Southern Pet Adoption App & Website Design Concept


The Problem

There are approximately 3.1 million dogs entering animal shelters nationwide each year, but only 2 million shelter dogs are adopted and about 390,000 are euthanized. The number of euthanized dogs could be reduced dramatically if more people would adopt pets.

Many pet adoption agencies have a long pet adoption process, which is very frustrating to those who wish to adopt.

Project Goals
  • Design a website and app that will make it easier for people to adopt a dog.
  • Create an automated Pet Adoption Survey, which will help the pet adoption counselor find the best pet match, based on the results.
  • Allow users to search for available pets online and filter by age, breed, and/or size.


App Design

Project Overview

Southern Pet Adoptions is a new nonprofit 501c3 tax-exempt organization dedicated to streamlining the pet adoption process. The primary target market include adults with families, millennials, and senior citizens who would like a pet for companionship.

My Role

As a UX designer, I lead the app and responsive website design process. I worked on this client project as part of my Google UX Design Certificate Program.

My responsibilities include:

  • Ideation and User Research
  • Conducting Usability Studies
  • Digital Wireframing and Prototyping with Figma
  • Information Architecture
  • Usability Testing

Project Duration

Sept. 2022 to Dec. 2022



User Centered Design Process

I followed a five-stage Design Thinking model throughout this project. The stages are: 1. Empathize, 2. Define, 3. Ideate, 4. Prototype, 5. Test.

I conducted user interviews for seven participants who have either adopted a dog or cat within the past five years, and asked questions regarding their experience with the pet adoption process. Most interview participants thought the paperwork took too long to complete. Some of the adoption agencies did not have a database of all available pets.

The feedback received through research made it very clear that users would be open and willing to complete a Pet Adoption Survey on a website or app. Then, an adoption counselor would select the best pet based on the survey results. They also liked the option to view a pet cam before making an in-person visit.

I created personas based on my interviews and secondary research to understand typical users' needs and desires.

User Story
"As a Customer Service Representative that frequently travels, I would like to adopt a friendly dog to offer companionship to my three children while I am away on business trips, so they won't feel as lonely at home."

-- Lester
  • It takes too long to complete pet adoption form.
  • There is not enough information about the health of the dogs on most adoption websites.
  • Find a pet adoption website or app that makes it easy to adopt a dog.
  • Choose a dog that may help teach children empathy and the responsibility of caring for someone else.

  • Donate money to an animal charity.



I made changes to the design after the usability study, which include allowing users to choose an appointment date on a calendar instead of typing the date. I also gave users the option to pick a time from a drop down menu.

Here is the Southern Pet Adoption high-fidelity prototype.



Hi-fi App Prototype

The hi-fidelity app prototype followed the same user flow as the low-fidelity prototype, including design changes made after the usability study.




After the app designs were completed, I started work on designing the responsive website. I prioritized design for the mobile device first before working on larger screen sizes.

The Southern Pet Adoption sitemap helped to guide the organizational structure of each screen’s design to ensure a cohesive and consistent experience across devices.



Website Design

Mobile Version

Based on the insights from the usability studies, I applied a few changes to the mobile website during the Prototype stage, such as adding more information about the dogs in the Details page.



Desktop Version

A Filter Section was added above the dog images so users can easily select a dog based on breed, size, gender, age, and location.

I also added a sticky footer, which is pinned to the bottom of screen and stays visible when the user scrolls down the page. Here are two screen samples.


Key Takeaways

Users shared that the Pet Adoption Survey was quick and easy to complete. One of the participants in the user study said, “the Southern Pet Adoption app would make me more likely to adopt a dog because the process is simple, and there is a great selection of dogs available.”

What I Learned

I learned that by diligently going through each step of the design process and aligning with specific user needs helped me come up with solutions that were both feasible and useful.

Next Steps
  • Add a Pet VideoCam feature so users can see the pet remotely, in case they are unable to make their appointment.
  • Add more educational resources for users to learn about pet adoption.
  • Provide an online newsletter to users who successfully adopt a dog or make a donation online.

Click here to see Southern Pet Adoptions full case study.