Everyday people happen upon homeless, abandoned or stray animals that need help. Some might attempt to get support from local rescues, only to find that the rescue is full and has little or no resources to help. When this happens, the individual is often faced with the decision as to whether they take it upon themselves to help the animal or let the animal be and hope that the next person that comes along might help. Those with limited financial resources fear that they won’t be able to afford the cost of helping the animal. Many attempt to do so anyway, often at the expense of their own well-being.View Prototype
Product Design, Branding & Identity
User Survey, Competitive Analysis, User Personas, User Stories, User Flows, Wireframes, Branding, Hi-Fi Mockups, User testing, Prototype
Figma, Invision, Maze, Google Suite, Slack
When stray or abandoned animals are rescued, at the minimum they will need a basic health exam, flea/worm medication, and vaccines. Many will also need to be spayed or neutered. An injured or sick animal will need even more. Costs can amount to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, potentially creating hardships for well-meaning individuals. This can result in the animal not getting the necessary care that is needed or even deter individuals who desire to rescue.
RescueFund is a mobile application that assists rescuers in obtaining donations for the veterinary care of a recently rescued animal. Contributions from donors will only be accessible to veterinary clinics, ensuring that 100% of the donations are going directly to the costs of the veterinary procedures needed by the rescued animal. Because choosing to rescue an animal is a huge responsibility, the completed application will also provide resources such as a directory of local low-cost veterinary clinics, information on how to safely find a rescued animal a “forever home”, and further education regarding animal rescue.
I began my research survey to learn more about my potential users and to determine if there would be a need for a funding application that focuses solely on the veterinary care of rescued animals.
To gain a deeper understanding of current fundraising platforms
I analyzed three potential competitors:
GoFundMe, Fundrazr, and Waggle.
Based on my analysis I determined that my application would need the following in order to stand out:
Using the findings of my survey and research, I created two user personas to represent my target audience.
To ensure a minimum viable product (MVP), I created user stories based on my previous research. Stories were created for new and returning rescuers and donors.
Based on the high priority stories, I sketched user flows for onboarding, signing in, creating a rescue fundraiser and making a donation. After I completed my sketches I used Figma to create digital versions.
Because animal rescuers are often on the go, it made sense to first design for a native IOS application. Once the animal is safe, seeking veterinary care is often the first step a rescuer needs to take. My goal was to create an efficient interface that would allow rescuers to start a campaign and get the word out to their networks as quickly as possible, without sacrificing essential details. With this in mind, I sketched my wireframes.
After completing my sketches, I used Figma to create digital versions of my wireframes.
Using Invision I prototyped my wireframes and conducted usability tests assigning specific tasks to the users. The tasks included signing up for an account, creating a rescue alert for an injured cat, accessing their dashboard, viewing their account settings and logging out. The tests went smoothly and users were able to quickly complete all tasks, however, I made some minor visual changes to my wireframes
After hearing a suggestion that my menu screen might be too busy, I changed it to give it a cleaner, more minimal look. I also altered the position of the logout option in order to differentiate its purpose from the other options listed in the menu.
I also changed the style of my account creation screen to make it more consistent with my login screen.
After researching my competitors, I decided it would be best to give the application a straightforward name that didn’t cause confusion or distract the potential user from the serious task at hand. With that goal, RescueFund was born. I decided on a typeface logo in order to focus on the product name. I used Montserrat as the font for a clean and modern aesthetic.
Because I had decided to design the application for IOS, I utilized the San Francisco system typeface to achieve clarity and consistency. I used font weight, size, and color to establish hierarchy through the design.
Shades of teal were used to help certain elements stand out against the predominately white background. I chose it not only for its vibrancy but also because it combines the stability, trust and calming quality of blue with the healing properties of green. It is also a color that implies independence, which might resonate with those inclined to step up as DIY animal rescuers.
Referencing my wireframes and branding concepts, I used Figma to create hi-fi mockups for an iPhone.
After refining my mockups, I used Invision to create a clickable prototype. I then conducted user tests. I had the participant perform a series of tasks including signing up for an account, creating a rescue alert, donating to a rescued animal, accessing their account settings and logging out. I also asked for user feedback on the overall design, look and feel of the application. Along, with in-person user testing, I also used Maze to conduct online testing and gain additional feedback. While users were able to easily complete all assigned tasks, I did receive some valuable feedback regarding a few visual elements of my screens.
I made some improvements to the opening screens of my prototype by making the logo more visible against the background. I did this by adding a slight gradient to the top of the screen. I also changed the opacity of the photo as well as the white rectangle behind the description. While making these improvements, I decided to alter the logo throughout the design by giving it a slightly heavier font weight.
I lowered the buttons through the design to allow for more whitespace.
At the suggestion of one of my testers, I added an option in the upper righthand corner to allow the user to learn more about the app before creating a rescue alert.
RescueFund is a “passion project” for me and one that I would like to continue to develop.
Because I had so many ideas, determining which features to include in the prototype proved to be
a challenge. Staying true to the MVP and creating screens for my high priority user stories allowed me to
stay focused on designing an initial prototype, even though I had very limited resources and time.
Due to my own experiences rescuing animals, I went into this project with many assumptions. Creating surveys and conducting user research validated many of them, however, I would need to take a much deeper dive into user research and testing should I decide to make RescueFund a reality. The additional research would not only be needed from the rescuer/donor side, but also from the perspective of the veterinary clinics and their staff. The application will only be as beneficial to the animals as it is to all of the users.
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