Let's rethink this situation like business system. Who will play in this game and what are their interests?
— Solve social problem;
— Satisfy other sides of the game;
— Create instrument for analysing animal loving audience;
— Make money.
This part is first which needs a deep research to understand how shelters see their problems and solutions. We can call/write them and ask, also collect some statistics and analyze the market.
💬 What is the main problem for shelter?
💬 Is creating more places for animals solve the problem?
— No, the shelter can't keep animals forever.
💬 Why living in shelters is a problem?
— It's unhealthy for animal;
— Not enough people to care about animals;
— Not enough money to keep all animals healthy, fed, happy.
💬 How are animal shelters filling up?
— Part of adopted animals come back to the shelter;
— Breeders produce new animals and part of them also come to shelters.
💬 Why people leave their animal in a shelter?
—To much responsibilities;
—Can't care anymore;
💬 Why Shelters have the problem to give away all animals?
— A small percentage of people adopt the animal;
— Some animals come to shelters ill and need special care.
💬 What is an adoption of animal mean?
💬 Describe the adoption process.
💬 What animals usually leave in Shelters and can be adopted?
Of course, It is good to collect information from people who want to adopt, but at the same time they will adopt anyway, and people who had already adopted are not really our clients anymore. Much more interesting to interview focus group who want an animal but not adopt it.
💬 Why you buy animals from breeders?
— Don't want adult animal;
— Afraid that animal will be ill;
— Don't know where and how to adopt;
— Adoption system too complicated.
💬 Feel lonely? Like animals? Why don't you adopt?
How can we helps more animals find their ways into loving homes? After brainstorming we structurize all ideas by thematic. It is also good to mark top priority ideas for starting with minimal value product.
Let's focus on the main points of the future application:
Increase in the number of adoptions of animals
— Flexible search by categories and automatic selection
— Simplification of the adoption procedure (the questionnaire can be filled out in the application for simplifying the process and also in advance for checking if it will be allowed to adopt some particular animal)
— The opportunity to spend time with the animal will convince many doubters that an old friend can be better than the new two.
Decrease the number of animals that come into shelters
— Ability to search for a new owner directly through the application
— The opportunity to grow a reputation and get approval from the shelter will allow the owners to choose only the trusted people
Improving the conditions for keeping animals (passively improve the number of adoptions)
— Stimulating collection of donations
— Stimulating assistance to shelters based on gamification (should work well for children and adolescents)
We also leave place for development a community of volunteers and people who adopted an animal, for monetisation by advertising and for connecting donations with goods and services for animals.
Based on the needs of application, there will be complex filters for the selection of animals, detailed personal pages for each animal awaiting adoption, personal shelter pages, a well-designed user profile that stores information about the current pet, volunteer activity and reputation.
Since the adoption of an animal is a very important mission in the life of any person it is necessary to include the possibility to save chosen animals, shelters or owners, to save the search parameters if user did not find anything, to notify him later and a mechanism for booking walks with the animal.
Thinking about the application part for shelters, it seems it will include a large number of functions for managing the shelters activities and for interaction with volunteers and people who will adopt or give the animal.
If we do not want to overload the interface there will be much better to divide the applications into two: one for clients, and another for shelters. Below is an example of an application's information architecture for clients.
The personas and their journey can be developed in parallel with the architecture. First, let's take 5 different stories that will allow us to plan and then test most of the application's capabilities.
After collecting all the received information we rethink it into the rough structure of the application screens. The classic android menu can be saved but the most demanded items like search for accessible animals and shelters, favorites, newsfeed and profile will be included into the bottom menu.
The most demanded functionality of the application such as book a walk with an animal should be rethink apart.
The ability to donate money is located both on the shelter page and on the page of each animal. In the future it is assumed that each animal can have its own financial account to collect money for treatment or renting place in shelter.
The full implementation of adoption process through the application is impossible, but it can be greatly simplified. For example, the data you need to fill out the questionnaire for adoption can be entered once and used again each time. The system will be able to compare the requirements for adoption with your information in advance and give a preliminary assessment
The search process for the pet of the new owner or shelter can be also implemented through the application. The owner of the animal is invited to create his profile by filling in a detailed questionnaire and attaching a photo. The system checks the availability of the nearest shelters and free places in them and also suggests publishing the profile of the animal for direct adoption.
The final form of the application is based on the concept of representing each animal for adoption from the best side, but at the same time it was the desire to avoid representing animals as goods in the store.
In conclusion, I would like to write how little was actually been done and how much remains to be done to make it a full-fledged product.
As a next step, I could collect all the layouts to a prototype and test them according to user scenarios.
I would also like to collect more information about users and how they choose pets. Which categories are more important for them than others. How do they understand that they have found what they need, how long they think before making a decision and how many options are usually chosen.
After a series of tests and reviews, it would be possible to build a more simple and understandable user experience.
I also wonder how else it would be possible to develop this application, for example, to create a social network for people and their pets or a game to stimulate volunteer experience among children and teenagers or help shelters with monetization and collection of donations.