How can we change the pet adoption experience?

How can we change the pet adoption experience?


My Role —

User Experience &
User Interface Design

TailTale was a week-long design challenge. The goal was to research and design an application that helps potential pet adopters find their dream match and lead them to successful adoption. Within the week-long time period, I’ve conducted preliminary market research, competition analysis, interviews, paper, and digital wireframes, and delivered high-fidelity mock-ups of the product.

How it works

Initial Filter

What makes pet adopters different from buyers is that they emphasize the chemistry the most over everything, even over breed. In fact, through research, I’ve found out that people who visit the adoption center do not have specific breed preference most of the time. With that in mind, the initial filter experience is highly focused on user-to-pet chemistry. I’ve found out that many competitor apps have very text-driven features for the filter. I wanted the filtering experience to be simplified and have some fun in it as well.


There are many questions that run through the mind of potential pet adopters when they browse through pets. However, current apps don’t really provide a lot of information. Users are forced to contact the adoption center separately to find out more information. I wanted to create an experience where the potential adopters get to know more about the logistics, not just what the pet looks like. Also, the chemistry score is designed to help users understand how compatible the pet is.


One of the major pain-point of pet adoption is contacting. Many pet adoption centers and shelters were relying on emails or phone calls, and the turn-around time was very slow. I designed a chat feature where users can directly talk to the organization. They can attach calendars or mention the pet on the app to help the communication.



The challenge was to research and design an experience that can help potential pet adopters to find the right pet with the best chemistry. Adopters don’t really know what to expect during the process. As a result, adopters may think it is too hard or too long.

This major issue can be solved by providing a streamlined experience where all the process of adopting a pet is put together. If everything from browsing, selecting, scheduling, and payment is packaged together in one product, it will make the pet adoption process lot more smooth.

Areas to focus and a shortlist of potential features

Competition Analysis

I looked into five different products that are designed for pet adoption. All of them have very text-heavy layouts, and most of them had filters that are too simple. An opportunity to create a unique product that has well-organized visual elements and detailed filters opened up.


To get to know the process in detail, a visit to a near pet adoption center was a must. Janet from the Silicon Valley Animal Control helped me to learn about the process of pet adoption, and Tammy talked to me about her experience of adopting Tyson.


Three versions were made for the initial wireframe. Each version had a different emphasis. Style A focused on providing visual filters before displaying pets. Style B shows all the pets nearby first before the user filters the results. Style A shows a compatibility score, and Style B shows compatible factors as icons. Style C focuses to deliver compacted and simpler filter and tiles of multiple photos when displaying pets.

Selected wireframes from all three syles

Each version was tested by a potential user through a paper mock-up. Feedback was gathered to create a final version. The review was very helpful to define the final UX flow. After the review, I decided to emphasize media and conversation with the adoption center the most. Images and videos of pet candidates were very useful to potential adopters.

Selected wireframes from all three syles

High-fidelity mock-ups