The team behind Perro came up with the idea of building a dog-wearable product and were in the pre-seed funding stage.
They were looking to design a platform that could support the product and stand out in the market.
I led the Product Design in UX/UI and brand identity.
My main contribution was to discover what could make Perro a better product in the market, developing the unique selling points and potential key features based on user research to use in their pitch presentation.
Pitch desk template
A rough breakdown of the timeline
Value proposition for Perro:
Research dog owners needs +
Analysis current dog wearables' value
Discover Value Spaces
🔸 Understand the value that dog owners are looking for
The client conducted the user research with my assistance and suggestions. We didn't have enough time to conduct in-depth research, so we had to narrow down our research sections into:
What is the dog owner's concern/worry for their dog?
What do they currently do to know their dog better?
Have they use any similar product before and what did they think of it?
The client conducted 10 surveys with questions regarding the above three sections and three interviews (I gave suggestions in the survey and interview questions). I helped analyse the results through methods like 'Empathy mapping' and 'Jobs-to-be-done'.
A summarised needs and jobs of our MVA
The user wants to look after their dog's wellbeing as much as their own
During the interviews it became apparent that the users who cared a lot for their dog were looking for a product that could help them manage their dog better and grow with them.
According to the client’s research, psychology proves that an owner’s stress level will impact a dog’s wellbeing. This supported findings from the user research and helped us reveal the underlying user needs & goals:
A calmer owner will have a more relaxed dog. If a dog is nervous and behaving poorly, it will reflect back on the owner’s mood. So this is a cognitive/emotive loop in feelings between dogs and owners.
I (grey card) gathering user findings with the client (blue card) into structured ideas (orange card)
The current product mainly focuses on the dog's activity and health
The client and I did the competitive analysis together and focuses on analysing different aspects of existing products.
Main focal points:
Brand position (target audience, price and visuals)
Product functionality and technical aspects
App's value (dog's wellbeing and owner's needs)
A few of Perro's main competitors
Comparing current products, their main functions are aimed at the dog's physical health, but not much is learned about how the dog feels mentally, or the dog owner's wellbeing.
Combined with the user research, I condensed the findings into the diagram shown below with the key touch points to structure our findings.
Focus of the existing product
Structuring the findings into categorised topics and finding design space
Framing the challenge/Unique problem statement
The challenge + the user + The business goal/value
🔸 Unique problem statement
From the discovery phase, it was clear the extra value a dog wearable product can bring to the owner is to improve dog owner's wellbeing which lead to good impact on dog's health. So we framed the unique challenge for this project as below:
HMW create an app to support a dog wearable product and improve the dog owner's wellbeing
In this stage, the solutions and features developed for the MVP should be aim at:
Priority business goal
Capture and maintain loyal customer
Increase user engagement
Acquisition: How much downloads of app
Retention: How many users actively use the product
Activation: How often users use the product
I think Perro is an interesting product, so I lay out potential profitability aspects below. It doesn't help much in this design phase, but it’s a good reference document for the client in the future.
Business value & revenue streams
Product purchase (the current focus, how to empower the product from the app and bring the user more value)
Commission fees (from listing and recommending dog products)
Interviewee recruiting fees (invite Perro users to participate in the future development of smart dog products as interviewees)
Credit purchases (develop dog training courses in the future, purchasable by in-app credits, and Perro users could gain a discount.
Brainstorming solutions with two goals from the user research and business goals in mind
I developed solutions with these goals as direction and mapped out ideas within a 'impact-effort' metrics model to help align quickly what design direction we should focus on in this phase:
I want to ensure I am looking after my dog’s wellbeing in the best possible way
I want to improve my own physical health and wellbeing
I mapped out solutions of the above into a 'impact-effort' metrics model to help us align quickly the design direction we should focus in this phase.
After discussions with the MoSCoW method in mind, we decided on which features to design in this stage.
Monitor dog's health levels
Locate dog's position to keep them safe
Keep the owner calm and unstressed
Improve owner's enjoyment interacting with their dog
Keep the dog happy and well-behaved
Track owner's exercise level
Design directions of the 'performance feature'
We compressed the ideas into four directions without considering the technique or implementing complexity in detail here. We evaluated these both in the product value to the company and also the customer's needs.
Be more mindful about the dog
Benefit: Calm owner, happy dog
Local dog group for tips, help and connection
Benefit: Look after and help each
Tailored learning tips
Learn to understand dog behaviour and psychology
Benefit: Know dog better
Exercise & GPS route
Use Perro hardware to record your dog walking route and monitor metrics
Benefit: Record the dog exercise with Perro technology
How do I solve disagreements around design priorities at this stage?
The difficulty & challenge
From the above four directions, the client and I need to decide on what the unique selling point will be.
We agreed that:
A 'Community' feature takes more effort but won’t impact the user much
'GPS' feature is a must
We had disagreements around whether 'Mindfullness' or 'Tailored learning tips' should be unique selling points.
