Contextual Inquiry, User Research, Surveys
Researchers: L. Garel, N. Dozier, D. Hankes, A. Leung
Dogs usually have to stay home while their owners work. This limits the amount of exercise they get during the day. In our experience, many dog owners who want to socialize while their dogs exercise have a difficult time finding other dogs for a play date.
In this project, we aim to improve the physical and mental health of dogs by encouraging and facilitating doggie playdates. Specifically, we asked how can we improve the experience of finding a doggie play date?
This company aims to track a dog’s daily activity and sets its personalized fitness goals, which does not have the social interaction aspect for the dogs.
This company is a dating application which allows dog owners to connect and schedule a date with each other and their dogs. While this app has potential to schedule a playdate for the dogs, the target is more socialization for the owner rather than the dog.
These meetup groups exist in multiple cities around the country; however, these are scheduled events not intended for impromptu doggie play dates.
Our team went to dog parks and doggie daycares. We observed dog owners, doggie daycare attendants, friends of dog owners, puppies, dogs and children (who came with adult dog owners). There were 16 dog owners and 25 dogs (various breeds and sizes).
We used the AEIOU Framework to record activities. Each team member observed at least 1 dog owner. Observations lasted approximately 90 minutes.
We interviewed friends, family, and acquaintances who own dogs, and asked questions in-person and over the phone. There are 5 dog owners with 6 dogs (various breeds and owners).
We created interview protocol to standardize questions, and interviewed approximately for 45 minutes. Notes recorded by typing on laptop or writing in notebook.
Aaron is an active single man who loves adventure. Aaron's first priority is his dog and he brings his dog everywhere he goes - from hiking trips to visits to the beach. Aaron loves socializing with his dog and often finds himself going to dog meetups and on group walks.
He is a frequent visitor to his local dog park and will do whatever it takes to make his dog happy.
Paul is a young, busy professional who lives in the city. He doesn't live very close to any dog parks, but regularly takes his dog for walks and runs. He doesn't have time to schedule play dates for his dog, but wishes there was a quicker way to do it.
Paul also regularly travels for work, and has to have the dog either stay with friends, or takes him to a kennel.
Rita is an empty nester who walks her dog alone and wishes she had more ways of socializing her dog.
She wants to set up activities with other dog owners but is unable to figure out how to do this online.