are available.
  2. Unsure how long the process will take.
  3. Unsure what the adoption criteria is.
  4. Unsure if the shelter is trustworthy.

Empathy Map

UX User Empathy Map for the Persona Maya UX User Empathy Map for the Persona Maya

Determining Goals

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

  1. Animals in shelters live in overpopulated spaces.
  2. Why?
  3. Less animals are adopted out than taken in.
  4. Why?
  5. Purebred, younger, or animals considered attractive are considered more desirable.
  6. Why?
  7. Some pets are considered more valuable than others and are actively sought out by people.
  8. Why?
  9. 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.

Post-It Notes Addressing Issues Associated with the Design Problem Statement 1 Post-It Notes Addressing Issues Associated with the Design Problem Statement 1

Initial Statement 2

  1. People prefer to buy pets over adopting them.
  2. Why?
  3. People do not generally consider that pet adoption is an available option.
  4. Why?
  5. Adoption isn´t considered an option because accessing the information is inconvenient.
  6. Why?
  7. The information is poorly organised and getting to it puts people off from continuing the process.
  8. Why?
  9. 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.

Post-It Notes Addressing Issues Associated with the Design Problem Statement 2 Post-It Notes Addressing Issues Associated with the Design Problem Statement 2

Design

Site Map

A new site map was drawn up that would better suit BETA's needs. The site map grew horizontally rather than vertically, but the information is now easier to access.

I suggested adding a "Pet Manual" page because research indicated potential pet owners were less likely to adopt because they were worried they lacked experience or guidance. This would help users feel supported, and more likely to adopt.

Site Map for the new BETA UX Proposal showing clear user flows Site Map for the new BETA UX Proposal showing clear user flows

Wireframes

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.

Prototype

News and Homepage

Dashboard
Contact

Final Thoughts

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.