Personal Design Exercise

2018 Summer

UI/UX Design

Visual Design


PUPGO is a personalized dog walking app which provides a more flexible dog service that targets for the younger generation dog owner who has the pain points to take care their dog when they have other business to do. 


"When I would take Oreo for walks, I would sometimes also want to run errands at the same time. However, most public places were not dog-friendly..."

I have done this design exercise in the past summer.  I focus on the dog issue because last year, I adopted a one-year-old husky named Oreo. He absolutely brings a lot of fun for me. However, sometimes he also takes a little bit inconvenient in my life too. For example, I found if I walk him outside, I couldn’t do other things at the same time. Like, bring my dog to go to a supermarket or specific restaurant because most of the public spaces are not dog-friendly. That is a big problem always annoyed me.


For looking into this problem more deeply and build a stronger empathy, I interviewed five dog parents around me. Thought the interviews I found a very significant experience for those dog owners are in a certain situation, they need someone help to take care of the dog for a small amount of time.

Lily likes having road trips with her dog Miles. Traveling with Miles makes her never feel lonely. However, sometimes, Miles has also brought some sweet burdens. For instance, it is hard for Lily to visit specific famous attractions or some popular restaurants as a regular tourist because most of them are not providing dog-friendly services. “I don’t want to leave Miles in the car or stay lone because it is very unsafe, especially in some situations it is illegal. The only way I can do is to not go there.”

Eva is a young lady living in the downtown of Seattle. Every day, she would like to walk her Great Dane around the city. However, even she stays in a town with a convenient life, she still can’t do other things while walking this big dog. “I hope I could buy some food in the supermarket on my way of walking my dog, but I have to put my dog at home first”


According to research, in the U.S, around 36.5%  of families have or had adopted a dog. Especially the millennial generation. 39.2% of Americans millennials currently own a dog. According to the newest announced by APPA(American Pet Products Association), pet care spending in 2018 reached a record-breaking high of $72.56 billion compared to $69.51 billion in 2017, an increase of over 4 percent. Which means the young generation are willing to spend more money on their dog. Also, the young generation easy accepts the new tech, and prefer to do things quickly and efficiently.


To make my research cover more aspect, I also test some competitive products too. To define the problems of the competitors, I visualize them as a diagram to help identify our opportunities in the market.

The traditional dog care services are not flexible and approachable enough. The problem of traditional services:

  • Fixed time schedule, usually 7am-7pm

  • Fewer locations

  • Complex application procedures

Internet product like Rover and Wag entirely present a more flexible advantage base on the internet. However, as internet products, they have not established a more stable and personalized service relationship with customers. The problem of dog services applications: 

  • Lack of personalization

  • Hard to build trust

  • Maximum dog walk time is 60 minutes

The exclusive dog care professional could provide a customized dog service only for a specific dog, but it also could very expensive and still need to book ahead. The problem of high-end dog services: 

  • Need to book ahead

  • High cost


Base on the above study, we could conclude that the majority of younger-generation dog owners in the US would have immediate demands of dog care. However, the existing services cannot satisfy them because of inflexible and not trustworthy.


I come up to the brainstorming. I list a bunch of ideas on the whiteboard, and I invite some of the dog owners to help me evaluate each idea from desirability, feasibility, and viability of three aspects. Base on the different criteria and principles, each of the section will earn the points depend on the expectation of participants. At the end of the assess, we found the idea of Hire Dog Walker for your real-time demands earned the highest score.


Since I nail down the target idea, I realized that while taking this idea fit into flexible and personalize, a mobile app should be a feasible and scalable way to achieve my purpose. 

In term the final idea, how might we design a mobile app that helps younger generation dog parents take care of their dogs in a flexible and personalized way when they have a temporary or urgent needs.



To make sure my design is feasible and have a good user experience for my target users, I also invite some dog owners, which I interviewed before to help me do the usability test.

User Testing:

Test Result:

  • The sign-up process is too complicated

  • Want to know what happened during the walk 




To demonstrate how elements animate as the user goes through the intro slides, I created a framer prototype.


After I finished a series the hi-fi mockup and prototype, I start to my second round test. Through the user test, I received many contribute feedbacks. The most impressive one is that as very personalized service, how to avoid users shifting their preferences of dog's habits to their personal preferences, especially how to deal with the racism issue in the sharing economy?


I thought this is a very interesting and challenging question for me. I attempt to search a lot of cases and solution which came from other sharing economy business. I also collect many articles related to racism. For example, A Harvard study showed that user with black-sounding names was less likely to receive a reservation through the site. 


Here are my solutions:


  • PUPGO doesn’t provide preference options relate with ethic, color or other sensitive questions when user registration or fill in their preference information.  

  • The app doesn’t display the user's real image and last name before they confirm the order.

  • Increase the proportion of preference options for dog information during the registration process

  • Emphasize the dog server’s professional skills in their personal homepage.


Always seeking feedback from people.

The feedback helps me learn and iterate the design. I try to be open even sometimes it is not comfortable hearing about honest suggestions. I could finish the project within a week, but it turned out I spent one more month to polish this project based on feedback from my friends and target users. Every week, I update my progress to my friends, mentors around me to ask for feedback. I remember there were two times I almost overturned the previous version of the design and redesigned all the things again. However, in this process, I found that the idea was getting more transparent.