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PawPal is a fast, simple and budget-friendly way to bridge the communication gap between you and your pet. We connect you with a professional trainer of your choice so that you can get the help you need when you need it.

UX Designer
Visual Designer
Brand & Identity
Desktop Site
iOS Application
User Surveys & Personas
SWOT Competitive Analysis
User Stories & Flows
Concept & Brand Story
Sketches & Wireframes
HiFi Prototype
Adobe Creative Suite
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PawPal is a Desktop site and mobile application that connects pet owners with professional, licensed pet trainers in minutes. Simply sign up for free, and pay for the opportunity to speak with someone who can solve your pet's behavioral or obedience issues. PawPal makes being a pet owner and understanding your pet easier and more affordable.

Problem Icon

The Problem

There are many resources for pet owners, but the market is still lacking in terms of technology. For example, you can easily book a doctors appointment for yourself online or speak with a therapist instantly via a mobile app, but technological advances providing this experience in regard to your pets are few and far between. The only way at this time to get behavioral help for your pet is to hire a trainer which is often time consuming and expensive or consult veterinarians who are neither licensed nor specialized in behavioral training practices.

PawPal Mobile Screens
Solution Icon

The Solution

With the pet care services industry being worth over 70 billion dollars in the U.S. alone and growing exponentially, there is a huge opportunity in this market to provide pet owners with more resources for affordable and convenient pet care. Introducing PawPal, an easy and affordable way to live chat with licensed, professional pet trainers at a moment’s notice.

Den iPhone
Research Icon

User Research

I created a research survey specifically targeted to pet owners that evaluated how they viewed their pet’s behavioral health and obedience and their approaches to solving problems they encountered with their pets. I also gauged what their satisfaction was with the resources already available on the market to see if there was a need for a new product. I focused on the following:

  • How important owners viewed their pet’s behavioral health and obedience
  • How owners viewed the affordability of the current resources available on the market
  • How satisfied and familiar owners were with pet services products currently on the market
  • How owners approached a problem scenario that would require pet behavioral advice

Where owners go for reliable pet behavior advice

How important owners view their pet's health

Reasons owners do not seek professional help for their pets

What I Discovered

I wasn’t surprised to learn that most owners view their pet’s overall health and wellbeing as extremely important to them with all owners selecting an 8 or higher in terms of importance on a scale from 1-10. I was pleased to learn that owners were extremely frustrated with the lack of affordable and convenient resources available to them, most owners reported searching online when they encountered a problem with their pet. Owners also reported that they would be more willing to consult a professional if services were more readily available and affordable.

View Full Survey Results
User Persona Icon

User Personas

I created three user personas based on the research I gathered about pet owners. I focused on their goals, motivations and current frustrations with the current market and problems they were facing with their pets.

User Persona Avatar

The Pet Mom

Age: 35 / Location: Boulder, CO / Gender: Female


Family is important to Jean, which is why she feels so lucky to have a flexible work schedule and be able to be around for her kids and husband. She also loves being able to take excellent care of her pets. Before she had her kids, she had her dog, Molly. Molly is now close to 10 years old and Jean absolutely adores her. One of her favorite pastimes is to take her on long hikes in the mountains.


Since the kids were born, Molly has developed severe anxiety and trembles and pants excessively whenever Jean leaves the house. Jean loves Molly, but she doesn’t know how to help her feel better and not feel anxious. The vet recommended exercise, but as she gets older Jean can’t run Molly as much as she used to.

“I need to learn professional methods to reduce Molly's anxiety."


The Teacher

Age: 31 / Location: Dallas, TX / Gender: Male


Kevin adopted a 6-month-old mutt,Toby, from the local animal shelter 6 months ago, and absolutely adores his new best friend. He doesn’t have a girlfriend and his family doesn’t live close-by, so he can dedicate a lot of his attention to his dog. The first thing he does in the morning is take Toby to the dog park and let him get his energy out before he leaves for work for the day. Each evening he loves to lay on the couch and hang out with Toby while catching up on the latest show.


Kevin made the decision to adopt a dog that needs a little bit of special care, which was perfectly fitting for him since he loves to help. Unfortunately, while Kevin is at work, Toby barks and whines so much that his downstairs neighbor who works nights can’t sleep and his landlord is pressuring him to solve the problem or either Kevin or Toby needs to move out. Kevin doesn’t have a lot of expendable income and can’t afford private training lessons.

“I need to find an inexpensive, effective and fast way to quiet Toby while I'm away.”


The Student

Age: 28 / Location: Orlando, FL / Gender: Female


Elizabeth has owned her cat, Scratchy, for 6 years. She adopted him when she had just graduated from undergrad at the age of 22 when she finally got her own place outside of campus. She loves having a pet since she spends so much time to herself studying, and she loves Scratchy more than anything in the world. She’s very close with her sister and loves being an aunt (and occasional babysitter) to her 4-year-old nephew.


Scratchy was always a great pet until he started to attack her nephew whenever he would visit. With no time or income to hire a private trainer, and no helpful information online, Elizabeth isn’t sure what to do.

“I need for my cat and my nephew to be able to get along in harmony"

Competitive Icon

Competitive Analysis

While there are no direct competitors of PawPal, there are services that provide pet owners with resources that are in the same realm as behavioral services. I chose to focus on Wag and Rover which provide pet sitting and advice services as well as Yelp which compiles reviews and provides exposure for pet trainers.
Rover Logo

The Rover community provides a message board for pet-parents to discuss, as well as their blog that gives tips and tricks. The message board allows discussion of questions and provides a strong sense of community between owners and care providers including reviews and photos. Rover does not provide a first degree connection to a vet or training professional. Limited to the cities that they service, which right now are only major metropolitan areas in the US. There is ample opportunity for Rover to expand their platform outside of the metropolitan areas that they currently service. They only book pet-sitting, walking and home visit services at this time so breaking into the pet healthcare or pet training space is an opportunity for them, especially due to their already established pet-owner subscriber base. Without any physical location, some people will always choose local pet care facilities over their sharing economy model.

