​Paw Finder

5-Day Design Exercise

Millions of animals are currently in shelters and foster homes awaiting adoption. Design an experience that will help connect people looking for a new pet with the right companion for them. Help an adopter find a pet which matches their lifestyle, considering factors including breed, gender, age, temperament, and health status. 

Tech & Tool

Sketch, AE


Personal design project

UX Research

Visual design

Motion design

Interaction design

paw inner title.png

Research & Interview

Conducting interviews is essential for me in gathering information at the very beginning of the design process, the better I get at this the more useful the information will be. For this case, I interviewed 8 people with related experience of keeping pets and adopting animals. I collated our dialogue and interview content, listed their views on pet adoption. 

Establishing users & Persona

It’s vital in project’s development to have well-defined users, that will ensure that all of my future design, functionality and content decisions are targeting the right people.

Defining the problem

A person’s experience during one session of adoption, consisting of the series of actions performed to achieve a particular goal is called a user journey. I created the user journey to identify and catalog all interactions that the user might have with the adoption process. 

Why are people hesitating about adoption when they thinking of having a pet? During my prophase research and investigation, many people, including those people who are clear about the advantages of adoption,  still torn on this subject or even turn to purchase a pet because of various concerns. 

Concern A

Live together with a pet means share attention, space, or learn to tolerant undesirable behaviors of a peer in a domestic environment.

So in addition to various objective factors, subjective factors about the pet should also be considered. Most animals in shelters already show their true personality. People who work in the shelters know these animals' characteristics and temperaments really well, these information pieces can help people when they're making decisions. 

Concern B

It's such a time-consuming process to contact with animal shelters, most shelters accept only email applications and phone appointment, and some shelters reply emails really late. It's necessary to improve the prophase communication efficiency. 

Concern C

Microchips, ID & collar, insurance, vaccinations, spay or neuter... Those long steps stopping people who want to adopt, a new puppy from the breeder seems not that complicated.

Actually,  most animals in shelters have complete vaccination records and sterilization certificate and get spayed/neutered already, but these part of information are very limited and not intuitive enough for people who are thinking of adoption. 

Designing the solutions

Design Goal: Help people easily find pets that can perfectly match both their objective and subjective conditions

This will be achieved by keeping these ideas in mind:


Paper sketch & Usability test

I iterated the wireframe design by conducting informal usability testing with a paper prototype. My participants provided many feedbacks on error-prevention methods, accessibility, and UI system.

Initial UI design & Wireframe

Concrete solutions



The experience starts with a welcome screen and a questionnaire.

After completing the questionnaire on objective conditions, there will be a small tip to let users do few more choices in order to achieve the better match-up results, the page will jump to the interface on subjective preferences, allowing people to choose between two mutually exclusive pets' personality options.

The choices would be:






People with different lifestyles will have different personality preferences for pets, they are going to start making choices at this step. (If the users choose to skip the questionnaire part on the welcome screen at the very beginning, there will be an inline card that urges the user to answer the questions.)




The questions would not serve as filters, but instead, are used to rank and personalize all the results. Animals who are a better match for the user will be shown at the top of the list.

The main reasons why this would be a prior choice for the user will be served as the category here. Even if people have the same preference for pets, the adoption motivation of different people can be different. This determines that in the face of a group of dogs with similar conditions, the user will give priority to which dog to adopt.


Some people want to be accompanied as soon as possible and do not want to travel a lot, they will give priority to the shelter closest to their place of residence. Some people do not want to deal with complicated processes, they want a dog that has its own complete vaccination history and certifications, and some people like to rescue poor dogs in bad situations, they give priority to dogs that are soon to be euthanized or even dogs with disabilities.

Exploring Details

In the pet's profile page:

  • Basic information: name, breed, size, color, gender, age, based location, these are some basic factors that match the user's objective conditions.

  • Specialties: A short description from shelter staff about the pet's most outstanding features. A touching detail point can incentivize people making their decisions.

  • Personality cards: Dogs with different personality have different advantages for different users. In order to help people easily find pets that can perfectly match their subjective preferences, the pet's key personalities will be shown here as cards matrix.

  • If the user has previously indicated that he’s living in an apartment and looking for a dog that requires less exercise, then the card here will emphasize it's a dog with quiet personality. Also telling the user that is being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all necessary good qualities in an apartment dog. Otherwise, if the user prefers a frisky dog with higher energy level, it will be a dog with a lively personality card, showing the user that the pet is always ready and waiting for action and they’re able to spend time on jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

  • Status checklist: Situated within the animal's details page, the list shows all known history of the animal, such as all the examinations or vaccination history, and shows how many steps need to be completed by the user before adoption

  • Story: This story tells the user about the dog's past and his present condition. A careful description can also make the user feel that the dog is treated with tenderness in the shelter.



It's necessary considering how to enable users and shelters to effectively communicate, so here is a chat feature, users can directly and quickly talk to a shelter about a specific pet over there. It's not necessarily for the users to compose a formal email and wait for a reply for a long time before they finalizing their ideas. Chating is more casual and easy to obtain effective information.

Also if the users want to see their favorite pets by themselves, they can also schedule a visit with available time within the application.

Illustrating & Visual style


I designed the visual style of this application and some illustrations of dogs applied on interaction pages. All icons and illustrations are created with Sketch.

High Fidelity & Motion Design
Stretch the goal


Since I designed this as if it's an application from Google, I'm thinking of integrating this applications' features with Google Mobile Application and Google Now.  Much of what people do starts with the "search" behaviour, whether it's a search for "how to adopt a dog in New York" by someone who wants to adopt an animal, or after seeing a cute dog on the street and Googling "cute Husky" , search is the beginning of the next step. 


The results of the search largely determine where people go next, and how people actually made their decisions. If people search for pet-related keywords, the first line of the result list tells the user that adopting a pet he is researching now is such a pleasant and painful-less experience. How many people are going to consider adopting instead of just browsing? How can the awareness of adoption be improved and emphasized?