Connecting dog lovers with dogs (and their owners)

Ankita Gupta Projects
4 min readFeb 18, 2018


How might we create meaningful and fun interactions between dog lovers and stranger’s dogs?


Ann Arbor has a population of 30,000 dogs. Yet in my 2 months of being in this city, I had not interacted with more than 2 dogs. And neither did I find a medium to meet with these dog owners. Hence what lacked was a medium for dog lovers to connect with the dogs.

Questions to understand the problem space?

  • Do dog lovers feel comfortable approaching a dog owner to pet their dog
  • Do dog owners feel comfortable being approached for their dog?
  • What do dog lovers do to spend time with dogs?
  • What attracts dog owners to mingle with other dog owners?

The following methods were used to answer our questions

Competitive analysis and inspiration


I connected with my dog lover and dog owner friends about the problem.


Based on the problem, I built out 3 types of personas

Dog lovers

Dog owners

Dog shelters

Sketching and brainstorming

QOC a.k.a experience defined by rationales

This activity helped in understanding the important features and trading off ways of building their interactions.

MVP product:

After gathering the data from my target audience and competitive analysis I did a design rationale of my solution features. I identified 3 features of my app:

  1. Collar bar code scan of a dog gives points which results in discounts
  2. Dog-sitting availability calendar
  3. Instagram-like page of dogs maintained by dog owners

Paper prototyping:

What I learnt from my paper prototype:

  • Give the user option to skip on-boarding. It is easier and foolish to assume that users need help. Sometimes they don’t.
  • Get rid of fields which don’t contribute to this app’s purpose. There is not always a need to have a password, it is not serving a purpose of protecting anything that needs to be protected.
  • Tell them about something which is not common in every app.
  • Don’t lose your mind if the user is confused. Re-work on your solution.

My paper prototype helped me get rid of the noise that was making the users confused. I redid my “clichéd” user profile design and got rid of fields and features which were not contributing to the solution.

Mid- fidelity Wireframes:

Version 1 prototyped in 2016

Version 2 prototyped in 2019

I went back to the drawing board and did a redo of the experience this app was providing. In Version 1, I was trying to put in too many ideas into one app, and decided this was unnecessary. Hence the updated version of MAD is:

  • Dog lover scans dog’s collar
  • Dog gets reward
  • Dow owner redeems rewards through Chewy purchases

Updated mid-fidelity wireframes

Hi-Fidelity Wireframes