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Bark

It seems like there is a "smart" everything these days, so why not a smart collar for your pet? The current options for a smart collar are minimal and basic, and your pets deserve the best. 

The Team

Dylan Eldridge, UI Designer

Hayley Smith, UX Designer

My Role

Lead design thinking and ideation, user interviewing, user research, create style tiles, wireframes, prototypes, and design guide

Problem

Our client was looking for solutions for a smart collar for dogs. The current market has some options, but most of them are very simple and in the early stages of development. The client asked us to build out a mobile application that would be used for dog owners to track their dog's health stats, similar to Garmin or Fitbit's technology. We did not know what metrics were important to dog owners or how we could track and display those statistics, which would create a meaningful profile for dog owners. 

Process & Findings

We wanted to understand the smart collar industry as a whole, so we began by doing a competitor analysis, identifying the existing smart collars, their features, and where users felt they were lacking. This helped us identify user pain points and necessary features and metrics to be tracked in our mobile app.

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Features

We then put together a potential features list and began to conduct some user interviews to understand the desirability of those features and see what else we might be missing from the user's point of view. After our desirability testing, we narrowed down our focus for features in our mobile app and began some low-fidelity sketching and wireframing. 

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Sketches

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UI Design

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After agreeing upon a general direction, Dylan and I began to work on the UI of the application, starting first with our moodboards. During our competitive analysis, we had seen that our competitors tend to lean toward a cute, bubbly visual design or a more tech-focused look. In order to set ourselves apart from the pack, we both looked toward a familiar, outdoorsy, natural but upbeat feel, using a pop of gold amongst rich greens. 

We then began to work on our high-fidelity wireframes and prototypes for the application. Once we completed our first draft of the prototypes, we brought them to our original group of 10 interviewees for usability testing. Our top insights were:

1. Allowing users to draw their own boundaries is a great idea, but it wasn't clear in our prototype that that was what we wanted users to do.

2. The prototype lacked clarity around what the "Alerts" were meant to do - will they buzz the dog? Send a notification to the owner?

It was clear many of our issues were around clarity about what the user can expect to happen or what we expected the user to do. We made our updates to the wireframes around these insights. 

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After completing our high-fidelity wireframes and prototype, we created a simple style guide and I designed an example of a marketing site that could be constructed using our style guide to hand off to our client.

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Our client wanted extremely quick turnaround on this work (within 1 week), and we were able to deliver within a couple of days. With more time, I would have liked to create more consistency in the visual design across all screens, a more detailed style guide for later iterations, and a more fully fleshed-out prototype. But our client was incredibly pleased with our work and what we completed in the time frame.

You can see our final client submission here.

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