Pet Adoption App

Discovery and Research
Information Architecture
Brand Development

Wendy Gilbert



Zoomi is a pet adoption that matches humans with their Paw Stars!

Discovery and Research

Problem Statement

Searching for the perfect furry friend can be quite the journey. Sometimes online searching is just not enough. Maybe you don’t have the time to visit a shelter, or you don’t know what to expect or what animals are available. How about when you see an animal of interest online and by the time you want to meet them, they are already in the adoption process with another family. You want a friend that will keep you on your feet after a long day cooped up in your home office or you want to make sure your new furry friend will get along with others. Let Zoomi help take the edge off.

Who's Zoomi?

Zoomi is a mobile application for pet adoption with a match making twist. This app pairs users with potential pets using pertinent information such as overall lifestyle, and likes and dislikes through a personality quiz. Matches that best suit the users are called Paw Stars. Once received, just like a match making app, users can decide how they would like to proceed. Adopt, pass, share or save. Users will also be able to search pets through the homepage.

Design Thinking Process

To create Zoomi, I followed the design thinking process by using the double diamond methodology.

User Survey and Follow-Up Interviews

Search Preference?

• Most preferred Google as a natural go-to.

• Some preferred to visit the shelter so that they can see the pet in person.

• One person wanted to give a mobil app a try so that they can search from the palm of their hands. 

What are the most important info?

• The top 4 information people are looking for in pets were Personality, Breed, Age and Size.

• Most users may want to know of the animal’s personality to see if they are compatible with them and/or their family.

How to browse and notifications?

• Close to half prefer to scroll all available pets at all times and the other half would like to be notified when there is a match.

• Someone who does not have the time to search but does not want to miss a match would like to be notified everyday. While a passive person might find the daily pings annoying.

Best way to get a match?

• Most of the participants preferred that it’s best when there is a list of pets available at all times.

• While one user preferred to be notified of pet matches because they’re always occupied with their kids, another person has time and would like all the available pets laid out for them to browse through.

Target Audience

Animals spread across all demographics. As you can see from the examples, the target audience for this app is very broad. Here, I honed in on the reasons as to why someone might be looking for a pet. Anyone who wants a pet without constraints. Anyone who has access to a smart phone and wants to adopt a pet through a mobile app.

Competitive Analysis


An app offering adoption capabilities for cats, dogs and other different types of animals. From this app, you're able to search and filter pets for adoption from thousands of shelters and rescue groups.


• Clean and easy to use interface

• Has lots of filters

• Family placement advice and detailed information on animal care


• Some posted animals are actually no longer available. Maybe it was a partnering shelters issue.

• You have to initially give location in order to bypass first page when first opening the app


• Notification for “New Pets”

• Save filter and get alerts on pets that meet the conditions based on the filter

• Amount of time pet was put on the site/app


• Pet Finder is a popular brand, one of the most popular services

• Wide range of other animals, not just dogs and cats


An app that allows you to browse for nearby pets available for adoption. Filtering functions allow users to search with multiple parameters as well as save specific criteria with the ability to re-visit later.


• Straight forward app with the variety of animals that can be viewed for adoption

• Status of pets are clear on their image - whether they’re “new”, “adopt or foster” or “adoption pending”


• Filter feature is not very clear on screen

• Does not save search/filter criteria - users have to enter criteria every time they open the app

• No ability to search for multiple breeds


• Notification for “New Pets”

• Filter features thats clear on homescreen

• Save filter and get alerts on pets that meet the conditions based on the filter

• Amount of time pet was put on the site/app

• Ability to complete application through the app


• Wide range of other animals, not just dogs and cats

• Filter will let you set a search radius to find pets within a certain distance to you


An app that help users find their next furry friend with a wide range of available search filters while giving users the ability to hide certain breeds. This app also runs a rescue program that helps more animals get adopted.


• The app has two interface options to choose from for ease of use

• A lot of filter options to choose from to help pin point the perfect furry friend

• Includes a “learn” icon at the bottom of the app


• No “share” feature

• No ability to search for multiple breeds

• Cannot search by name if the user is looking for a specific animal that was put up for adoption


• Notification for “New Pets”

• Amount of time pet was put on the site/app

• Ability to complete application through the app


• Wide range of other animals, not just dogs and cats

• Ability to hide certain breeds

• Their filtering supports by 70 parameters - lots of different ways to filter!


I created fictional characters representing the different users based on my research.

