1. Overview

Looking for better ways of keeping track of their business, CatPlaceLA wanted provide their clients with an app that will allow them to make appointments, select the service they prefer, and insert specifications about their cats. All this information will be available for the CatPlaceLA employees in another version of the app created just for workers.

2. Process

The process for this project includes the following:

1. Overview
2. Process
3. Research

3.1. Context Study /Business Pain Points
3.2. Competitive Audit
4. Analysis
4.1. Problem Statement
4.2. Use Cases
4.3. Executive Summary
5. Ideation
5.1. Feature Narrative
5.2. Design Principles
5.3. Clients Journey Map UX Flow
6. Design
6.1. Low-Fidelity Wireframes
6.2. Laying The Foundation
6.3. Branding
6.4. Bringing It All Together
6.5. Prototypes
7. Conclusion

3. Research

3.1. Context study / Business pain points

Imagine you have a cat and you're about to leave town for 2 weeks for a business trip. What would you do? We all know that cats are independent animals, but at the end of the day they are domestic pets and they need daily care as other domestic animals.

In these kind of situations we tend to ask family or friends. But what if you can't count on any of those options? What if you are alone in the city? Or what if you simply don't want to bother anyone? That's why CatPlaceLA decided to invest in providing boarding and daycare services for those busy owners who leave in the city and have an active life but still want to enjoy having a pet.

The business is going great but they've been dealing with some issues:

To keep track of all their clients and its pets, CatPlaceLA has currently been using traditional systems such as email, phone and agendas or journals, but it's getting a little bit out of hand and they need a product that will resolve these issues.

When I was trying to come with a solution for this problem, the first thing that came to my mind was to try to use a preexisting hotel booking systems or an appointment scheduling software. Although, soon enough I realized I couldn't find a single one that would cover all the pain points they were dealing with. The hotel booking systems would solve the boarding services, but it wouldn't cover the daycare appointments, and the the appointment scheduling software wouldn't cover the boarding services. On the top of that, we would still need some kind of system that would allow to register customized information of each cat and owner.

3.2. Competitive Audit

Based on my research, I selected the three booking/appointment systems I considered were the closest to the product that CatPlaceLA would need to solve these pain points, keeping on mind the content management system they're currently using (Wordpress).  Deeper analysis of these three products helped me to identify what were their weaknesses and strengths so I could create a product that not only would solve the issues the company was facing but also make it more desirable, useful, usable, and accessible for both employees and clients.

Weaknesses

  • Not mobile friendly. (Webkul, Calendarista and Revolution Pets)
  • To access to the admin, the CatPlaceLA employee would have to login in Wordpress in order for the employee to be able to see the admin panel. (Webkul and Calendarista)
  • In the case of Revolution Pets, to create a booking is too long of a process. Forms ask for too many details and client don't really have a way of knowing which info is really necessary and which one is not.
  • The interface design is not very desirable. (Webkul and Calendarista)

Strengths

  • The use of the icons in Revelation Pets makes very clear what the services  Boarding and Daycare are about.
  • Calendarista walks you through the process by numbering and naming each step through tags. Also, this system prevents you from having to scroll too much.

4. Analysis

4.1. Problem Statement

CatPlaceLA doesn't have a system that allows them to keep track not only of their clients but also of their clients cats' vaccinations, needs, and services that are being provided.

4.2. Use Cases

In order to build a system that would cover the pain points CatPlaceLA is dealing with, we have to study the users actions to make sure we build an app the clients would be willing to use.

According to Julie's (owner of CatPlaceLA) inventory, these are the type of clients CatPlaceLA usually gets. People who have cats in Los Angeles and are:

"I'm going on a week vacation trip and I need somebody to take care of my cat."

"I have a whole day event and I'm worry I won't be able to make it home to feed my cat."

"My company set up a last minute meeting with our New York department and I don't know who to leave my cat with for the next few days."

"My house is under construction right now and I'm worry it's not a safe place for my cat."

4.3. Executive Summary

CatPlaceLA will provide their clients with a customized booking system (app) where they will be able to make appointments for their cat(s), specify the type of service they want, and insert special information about each cat. Through another version of this app, CatPlaceLA employees will have easy access to this information and be able to keep track of the cats, check which necessities each one has, which clients booked which type of service, and if they meet the health requirements.

5. Ideation

5.1. Feature Narrative

For Clients

To create an app that allows users to sign-up/sign-in, add their cats records and details, and book their preferred services in a easy, fast, and carefree way. The key phases and components are:

For Employees

To create an second version of the user's app but exclusively for the CatPlaceLA employees in which they will be able to check the clients' appointment, the services required and the cats' specifications. The key phases and components are:

5.2. Design Principles

Intuitive / Second Nature

Using the app should feel instinctual, clear, and simple. Easy for the clients to follow the steps and comfortable for employees to navigate through and find information.

Trust

The design should built trust for the client to leave their pets with somebody else.

Carefree

Having your pet taken care of should be a relief. The experience of using this app should be one that leave you carefree.

5.3. Clients Journey Map UX Flow

Based on the feature narrative, I began to construct the user experience flow, taking into consideration the following:

6. Design

6.1. Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Clients app

Employees app

6.2. Laying The Foundation

Color

Typeface

Buttons

Form elements

Iconography

Illustrations

6.3. Branding

When Julie first contacted me and explained her business idea, she already had clear the concepts she wanted to work with in order to create the brand image for Catplacela:


Clean
Modern
Fresh
Cute
High quality
Simple
Likable

She wanted a logo that would reflect what the company was about at first sight, so the silhouette of a cat had to be on it. Below there are some drafts playing with front and profile cat silhouettes.

After several version, we finally decided to simplify and unify the logo a little by removing some details and merging the symbol with the letters.

After some final touches, here is the logo with the color palette chosen.

6.4. Bringing it all together

Clients app

Screens of the client appointment process:

Other screens:

Employees app

6.5. Prototypes

Clients app

Employees app

7. Conclusion

Looking at the product as a whole, I am confident that the solutions I came up with will solve the problem that CatPlaceLA has been facing regarding keeping track of the clients, their cats' needs, and the services that they are providing while at the same time will improve the experience of their clients' appointment process.

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