Yelp Logo

Yelp provides reviews on services to help you select a care provider for your pet. Yelp provides contact information for businesses. Yelp is globally known and a big part of consumer business in the US. Yelp does not provide any scheduling and their scope is very broad and doesn’t focus on any one type of business. Some claim that Yelp has un-trustworthy reviews because reviews are not verified. Yelp has an opportunity to provide scheduling and live communication with the businesses that they partner with and also has the opportunity to expand their reach beyond the US and become a more global platform. As people increasingly want to book and schedule and communicate with businesses seamlessly through an app, Yelp will need to increase their capability in this regard to avoid this current threat.

Wag Logo

Wag provides dog training how-to guides on their website and also allows reviews but they do not provide any kind of vet or training information. They are limited in what they provide and none of them provide a first degree connection to a vet or training professional. They have ample opportunity to expand their businesses outside of the metropolitan areas that they currently service. They started out only booking dog-walking services, so they have ample opportunity to rebrand themselves as a complete pet-service platform. Their catalog of sitters is less robust than Rover and they are not as well-known. They do not have any physical locations, so local pet care facilities will still be chosen over their sharing economy model for those who do not want to take any risks with an unlicensed care provider.

User Stories Icon

User Stories

Once I had an idea as to what I needed to be sure I included in PawPal, I went forward with creating user stories so that I could ensure that all of my user’s needs would be met once the application was complete. These provided the foundation for me to create my user flows.

Sample User Stories

View All User Stories
User Flows and Sitemap Icon

User Flows & Sitemap

I created user flows first on paper, and then later in to formalize the plan for how the site would flow. I also created a sitemap to know exactly which pages needed to be created for the MVP of PawPal.

User Flows Sketches arrow User Flows Digital
User Flows Sketches arrow User Flows Digital
Identity and Brand Story Icon

Identity, Brand Story & Logo

Logo Sketches
Colors, Typeface and Style Icon

Colors, Typeface & Style

Because PawPal is a professional service, I didn’t want to go too playful with my styling which is why I chose a serif font for my headings and CTAs and an easy-to-read familiar sans-serif font for my text. I wanted to keep the attitude of the site friendly and approachable with bright colors and soft rounded corners on my boxes. I also wanted to ensure a cohesive color pallette which is why I chose all cool colors in my pallette. I wanted to inspire a calm and relaxing vibe while maintaining a high level of professionalism and trust.

Style Tile
Small Color Palette
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Sketches, Wireframes & User Testing

My first sketches of the PawPal logo later turned into what the logo is now. I created my initial wireframes in sketch so I could have a higher level of specificity. These wireframes were my guiding force behind later creating my HiFi mockups. Creating my wireframes first allowed me to do some preliminary user testing and get some feedback before moving forward.

Wireframe Sketch 1 arrow Balsamiq Wireframe 1 arrow Completed Wireframe 1
Wireframe Sketch 2 arrow Balsamiq Wireframe 2 arrow Completed Wireframe 2
Wireframe Sketch 3 arrow Balsamiq Wireframe 3 arrow Completed Wireframe 3
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High Fidelity Prototype

My first iterations of the HiFi prototype allowed me to finally get all of my creative ideas for how I envisioned PawPal onto some artboards so that I could continue with more user testing get down to business fine-tuning every last detail of the site. I started with the desktop site, since I wanted to ensure I had that all buttoned up before I began creating the mobile app.

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For this example, I realized after my initial wireframes were created that I needed a lot more detail on the profile page of the trainer other than only reviews. I approached this with a consumer-mindset and included relevant statistics and a ratings summary in order to convert users.
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Unsure where to place the "add a pet" button, I created a preference test to let the users decide. They chose the above iteration which clearly allows the user to create an additional pet profile while also keeps the focus on the existing profiles.
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Originally there were 5 steps required to complete a profile. To avoid user-fatigue, I saw an opportunity in doing away with the add a photo step, and having users complete the process while filling in their pet information. I took this change and tested it and users found this flow more familiar and quick.

Revisions and The Final Product

After performing user tests live, online and also gathering feedback through preference tests, I was able to collect all of this feedback into more iterations of the product until the user experience was seamless, intuitive and simple. I wanted to ensure that I tested with all different types of users (not only pet owners) so that I could ensure that all of the content was easy to understand and digest and the site had a clear and easy flow to it. You can see some of my iterations below and how they evolved to become the final product.

What I Learned Icon

What I Learned

This was the first project that I was able to take a problem and solve it with an original idea for an application. It was exciting during the research phase to find out that there was not an application like this that had already been created and my research proved to me that there was a need and want for a product like this. I got to be extremely creative throughout the entire process, from the very beginnings of figuring out exactly how I wanted to app to function down to the fine details of color gradients and typeface. One of the most important things I learned during this process was the importance of certain UI elements that users are thrilled to find are similar among varied websites and applications. Some examples are the filter and sort bar on the expert search page. Users were immediately drawn to how familiar and easy to use it was. Same goes for the pet profile set-up process and filling out forms.

I learned the importance of uniformity among forms and the statistics of how much more likely a user is to complete filling out a form if it is familiar to them and easy to navigate. I will always remember this project as being one that I am most proud of, where I got to unleash so many of my own original ideas and creativity.

View the InVision Prototype