Find the perfect pup for your lifestyle!
Adoption web site sprint exercise

• UX Research Analyst • Project Management • Sketching • Site Architecture • User Journey • Interviewer • Stakeholder Presentation •


In this Sprint challenge, I was a team of one with 5 days to get up-to-speed on this Google Sprint project.

This what I did:

  • I was provided with primary and secondary initial research through Google
  • Utilized tried-and-true UX magic to create a solid solution
  • Brainstormed and sketched with crazy-8; Developed User Journey; Designed Hi Fidelity website, Conducted Usability Testing; Compiled a final determination.


Figma, FigJam, Figma Mirror, Zoom, Adobe Photoshop, Google Suite, Microsoft Suite

Skip to the Prototype!


Don't Shop When you can adopt!

CityPups is a hypothetical startup whose goal is to help people living in cities adopt the perfect dog.

This project gave me 5 days to come up with one of many solutions to the problem for CityPups. Because I adore dogs, naturally I had a lot of fun with this project!

The Challenge

My one goal was to be brought on board to run a design sprint quickly testing out a possible solution to help city dwellers find and adopt that perfect dream dog.

Through research and interviews CityPups had discovered that people living in cities struggle to find the right dog to adopt due to their unique needs.

Design Constraints

The Solution

To help the user find a dog who is a great fit and their unique set of needs the key was to get up to speed quickly; understand the provided research; and build a plan for the week.


Provided Research

By reviewing the primary and secondary research that was provided before starting this project, I had determined that finding a solution to help city dwellers find their forever dog included providing details that are not available on other sites such as: 

  • Detailed information about the size of the dog
  • Energy and living needs of the dog
  • Personality and temperament indicators
  • Consistent shelter information.

Maps & Personas


Ellie, age 27
Goals: wants to feel confident that she and her pup will be a great fit for each other - both in emotional connection, and practical factors related to her lifestyle.

  • Lives alone in a NYC studio apartment. 
  • She looks on Instagram and also asks friends for advice.
  • Ellie has spoken to adoption agencies but it’s time consuming. Ellie gets frustrated because the provided logistical information on adoption websites are too general. In order to feel confident in her forever pup, Ellie needs more specifics.

Pains & Gains



Day 1: Map

Read and Review

The very first step to this Sprint was to familiarize myself with the provided research and to completely empathize and understand the user. After careful review and copious notes, I went ahead and listed the key ingredients.

Key Insights

Needs of the User:

  • Efficiency: how much time will it take to complete the process
  • Specifics: training, potty-training, age, breed, color, medical, energy level, size of dog and need of space
  • Cost: adoption fees are different with each dog and makes a difference

The dog needs to be a good fit:

  • Emotional Bond: they need to enjoy each other
  • Temperament: ability to get along in a busy area with kids, dogs, strangers
  • Practical: factors related to her lifestyle.

Knowing the dog beforehand:

  • Meet and greet: user would like to meet the pup, but might not have transportation
  • Location: dog might live too far away. How is it transported to the user
  • Dog’s needs time commitment regarding training, medical, energy

Feeling confident in their adoption decision 

  • Shelter’s Information Logistical clarity
  • Consistent Information between the shelters
  • Include Videos in addition to cute photos.
  • Real Pups: they want to be certain it’s not another web scam
  • Personality: real world information on the energy, breed and personality of the dog

How Might we?

Clearly articulating the problem I'm trying to solve is the most important starting point of any design. It's critical to understand the human-focused problem before being able to solve it. It's not the solution, but creates an innovative space to work within.

Here are the questions I had determined to solve:

How might we help the user feel confident in their adoption decision?
How might we find a way for the user to meet their potential family member?
How might we make certain the dog goes to a forever home and isn’t returned?
How might we make the adoption process faster and more specific?

Primary User

Our primary user shares typical constraints including:

  • City dwellers who live in small apartments
  • There isn't a lot of outside space for the dog to play off-leash
  • Works, doesn’t have a car, uses of public transportation
  • Animal will be around large amounts of people, strangers, noise

Day 2: Sketch

Competitor analysis

For competitors, I decided to take a hard look at eCommerce sites which utilized filters for a selection process. Motorola, Zenni, and PetFinder. Really focusing on what I could use for my CityPups idea.

Motorola Site Notes

  • Comparison Chart is clear
  • Chart allows user to X out or change selection from drop down
  • Drop down could be list of favorites
  • Learn More could be Add to Cart

PetFinder Site Notes

  • Breed search using Work To Be Done
  • Quiz option on loading screen
  • Filters on side of the screen to alter need
  • Large Photos with large Favorites indicator
  • Clear Form with Match info to send to shelter
  • Highlights if in-state animal

Zenni Site Notes

  • Containers with large photos and fav indicators
  • Filters at top of the screen with Sort option
  • Top menu with search, account, fav, help, cart

"Crazy 8s"

This process was a lot of fun. The idea was to focus on a large selection of filters with options to change, and to see side by side comparisons before a user needed to make a decision.