From my research, the following are opportunities that I have found to improve the overall user experience:

• Making it easy for users to filter and save their search criteria.
• Educating users how to take advantage of Zoomi's unique Paw Star functionality through a personality quiz.
• Ability to allow users to re-visit their Paw Stars, pets that have been passed on, saved pets and inquired pets.


Kat is a successful graphics design freelancer. She works at her home office and also spends much of her time working on her little house with a piece of land attached. Her animals get along and plays well with one another, even her chickens! She loves all of her animals and was grieving when her long time family dog passed away six months ago. But after some time, she’s now looking to adopt another dog who is just as fun, loving and independent but also loves the company of others.


• To find a dog that best suits everyone's personalities especially with Kat's busy lifestyle.
• Keep all of her animals happy and comfortable with each other in and out of their home.
• The dog should feel welcomed as soon as they are introduced to their new family.
• Breed will matter as she wants everyone to get along.

Pain Points

• She cannot travel far for long periods of time as her animals still needs to be taken care of.
• Her animals can usually keep to themselves occupied but if she's not working on the house, she is busy with a design project. Though, she does like the presence of her animals.


Stefan is a busy individual who is always working on the computer. He’s also very much into keeping himself healthy whether it’s going to the gym 5 days a week or going to for runs in the neighborhood. Because work has gotten so busy, he hasn’t been able to carve out time for himself. He also just purchased a condo so sometimes it can get a little lonely. He hopes that by adopting a dog, he’ll be motivated to step outside more often during the day and also have a loving companion by his side all the time.


• Have the ability to maintain his healthy habits even when work gets too busy.
• Have a furry companion to live with and take care of.
• Balance work and personal life without having to sacrifice too much of one over the other.
• Breed will not matter as long as they can help him improve his activity level.

Pain Points

• Having a lot of clients and work can get a little hectic but the money is good.
• His local gym is not open long enough in order for him to use it when he's able.
• By the time work is done, he doesn't feel as motivated to stay active as he should.

Information Architecture

Journey Maps

Here is Kat’s journey from when she downloads the Zoomi app to when she finds the dog she loves and moves forward with the adoption process. She’s never used a pet adoption app before and thought to give it a try. She finds a dog that was similar to her last pet that passed away. She submitted a form for this pet and was contacted by the shelter right away for a meet and greet. Overall she was satisfied with how the app worked out.

Stefan is also new to Zoomi. He finds it interesting that he’ll need to complete a questionnaire for the app to do it’s work on matching. He likes the Paw Star feature as he does not have a whole lot of time to browse thru the app. He came across a Paw Star that he is really interested in and went ahead and submitted an inquiry form this Paw Star. The Shelter reached out, went to visit the dog and they are moving forward with the adoption process. Overall, he likes Zoomi and how little effort it took to find his companion.

User Stories

Here I created user stories for stefan as he begins to use Zoomi. For each story, I categorized them from high, medium and low. I used these stories to determine the important features that I needed to make the product viable.The High stories made it into the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP and the stories that are medium and low would go into the 2nd iteration.

Some high level stories include creating an account, seeing the Paw Star notification and submitting an inquiry form. Some medium levels include allowing notifications or location and completing the personality quiz. A low level would be browsing through the pet listings.

User Flows

I created various user flows that would display the complete path a user takes when using Zoomi. These user flows help me further understand a user's movement through Zoomi, mapping out every step that user takes.

Account Creation

This user flow depicts the beginning steps of the user creating their account. Here they will be asked if they would like to move forward with completing the personality quiz or Fast Match quiz along with setting up additional app settings.

You've Got A Paw Star!

This user flow shows the Walk thru of what a user would go thru once they receive a Paw Star before they head to the homepage. They will need to make a decision based on the choices provided.

Fast Match Quiz

This is a key user flow, as we identify the users steps to completing the Fast Match quiz in order for the app to identify the best matches. We also see here that the user can decide if they include additional filters based on the answers provided from the quiz and users can also manually enter their needs during this step as well.

Site Map

After the user stories and prioritizing them and creating the User Flows, I created the app’s site map that depicts the screens that I needed to make.


From the site map, I sketched out all of the wireframes. I then created the digitized low-fidelity versions of these sketches using Figma. During this process, I found it to be easier to create digital low-fidelity versions by having the sketches side by side.

Account Creation

Sketches and digital versions of the Account Creation process.

Fast Match

Sketches and low-fidelity wireframes of the sample questions from the Fast Match quiz. Here you’ll see the user will be able to set up their name and picture. The different types of questions include, rating system. multiple choice, and manual entry.