The client’s idea:
Focus on how to reduce the stress level of the dog owner through 'mindfulness'.
There is big revenue potential in 'meditation' businesses, combined with the dog product could make a good selling point to investors.
Focus more on the dog training and understand dog psychology.
Owner's stress level is tied closely with how their dog behaves. If the owner can understand their dog's behaviour and what signals the dog is sending, they can mange their dog better. That's how it can help the owner's wellbeing and build a strong bond with the dog.
How we solve it
The client and I had different perspectives here because the client focused more on the funding and business value at this phase, but I focused more on how to find the suitable solutions that can solve the user's needs from the mindset-level.
Since our business goal here is to get funding so they could build the product, we settled with the focus on 'mindfulness'.
The client provided the main color scheme they wanted to use and their logo, and a mockup for their product. After discussing it, we decided the brand attributes were: Friendly, Reliable, Energetic
I developed the rest of the brand identity based on the above. The visuals of the dog picture were inspired by the product shape.
App key features
Based on all the research and analysis we did up to this point, the client and I agreed to develop the design of the below features:
Dog overview: Checking dog’s health status
GPS+MAP: Track dog's position and exercise
Mindfulness: Check ‘mindfulness lessons’ for today
Simple & Clear data visualisation
The goal of dog overview is
Easy to read
Simple to understand
The content on the home page included:
To-do list reminder
The focus and challenge here is the data visualisation of the dog's 'health overview'.
The purpose of this health overview is to quickly understand the dog's progress in the day so I thought the 'Activity ring' was the best way to demonstrate it.
Exploring design options with 'pie chart', 'line chart' etc.
Exploring different background visuals to test the visual focal point
GPS + Map:
A portal to 'Dog exercise track' & 'Find my dog'
I led the design of this feature from a design brief from the client. Below shows my design process.
Rough breakdowns of the design process
GPS map: A possibility to combine
'Dog exercise route' + 'Dog tracking reminder' + 'A sense of community'
During my sketching of the GPS map designs, I found that it was possible to add a small feature that could bring the user a sense of community. The extra feature can be seen below in 'User story 2'.
It demonstrated a possibility rather than a feature that should be developed in this design phase. And the client was happy to include this on the final screens for the pitching document.
User story 1
I want to know where my dog is. I would like to know when the dog is away.
User story 2
I want to know what happened in my local area.
Prototype of the key touch points for this feature
User story 3
I want to quickly start tracking my activity with the dog.
Mindfulness: Weekly Programme
The client led the design of this feature, and I made the UI design.
Rough breakdowns of the design process
Key screens of this feature
I designed the website with the brand attributes: Friendly, Reliable, Energetic in mind. The shape of the Perro product was also the inspiration.
After discussions with client, I confirmed the basic requirements for the website and what should be the primary visuals:
Supported by (for atmosphere)
Explorations of the hero image
WCAG test to check the color contrast
I used a landing page viewpoint design logic that involved:
Key selling points
App features breakdown
Product features breakdown
You can find the Perro website here.
(There's some adjustments on the website
since I ended my involvement, but the majority remains the same)
Further explorations of hero image visuals
The website I designed for Perro
The Perro product is just at the beginning of its journey. I enjoyed working with the founders and appreciated that they respected my input. I'm happy to hear from them that the pitching deck with the user research and design solution we developed at this stage helped them get their fundings.
What I did well in the project
✅ Prioritised tasks and respected the project timeline
I had other opportunities before this project, and had a good idea of the time cost to conduct certain tasks. For the six weeks we had for this project, I discussed the timeline with the client in the second meet-up to be on the same page about how could use the time wisely.
For example, I knew the user research that involved surveys and interviews would take me at least two weeks to do, so I suggested that we together create the survey and the questions to ask but the client would be conducting the survey themselves. Meanwhile, I was developing brand identity and focused on designing the landing page.
What I could do better next time
🧐 Choose the best-fitting method to support the decision making
For this particular project, I was the lead designer and I did my best to support the client to reach their goal and give impactful input. I tried to bring more UX inputs that was more likely to be the right inference or conclusion. So I was reading 'Lean UX' again and searched different articles to read, adjusting the UX thinking/method I applied at different stage.
Now that I’ve looked back at my design process, there were definitely more to improve. For example, if we could have one more piece of user research in this phase, when should I do it?
I believe this will improve over time from me actively thinking about building my knowledge of UX and constantly reflecting on the tasks and project I did 🤞
what would be the next steps
🚦Do usability tests to validate if the current design solutions work.
Next stage, I would say the best idea is to create user journeys for basic features: GPS & Route tracking. And conduct usability tests to check the touch point to see how we could improve the design.
I think the performance feature 'Be mindful with your dog' is an extension for the 'GPS & Route tracking', so testing the 'GPS' should be a priority. And we might need more specialised research to backup whether the 'Mindful programme' is worth developing further.