Dog Gone Seattle

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The pandemic has caused an increase in pet adoption. DGS wants to increase their website traffic to get more adopters, volunteers and donators. Many people are looking online to find a pet and are turned away by DGS's current website design.


UX Design - discovery, user research, prototype and testing


80 hours

View Solution

Issues with the current design

The current website has a lot of issues that creates a bad user experience. A redesign that addresses and fixes these issues will drastically improve user experience and consequently increase the rate of donation, volunteers and adoption.

  • Inconsistency with the color in navigation
  • Visual hierarchy (social media icons are too big)
  • Adoption application form is through a third party and does not fit the overall theme
  • Pet list has inconsistent image sizing making it look poorly organized


Competitive Analysis

Seattle Humane Society


  • Clean website design
  • Good use of imagery
  • Navigation is intuitive


  • No filters in pet list
  • Only site-wide search
  • Alignment of elements are off

CHEW Dog Rescue


  • Shopping list
  • Search filters
  • Step-by-step guides


  • Confusing written instructions
  • No filters for diets/allergies
  • No pre-made weekly plans

Ginger's Pet Rescue


  • Clear navigation
  • Consistent grid in pet list
  • Donate CTA is easily accessible


  • Hierarchy of hero section is off
  • Color contrast could be improved

User Interviews

1:1 interview with users to gather information about users' experiences and opinions about pet adoption to understand pain points they might have and learn what creates a positive experience that could lead to more adoptions, donations, or volunteers.

Key Findings:

  • Users reported that while searching for pets to adopt, organizations that had an outdated design seemed less reliable.
  • Sufficient details about the pets' history, medical condition(s), family, etc. will lead to a higher chance of adoption.
  • In the study, users reported that slow response times deterred them from adopting. A simple interface that includes contact information for the organization with a 24-48 hour response time would be beneficial to increase likelihood of adoption.

Motivations for adopting:

  • Providing a home for pets
  • Love for dogs
  • Companionship
  • Saving dogs from shelters

Motivations for breeding:

  • Allergies (need specific hypo-allergenic dog breeds)
  • Concerns about the health issues with rescues
  • Specific breed preference, larger choice with breeders

How might we make the adoption process quick and intuitive?

Landing Page

I chose to keep the original logo design of the organization to maintain its familiarity to the users. The main focus of this page was to have a modern and minimal design that utilized imagery well. The large hero image draws users in, and the clear CTAs make the website very easily navigable.

Adoptable Dogs Screen

The new pet list screen has a consistent grid layout that neatly displays the pets' information. The search bar and filters allow users options when navigating the site.

Mobile Landing

With an increasing number of users that access websites on their smartphones and tablets it was crucial to make the website responsive. I made sure that the mobile design reflected the same clean look.

Hi-Fi Wireframes for Testing

(Old) Adoption application page. It uses a very outdated 3rd party tool for the application.
The application does not fill the viewport of the screen making users have to scroll inside the small section which is unintuitive.
The new redesigned adoption application page separates the long form into digestible sections for users.
They can see the entire part of the application on each page as well have the option to go back to change their input (vs. scrolling up in old design).
The new redesigned adoptable dogs screen fixes the grid layout issue.
All of the images are consistent in size, caption has text hierarchy making it easier for users to read.
The search and filter options are evenly spaced out keeping consistent with the rest of the web design.


Usability Testing

Eight participants were asked to perform tasks on the new redesign along with any feedback they had on the overall look and feel.
The testing had a 100% completion rate with a 90% error free rate.

Testing showed that user experience with the redesign prototype was much better than the current design. The new landing page looked more "fresh" and "approachable". With the new design it gave users a sense of reliability that the organization cared more about their online presence and therefore could trust that the information was up-to-date.

View Prototype

Priority Revisions

After conducting the usability testing I went back and added some features that users noticed were lacking. A "More filters" option in the adoptable dogs list screen that allows users to filter beyond just age and sex. Users who know specifically the type of dogs they are looking for will get a much more streamlined experience with the additional changes.

Another requested change was the labeling of the application process. By specifying each section with names users can understand exactly what each page will require as well as the ability to click and move to those sections regardless of what page they're on.

Next Steps

Given more time for this project I would like to make contact with the client and propose the project and further work with them to fully implement the redesign. Some additional features that I'd like to test would be a scheduling option for a meet-and-greet. Provisional adopters will be able to meet the pets in-person or virtually with the foster parents to further aid in their decision.

The research and project has shown a redesign would help organization in their mission to get adoptions, volunteers and donations.