The Crazy 8 sketches were a wonderful and intuitive way to move the project along to the next step, the Storyboard.

  • Help the user feel confident
  • The least amount of screens with the most amount of information
  • Thorough but simple 3 screen quiz to start
  • Option to enter site directly for speed
  • Favorites for easy filtering
  • Dedicated page for each pup
  • Consistent information from dog to dog, and shelter to shelter

Day 3: Decide

Splash Screen

Splash Screen: Fun and inviting

  • The target group wants to be certain they’re at the correct website.
  • The logo, cute dog photo, Get Matched or Enter Site buttons lead them inside.
  • Both pathways bring the user’s filtered selection of pampered pups.

Get Matched Quiz!

The quiz brings up the most important issues that have arisen from the user interviews, where many of the other options will be available in the menu filter once the user has entered the site.

  • Size of dog  
  • Age
  • Reactive (dogs, cats, kids, babies, seniors, men, strangers)
  • Training level (leash, potty, off-leash, recall, crate)
  • Energy Level (couch potato, chill, attention hound, energizer bunny)

Home Page

Once the quiz is completed, the user will be brought to a pre-filtered page with the options on the left to make adjustments.

  • This page will also be the home page if a user were to Enter Site from the splash. 
  • Each Dog will have a cover photo, favorites option, and a Quick View.
  • The Top Menu will have a quiz link, search, account, help, and favorites tab.
  • The cart link was removed because the idea of placing the pups in a cart could create confusion.

When the user clicks on a dog, they move to the detail page and a quick view option is available for the first round of viewing.

  • Main Window features a large photo and videos in the center
  • Basic info on the right panel
  • Consistent Shelter information with messaging

doggy Detail

When the user clicks on a dog, they move to the detail page. A quick view option is available for the first round of viewing.

  • Large photo and videos in the center
    • Basic info on the right panel
    • Local (x miles from zip)
    • Check availability
    • Schedule Meetup
    • Share
    • Add to Favorites
  • Details
    • Information from filters
  • Description
    • Information written from shelter or foster home.
    • You might also be interested in [similar pups] ation from filters
  • Shelter Information
    • Name, location, website
    • Map
    • Check availability 

Day 4: Prototype


Compiling the research, flow, sketches and storyboard, I put together a look and feel which incorporated the existing CityPups logo brand. Yellow, purple, gray with highlights of soft blue and yellow give the site a feeling of bright, light, and happy.

Day 5: Test

Usability Testing

Site Objectives

  • How would a user  feel comfortable taking the next stop to adoption
  • How can the site better demonstrate the personality traits of a dog
  • How can the site make the transition toward a final decision easier
  • Why would a viewer leave the site without finalizing their decision


  • Cassie; Dog trainer who works with Shelters 
  • Julian; IT college student looking for a dorm pup
  • Anne; NYC attorney who recently adopted a puppy from a local shelter
  • Nate; Cambridge father looking for a dog for his preschool daughter
  • Ellen; Cambridge Vice-President of IT company

Conclusion & Next Steps


Overall, the sprint was a success. The testers really liked the site and felt that it was decades ahead of what is currently available even if a few elements could be cleaned up.

Concerns which came up:

The participants seemed excited about the idea and a few had some additional features to add to the site moving forward. This behavior demonstrated to me that they were invested in the solutions presented to them.

  • Home Page: Rewrite more descriptive and enticing copy
  • Quiz and Filter development: Based upon Work-To-Be-Done
  • Shelter Information: “CommonApp” college approach for forms for efficiency of information
  • Alerts: "LinkedIn" search approach for dogs who might become available at a future date

Changes to make

I couldn't help myself but to iterate one more time with a few of the changes. It really helped me feel complete on the sprint.

  • Landing page: write more descriptive and enticing copy
  • Still Available button
  • Change copy to Message Shelter, as overlay
  • Quiz: allow a way to exit the quiz. Add Enter Site/Take Quiz menu item to top bar

Ideas for future development

The excitement of my users got me interested in following up on this project. They really wanted to know if it would ever be launched and they also had some interesting suggestions:

  • “CommonApp” college approach for shelter forms for efficiency of information and time
  • Set up alerts for future dogs who might become available with user filters (like linkedin job search)
  • Create an About page for CityPups so users can trust the site
  • Rewrite the Quiz to have more detailed information about behaviors and more specific information about size and age.
  • Rewrite the Quiz to be more thorough with behaviors which categorize as Work-to-be-done. This information will make assumptions for the initial filters.