fighting loneliness one furry date at a time
Lead UX Researcher
Lead UX Designer
Google Drive, Adobe CC, Excel, iPhone Video Recorder, Lots of Sticky Notes
PupTime was a class project where my objective was to learn the methods and skills involved in designing and prototyping interactive systems. Additionally, we were asked to explore a topic that we care about, for me that was exploring the topic of loneliness among older adults.
Loneliness can be linked to a number of negative health risks and declines in brain function as we age, and increases the likelihood of mortality. Also, people who experience loneliness are reportedly less happy. Unfortunately, loneliness among our older and senior populations have become an epidemic.
To create meaningful companionship for older adults in effort to decrease the negative risks associated with loneliness. Loneliness among adults 50+ is an increasing issue and studies show that animal companionship can decrease loneliness by 39%. Often older adults are interested in pet companionship but don’t want the additional responsibilities pet ownership entails. Through a digital application that connects older adults with therapy dogs, older adults could reap the benefits of K9 companionship without the responsibilities of being a full-time pet owner.
A competitive analyses was conducted, in which I identified potential competitors that address the problem of loneliness among older adults. Based on the initial problem space for the concept, each organization was identified as a direct, indirect, or parallel competitor. Next, I examined each of the solutions and identified services provided, strengths, weaknesses, and brand differentiators. Through my the competitive analysis I found little was currently being done directly in the space around loneliness for older adults.
Five interviews were conducted
In order to get better insight into the problem, and user needs I conducted five semi-structured interviews with adults ages 50+ who have or are experiencing loneliness.
Feeling like I don't have someone who understands me, feeling like I can't connect with others is what makes me feel lonely.
Sometimes I feel alone in my own home. Which is ironic since I'm married and living at home with my wife.
As a new widow, I feel alone when I see couples or families- just people in relationships. I guess it re
said they are an active
volunteer in the community
answered that they have
reported that they
have a pet at home
After my initial round of research I did a series of sketches to explore possible solutions. Below are a few different iterations that I came up with in efforts to tackle the problem. From the initial sketches I was really interested in exploring 'Puppy Dating', since this was an idea so different from what was already being done in the problem space.
Storyboard & Scenario
To further develop the idea or PupTime, I created a storyboard and scenario around how the solution might look.
QOC "Favorite" Feature
In order to assess the benefits of design features for the 'favorites' function I created a list of approaches and rationales for three key features of the favorites page. The three key feature included a "favorites" button, page, and photo display. Next, I created a QOC (Questions, Options, Criteria) to analysis the elements of design for the favorite features.
Q: How will profile images display on the "favorites" page?
C: Quickly view profile options
C: Easy to view
C: Quickly view profile
O: Grid, no description
O: Grid, with description
O: Grid, with photo and location
Q: How will the "save" button be displayed?
C: Easy to locate
C: Doesn't obstruct image
C: Saves quickly
Q: How will the user be able to view profile from "favorites" page
O: Pop-out window
O: Redirect to profile
C: Access to all favorites quickly
C: Quick access to view profiles
Usability testing was done with 10 participants
Link to prototype: https://xd.adobe.com/view/a4dacbdb-d2e4-4de1-6a06-03641dc622f1-d2eb/
UI Style Guide
The system allows the user to complete several functions. The primary function of the product is to provide users with the tools to book a time and date with a therapy dog of their choosing. The user has several options to choose from during the process. Additionally, the user has the option
to message the therapy dog owner for further communication about the therapy dog. There are nine primary pages in the application with several subpages. The nine primary pages include: login, home, search pups, pup profile, booking, scheduled upcoming dates, messaging center, account settings, about PupTime. Since, the option to look for certified therapy or therapy dogs in general is currently not available to the general public. The competitive edge or ‘Wow’ factor that sets PupTime about is the “Certified Therapy Dog” toggle option, which lets users look exclusively for certified therapy dogs.
Link to prototype: https://xd.adobe.com/view/d8c4b8e1-9ceb-4e86-7b00-fb10b8aade76-aef5/
1. Users have