BadAss Brooklyn Animal Shelter

A redesigned responsive website providing the first place that potential dog owners in NYC would go to rescue dogs saved from high kill rate shelters in the southern US.

View Prototype
Screener Survey
User Interviews
Personal Development
Journey Mapping
Design Studio
Break Point Design
Usability Testing
Rapid Prototyping
Andy Pham
Brendon Hoover
Gabriella Fish
Kathy Lee

My role
UX Researcher
UX Designer

2 week sprint
November 30 through December 14th


The Client

Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue is a Brooklyn based non-profit animal rescue organization that hired our team to redesign their responsive website in order to support the needs of their primary users in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Team

Our team consisted of a group of 4 UX Designers and Researchers: Andy Pham, Gabriella Fish, Kathy Lee and myself as UX Designers and Researchers

This case study will walk you through how and what our team did to researched define, synthesized, and delivered for the final product.

If you would like to understand more about the why behind my design process, my writing style or me, check out the full retrospective article, checkout my Medium.

Discovery Phase (Research)

•  Screener Survey
•  User Interview Discussion Guide
•  User Interviews
•  Affinity Mapping
•  Current Site Usability Tests

Flow and Process
To kick things off we started by crafting a screener survey to help us discern the people who had adopted a dog before and who were  likely to adopt a dog again.

Of the 47 people that responded, 11 people that fit our criteria and of those, we were able to interview 7. The data from the interviews was used to conduct an Affinity Mapping session, which would allow us to distill the essence of the interviews into "I" Statements and Observations.

What We Learned:
•  People want to feel confident in their decision when adding a dog to their lives by having access to transparent information from trusted sources that can help them make ethical decisions for both themselves and the dog.

•  Although people have varying priorities as to why they would add a dog to their life, they all are seeking a mutually beneficial relationship between themselves and their dog.

Current Site Usability Testing
To understand how people interacted with the current "BadAss" site we conducted an initial round of usability tests. This allowed us to understand people pain points in the system and their behavior when trying to:
1) Find an older dog that gets along with other dogs.
2). Plan a visit to meet the dog.

What We Learned:
• Users want more dog specific content
• Dont lead customers away from your website to view available dogs
• Make it easier to schedule a time to meet the dog

Define Phase (Synthesis).

•  Problem Statement
•  Persona Development
•  Journey Map

Flow and Process
The Define phase kicked off with the creation of our Problem Statement:

Taylor needs a way to find the right dog for her life, through a trusted shelter and to determine if the dog will get along with her current dogs.

How might we help advocate on Jenn's behalf while clearly communicating the job requirements, pay, schedule, and responsibilities of the job?

We then crafted a Primary Persona, Taylor, to act as an anchor for our empathy and allow us to put a person and face behind the problem we were looking to address.

We then crafted a Journey Map to understand the emotional experience of adopting a dog, from initial contemplation all the way to the determination of fit in the household.

What We Learned:
• Finding a dog to adopt or rescue is an emotional roller coaster with little certainty.

• The emotional load of adoption and dog ownership can be overwhelming without proper preparation .

Next we turned our attention to designing a website that blended the functionality the users needed, with a aesthetic that would please both the business owners and the customers.

Design Phase (Ideation)

• Design Studio
• User Flow (Find a dog)
• MidFi Wireframes & Prototype
• Usability Test Script

• MidFi Usability Testing
• HiFi Wireframes & Prototypes
• HiFi Usability Tests
• HiFi Mobile Page Break

Flow and Process
With our Problem Statement & current user pain points in mind, we set off into a Design Studio session for both the home page as well as the Adopt a Dog page. This helped us flush out the basic layout and positioning of elements in LowFi sketches.

We then converted the LoFi Sketches into MidFi Wireframes using our Style Guide and User Flow. The MidFi wireframes were then prototyped and tested on 5 Users. The results of the tests were compiled then the MidFi Wireframes were brought into HiFi Wireframe iterations as informed by the MidFi Usability tests.

During the LoFi sketch to Mid Fidelity Wireframe transition we kept the features that aligned with our data from user interviews and initial usability test results.

The initial website required too many clicks to learn about the adoption process and to then contact the shelter about meeting the dog, so we aimed to reduce the clicks to accomplish researching and meeting with the dog.

We then completed another round of usability testing to see how the changes were recieved by users

In both tasks, users were successful in finding a specific dog and scheduling a time to meet with the dog with only minor issues regarding the clarity of the icons and repeating of functionality.

Finally we incorporated the MidFi Usability Test results into our HiFi Wireframe Prototype and mobile phone breakpoint design before conducting one last round of HiFi usability testing

What We Learned:
• The color scheme came across to users as out dated
• The typography was inconsistent and decreased users over all satisfaction
• There was a 10% increase in ease of navigation with proposed changes
• Users were likely to find more dogs through the 'Meet My Friends' link on the featured dog card more than originally anticipated

Deliver Phase (Iteration)

• Stakeholder Presentation
• Next Steps

Flow and Process
With the Final HiFi Usability tests completed and reviewed, we were ready to deliver our Final Stakeholder presentation which brought the research, data, designs, analysis and iterations into one place with the result of Success.  Our stakeholder was overjoyed with the end result and was told about the next steps we recommended.  Once the ownership of both the Figma Prototype files and the Zeplin hand off Document were completed, we celebrated the major success of a beautifully designed, tested and received client website.

Next Steps:
• Make filter more apparent
• Test filter at different levels of complexity (simplify with option of advanced search)
• Align the language between the filter and the icons
• Polish visual design of dog cards including the readability and consistency of each icon on each card
• Find a clean and minimalistic color theme for the entirety of the site and use a consistent easy to read typography
• Structure the information architecture to reflect the primary users dog adoption needs beginning on the homepage.
• Promote content about ways to donate and give back to the shelter