ReHome

Project Details

Timeframe: October 2015
Skills: UX design, visual design, content strategy
Tools: Illustrator, Sketch

In October of 2015, 100 women gathered at the NYC Spotify headquarters to design, prototype and hack on 7 mobile app pitches by female founders at the SheHacksNYC Hackathon. I worked with a team of women designers, programmers, and product managers to evolve an initial idea pitched by Nikki Bohorquez to a working demo prototype all within 48 hours.

The Problem
The experience of adopting a pet or finding a new owner for a pet can be challenging, stressful and depressing for both a potential adoptee and current owner. There are limited options for finding a pet and visiting shelters to see potential pets can be a depressing experience. Owners who can no longer keep a pet want the best home for their pet but are often faced with limited time to find a new owner and resources for connecting with a potential adoptee.

“I am looking for a new cat, but I have a hard time going to shelters – they make me feel very sad. I wish there was a way to schedule a home visit for me to meet the cat and make sure it was a right fit for my home.” – Adoptee

“Our baby was allergic to our dog, so we needed a fast and simple way to make sure our dog could go to a safe home, but it was very difficult. We felt terrible about just giving our dog up, it was like a grieving process. We ended up giving him to a vet’s friend, but we were lucky and it took months.” – Owner

The Solution
ReHome is a mobile app to connect owners who need to give their pet away with potential adopters in their area. Every year in the U.S., more than 6 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters. When owners must relocate, urban dogs & cats are likely to be abandoned or brought to a shelter.

Prior to the hackathon, User Experience Researcher Nikki Bohorquez had done extensive user research and user testing to create rough prototype wireframes and a user flow of ReHome.

My Role
I worked with Nikki to improve the UX design and create the visual design for ReHome based on Nikki’s wireframes.

Phase 1 – Information Gathering
At the beginning of the hackathon, I sat down with Nikki to review her wireframes, and learn about the desired look, feel and experience of the app visually through a visual design questionnaire. I then led Nikki and two additional members of the team in a brainstorming session around branding values and content strategy.

Lastly, I conducted a competitive analysis reviewing both apps that Nikki wanted to emulate such as AirBnB:

And apps that Nikki felt were the wrong user experience such as AllPaws:

Phase 2 – Defining the Look and Feel
At the end of the information gathering phase, I was able to define the brand values:

  • Family and Friendship
  • Safety
  • Hope
  • Connection

The brand and visual values were not:

  • Harsh or bold colors
  • High Contrast
  • Cutesy
  • Heavy use of colors or illustrations

Lastly, I defined the visual look and feel including Typography:

  • Elegant / Clean
  • Open / Transparent / Positive
  • Modern / Contemporary
  • Emphasis on minimal text, clean and simple icons, and beautiful large professional photography
  • Clean serif font – Open Sans
  • Semibold or Regular font weight for buttons, titles, headers, menu
  • Light font weight for blocks of text

Phase 3 – Improving the UX and creating final wireframes
With the brand values defined, I redesigned three of the most important screens from Nikki’s initial wireframes to emphasize the core brand values. I also created the visual assets for use in a working prototype that was created by the two programmers of our team.

Presentation
At the end of the Hackathon, our team presented our prototype and business plan to the participants and judges. The judges called the final result, “beautiful,” “elegant” and “by far the best user experience seen.”

Date:December 10, 2015

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