BringFido’s Bone-afide Success Story

Unleashed Potential Meets Tail-Wagging Results

William Man
6 min readApr 26, 2018
Warning: There are puns. And they’re all Terrier-ble.

BringFido is the top-dog in pet travel directories, providing a one-stop-shop for all the needs of man’s best friend and their owners. From hotel booking to paw-some parks and beaches, BringFido has got you covered. But, with increasing competition, the team wanted to narrow their focus and bark up the right tree to remain relevant.

The pre-existing BringFido app: At first glance, can you even tell you can scroll down? It’s mind-beagle-ing.

Fur-thermore, BringFido’s mobile app had some hiccups, with issues such as difficult scrolling and outdated information, as well as a lack of direct booking options on the site. These challenges had to be addressed in order to keep up with the pack.

User Testing, Woof that’s a lot of Data!

BringFido found that 70% of their users accessed the site through their mobile device, making the redesign of their mobile app the top priority. I analyzed user feedback, business model specs, and even created an affinity map to identify common pain points.

Fleas feel free to see the in-depth affinity map here.

It turned out that users barked the loudest about inaccuracies in details and varying customer service quality. On the flip side, the site’s analytics showed that hotel bookings (41%) were the highest priority for users, followed by activities (23%) and restaurants (19%). Social media and product/service sponsors also played a huge role in expanding the brand and increasing revenue.

Sniffing Out the Competition

While BringFido didn’t have many direct competitors, I took inspiration from leading travel directories and crowd-sourced events/restaurant search engines.

This is just a basic overview but unless you’re good at squinting, you can read all the details here.

I learned the importance of detail accuracy and adding features like fleshed-out reviews and user profiles to increase trust and engagement.

The Paw-some Pack Leader

Meet Fido’s favorite human, our BringFido user! This pup parent is always on the lookout for new and exciting canine-friendly adventures, whether it’s checking into a pup-friendly hotel, dining out at a bark-worthy restaurant, or finding a paw-some park to play in.

This user is the ultimate pack leader, and BringFido is the ultimate travel guide for their adventurous pack.

They’re tech-savvy and love the convenience of booking all their travels in one place through BringFido’s mobile app or website. They value detail accuracy and a seamless booking process, and they want to make sure their furry best friend is always happy and comfortable on their travels.

I recreated the users’ journey map to spot major pain points in the experience, noted in the red. Or if you’re a dog, the slightly dark gray.

From Sketch to Fetch

The design process started with wireframing; I wanted to ensure that the layout of the app was intuitive and easy to navigate. I utilized user feedback, business model specifications, and an affinity map to identify pain points and design a wireframe that addressed these issues.

Wireframes started out stripped of color. Not like the dogs would know the difference anyways.

Once the wireframe was complete, I began working on the high-fidelity designs. The designs were focused on improving the user experience and the design of the mobile app.

I dispensed of the native review score system in favor of using TripAdvisor’s more robust rating system while still incentivizing users to write detailed accounts on their experience.

This included making sure that the details were accurate and easy to access, allowing users to book directly on the site, and enhancing the design of the map search. To increase user trust and engagement, I also added features such as fleshed-out reviews and user profiles.

Travel Planning

Planning a trip with a furry friend isn’t always a walk in the park so I needed to address common issues in the original design. I swapped the tabular format for a simplified single scroll. Our goal was to make it easy for users to accrue points, book, redeem gifts and repeat. By using the Hook Model, each iteration aimed to trigger, reward, and invest users in booking directly through the app.

Weather was a good nice-to-have easily integrated into the new redesign. Because no one wants a soggy pup.

However, we found that users rarely read amenities and ignored the rewards system located at the bottom of the page. So, I moved the Rewards up and made it inline with the call-to-action — this attracted more clicks and made it more accessible.

A truncated user flow: Trigger, Reward, Action and Investment were vital components to encourage users to book natively.

I also encouraged users to write comments to make the product community-focused and reduce the verification workload of the BringFido team.

Trip Planning

Planning the perfect stay for you and your furry companion just got easier. Users easily navigated to the Trips tab, but had trouble adding places to their itinerary. To solve this, I took inspiration from AirBnB and made travel suggestions, kept track of bookings, and itinerary in one place.

As many designers will profess, AirBnB’s user journey not only keeps track of your bookings, but brilliantly makes travel suggestions and keeps track of your itinerary.

But when it came to finding the perfect restaurant for both you and your pup, I quickly realized that the Sort/Filter options alone wouldn’t cut it. With endless special needs for each furry friend, filtering became less usable. So, I made the search process default to only search for locations that cater to your pup’s specific needs once you’ve saved them in your profile. This way, the user sees only what they need and can quickly get back to exploring and planning their trips.

Seeing a restaurant’s location to its photo gallery, the user is unconcerned with going through painful extra steps to filter their options.


A furry friend is a big part of any trip and should be front and center. To make it easier for users, I made the profile page modular, with quick access via swiping. I also moved review highlights up to discourage users from calling or visiting websites to verify pet policies. Our goal was to make the page less visually busy and drive users to Explore and Plan their trips.

The move to make the page less visually busy overall was a risky but rewarding one. This section was kept minimal to drive users to Explore and Plan their Trips.

Of course, the doggies remained the most prominent part of the page, allowing for easy editing of their size, diet, and general health needs. And let’s not forget about the Pup Store (a name pending approval from BringFido’s creative copywriters) — this page lets users see their points redeemed and all available rewards at a glance.

The Pup Store (name pending BringFido’s more creative copywriters)

Final Woofs

With the redesign of BringFido, the aim was to bring a better “bone-afide” travel experience for dog owners. The team focused on enhancing the mobile app by fixing inaccuracies, making direct booking easier, and improving the map search design. I also added features like fleshed-out reviews and user profiles, inspired by competitors. And let’s not forget the tail-wagging new policies that streamline the refund and cancellation process, making customer service a walk in the park.

If this redesign were to become a reality, it’s safe to say that BringFido would be barking up the right tree. It would be a win-win situation for both the company and its users, as it would undoubtedly improve their bottom line and provide the best travel experience for man’s best friend.