Paw Star / Pet Profile and Inquiry Form

Sketches and low-fidelity wireframes of the Paw Star, Pet profile and Inquiry form. As I digitized the Paw Star and Pet profile, I continued to refine the ideas. You’ll see the different versions of those screens here. The changes in the Paw Star screen include re-arranging the action choices below the pet photo. The change in Pet profile include adding in a Views icon in the top left.


Sketch and lo-fidelity wireframes of the homepage. Originally I wanted to include a Paw Star icon for unviewed Paw Stars and Paw Stars viewed / no action. I then decided that I wanted to include screens for pet listings not just for Paw Stars, but also for Paw Stars that have been passed on, Inquired pets (inquiry form submitted) and saved pets. I went with the Paw Stars Icon in the top left instead of the menu icon as that is an important feature of Zoomi and that it should stay highlighted on the homescreen. I removed the menu icon and replaced the saved pets icon in the footer with My Pets. My Pets will have a pop-up for Passed Pets, Inquired Pets and Saved Pets. This simplified having the users click more times than needed just to get to the desired screen. Here, most of what the user needs for the pet lists will be in the footer.

Brand Development

Mood Board

I started with the branding. I created a mood board that includes a compilation of inspirational images, color palettes and font styles. Based on this mood board, I wanted to go for an app that includes an assortment of colors and decided that I wanted to use two fun, and rounded fonts styles that pairs well with one another. To confirm accessibility, the color choices have been verified thru the contrast checker. I feel that the use of these choices of colors and fonts bring a fun vibe, as adopting a pet should be a fun experience.

The logo and name Zoomi comes from the term that I use when an animal randomly runs around in circles for no reason at all. I like to say that they have the zoomies. So I thought this would make for the perfect name for the app.

Usability Testing

I took the prototype to 3 users to test based on tasks that were given. Based on the feedback, I made the appropriate iterations. 

Here are some valuable feedback that I received: The users enjoyed the overall look and feel of the app. They liked the overall styling and felt confident for the most part to perform all of the tasks given. However, one user was confused when they submitted the form and was directed back to the homepage. They were not sure if they performed that task correctly. Also, another user felt that it might be helpful to include onboarding screens that could be useful to others who may not understand how to navigate a Paw Star.


Based on the feedback, I went back and iterated and refined the flow of the app. The confirmation screen was a big deal. I wanted to make sure that users know they have submitted their form successfully. To avoid any user confusion with navigating a Paw Star, I also designed onboarding screens. These onboarding screens appear right after a user creates their account.

High Fidelity Prototype

Test the clickable prototype by clicking on the image below.

Final Thoughts


• Being able to teach users that Zoomi is more than just pet adoption. Zoomi makes it easy with match making by providing similar functionalities as other match making / dating apps.
• Users having to complete a personality quiz, which could be a turn off, in order to properly utilize the match making function.
• Balance work and personal life without having to sacrifice too much of one over the other.
• Breed will not matter as long as they can help him improve his activity level.


The number of iterations that happened starting from the sketches to low fidelity wireframes to the final high fidelity prototypes. The final design looked way different than the original. Especially for the Paw Stars screen and having to add on the onboarding screens.

What would I do differently?

• Add in more pet options other than just dogs and cats.
• Include a "Learn More" section if users wanted to learn more about specific breeds.

What did I learn?

Seeing it from a user’s perspective as if they have never touched a dating app before and had no idea what a swiping function does. As a result of this, I needed to create onboarding screens for “new users” to show them how to properly make use of Paw Stars.

• Seeing it from a user's perspective as if they have never touched a dating app before and had no idea what a swiping function does. As a result of this, I needed to create onboarding screens for new users to show them how to properly make use of Paw Stars.
• In order for me to have a full understanding, I downloaded a popular dating app to see how their onboarding works.

How will I use this information in the future?

This project taught me to never assume what a user knows or doesn’t know. Sometimes it is better to lay out all the information, whether it’s during the onboarding process or when the user begins to use the app and pop-ups appear throughout the app that teaches users where things are and how to use them.

Next Steps

Once the prototypes with iterations are validated and acceptable through another round of testing, they will go into the next steps of proposing the development phase which works to bring the app to life. This step goes thru multiple different stages as the app build is mocked up as intended and everything is pixel perfect.


Case study created in 2021

Wendy Gilbert



Using Format