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PetLove is your one-stop pet adoption platform.

My Role   



UX Design

User Research


3 months



Service Blueprint



This project ​focus on building a pet adoption platform that connects animal shelters with people who are looking for a pet. Unlike other pet search websites on the market, PetLove provides an integrated service from initial searching to taking the pet home. PetLove is dedicated to build a pet-friendly platform while still providing good service for both animal shelters and customers.

Research the topic
Model the data and identify problems
Ideate and design the interface
Reflections & Wrap-up
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Pets are also our users!
The Challenge

Build a one-stop platform that allows people to look for pets from different animal shelters and adopt the pet they want. Current searchable databases of adoptable animals require users to contact the animal shelter by themselves which makes the process redundant and time-consuming.


For this project, I strive to build an online pet adoption platform that is not only user-friendly but also pet-friendly.

  • Participant Observation

A participant observation was done to observe what people do at a dog open day in DC. The event was cohosted by Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Petco. It allows me to see the adoption process and how people interact with the staff and pets. Besides, it allows me to learn the whole ecosystem around animal shelters. 

New-born puppies that require extra care.
Foster Families would bring dogs for adoption.
The event was in collaboration with PetCo and it was right next to the street.
What I learnt?
  • ​The collaboration between animal shelters and pet accessory manufactures. ​
  • The success rate at the open day is as high as 5/10. People who came to the event were prepared for the adoption.
  • The foster family is a key element for many animal shelters.
  • Interview

To gather customer data and collect insights for the design of the platform, 8 in-depth interviews are conducted. All interviewees had adopted at least one pet. ​

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Interview data are colour-coded and analysed in Excel.
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Then categorized into different themes that speaks about different aspects of the platform design.
Key Findings
  • Overall, people find the adoption process Fine. They don’t think it’s too complicated but there is definitely room for improvement.

  • The pet adoption process is not pet-friendly.

  • Platforms should not only be customer-centric but also pet-centric. Service after the adoption is important.

  • Pet adoption platforms like Petfinder integrate pets’ information from different shelters, but when the customer wants to adopt a pet found on Petfinder, he or she still need to go to that pet’s shelter website to complete the whole process.

  • The information about pets on the platform are not accurate and people want clear, accurate information about the pet, their appearance, temperament, location, etc. Videos are preferred.

  • The process can be complicated and time-consuming.

  • Some shelters have follow-ups after the adoption and have Facebook groups where pet owners can share their experiences and ask questions. This shows a shelter’s responsibility and the discussion group can be especially helpful for first-time pet owners.

"I feel like the these kind of platforms are not well-developed in general, so I don't know what to expect."


"Sometimes pets live in their foster family, and they need to be transported to different places and see a lot of strangers, which is not great for them."

"Pets don't look like their photos..."

"Different shelters have different procedures and policies, it's frustrating."

"I'm only allowed to see 2-3 pets at a time, which is not efficient. I know some people would just make a random decision among those choices."

Data Modeling

To model the data, a couple of models was built to help identify pain points and potential opportunities. The user work role model was a start point that illustrates different work roles and subroles.​

Who are the users?
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Three persona were condensed from the model as the main user that guide the design.
What functionalities do the website need to have?
Each role was divided further into different tasks they perform.
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Click to view in Miro
User journeys are gathered with possible opportunities to solve the painpoints.

Although to guarantee these requires quite an amount of work, the efficiency of work and customer experience can be greatly improved. With searchable indices and detailed information provided, users can make an earlier decision on whether the pet is what they are looking for before the in-person meet-ups, thus decreasing the workload for the platform employees. 

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Click to view in FigJam
Key features of the website

A universal adoption process and contract 

A refined search engine 

Detailed and accurate information about the pets. Videos!

Ideation & Wireframes


Having a video feature would help users understand the personality of pets better and saves unnecessary time. This help the platform stand out.

Website title bar

The navigation bar includes a search engine, a page for policy, a page that explains the adoption process, an online community and an about 
Display the most important info on the search result page while allowing other features as filter conditions. 
The individual page shows the personality of the pet in greater detail. Videos and the shelter where the pet comes from is provided.
The search page and the pet info page.

Website search page and the pets info page

The search user flow

The search page and its user flow

User flow of the mobile app.

Users can use the toggle switch to a more compact search result view. 
The homepage and the user flow

The home page and its user flow

Visual Identity
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How does PetLove improve user experience?
  • A universal contract for all animal shelters. 
  • Personalised pet-adoption process.
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An integrated website for all
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Search with specific needs

Allow users to search according to their desired breed, distance, personality, age, animal type, etc. and allow sorting and filtering in a combined way.

Get to know the pet more

Detailed and accurate description of pets. Additional information like information on the cat’s past experiences, whether they get along with other cats or dogs are provided.

Through showing a video clip, users get to know not only what the cat looks like, but also the temperament and envision what the cat will be like at their home.

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Schedule to meet the pets

Providing online meet-up options. This, if executed well, can be beneficial for all parties. Customers will save more time, pets won’t leave the place they are familiar with, and platforms can save transportation fees.​​

Check shelter info and reviews

An online community will be built to provide resources and information for all pet lovers. Pet owners can ask questions on the platform and there will be ratings for animal shelters.

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Negotiating a universal contract, having ratings for animal shelters, providing video descriptions, making efforts to do a return visit, all of these will increase the success rate of matching, decrease the times the pet needs to be transported, thus improve pets' experience accordingly.

Mobile Design
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Developing Further

For a business like pet adoption, it is always essential to put the pets in the front and never forget it is a service built for them. Customer experience can be improved greatly with more precise information about pets and a more sophisticated search engine. An integrative, all-in-one service is expected. 

It should be noted that the interview method can cause bias such as the social desirability bias which may lead to inaccurate responses. The study can be improved by collecting data from more diverse groups and consider all edge cases. For example, people who can no longer have their pets is one group of people to be considered. The platform can be further improved by allowing people to donate their pets they are unable to raise and provide service for them. 

To continue the service, platforms should consider their revenue model. The online community of the website provides opportunities to sell pet food, toys, and accessories online once the trust and the brand is built. This can actually allow platforms to provide a better service and building a caring community should be a mission for all.

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