PROJECT Guami, App for pet owners in Chile
ROLE User Research · UX · UI · Prototyping & Testing (UX team of one)
TOOLS Sketch · Framer · Illustrator · Zeplin · Trello
DURATION  2018 · 2020 (18 months)
Imagine you are one of the most of 50% of Chilean people who have pets. You want to share with them every day because they're part of your family. But you can't find where to go with your pet, know which veterinary is better or where to meet people with the same interest. You feel frustrated because you can't find everything in one place. That's why we created Guami. An app to improve pet owner's lives, build community and promote responsible ownership.
It's hard for Chilean pet owners to search for information all in one place. It even is hard to find info on different sites, and mostly is by word of mouth. This impacts their lives, creating poor satisfaction and affecting their experiences.
Create an app for pet owners to build community, satisfy and facilitate their lives through different features. All this focused on promoting responsible pet ownership.
We can get into the national market and be one of the top pet apps in Chile. There are a few in the country, and the pet market and demand increase. In Chile, between 2012 and 2017, the growth reached 92%, equal to more than USD 800MM in sales. For the year 2022, USD 1,153MM of sales are projected, representing 8% of the projected sales for LATAM. (Albertini, 2017)
To understand our users, identify specific behavior patterns, and understand the context, I did desktop research, 3 online surveys with 93 participants, and interviewed 10 pet owners from Chile. Based on my investigation, I created personas. They were in mind when making design decisions and to keep them in mind in the whole process as a team.
 The new law 21.020 enacted in 2017 of Responsible ownership of pets and companion animals (Cholito law) has a set of obligations: register their pets and implant a microchip, take responsibility for their food and sanitary management, and respond civilly for the damages they cause, among other responsibilities. (ChileAtiende)
 6 of 10 Chilean households have a pet: 52% are dogs, 25% cats, and 5% have another type of pet, living with 1 or more animal per home. 70% take their pets to the veterinary, and their average monthly expenses are CLP 25.871 (USD 34.51). (GFK 2018)
 Chilean people get a new pet adopting or as a gift, followed by purchasing an animal. They buy online pet products, on Facebook (64%), websites (60%), and Instagram (51%). They buy food (50%), toys (63%), clothes or accessories (58%), and training treats (7%). (Cadem 2019)
• In 2018, were registered more than 65.000 pets. In 2021, the registration increase to 1.5million pets, and more than 400.000 were neutered. Most of them are dogs and cats, and mixed dogs are the most registered (608.439). (Subdere)
While benchmarking apps in Chile, I could find very few, and most of them, related to lost and found pets or for adoption. Laika was an app with similar characteristics to our project but was removed from the Google Play and App store. SOSAFE is a social citizen security-oriented app that can report lost and found pets but is not pet-oriented. We can find many apps in other countries' markets for cats and dogs. And also, there are some Instagram and Facebook accounts that recommend pet-friendly places or sell pet accessories.​​​​​​​
When sketching, creating the flow, and iterating the designs, I wanted the users to have easy and intuitive navigation. Also, as a team, we decided the purpose of each feature to have a better flow and north star when building the appFor the scope of this case study, I will focus on the MVP features "Community" and "Pet-friendly places." 
*We decided to build the app for dogs and cats owners because they are the leading pets in Chile.​​​​​​​
Users can post under 2 main categories: Dogs and cats and 4 subcategories: food, entertainment, health, and grooming. Users can filter categories, post and save a comment, upload photos and give likes. I designed this feature to bring to pet owners a space to interact with others with the same interests creating a community.
* At the beginning, this feature was called "Questions." Still, it was confusing and was changed to "Community." (I translated the names, the app is in Spanish).
Users can search pet-friendly places through georeferenced results, with a map or a list view. Each place has essential info as name, address, website, or any other information the place can provide, and reviews from the community. Pet owners can write their reviews and save their favorites places. I created this feature to help pet owners find activities and places to go with their pets and meet people with the same interests. Plus, we can partner with businesses to generate revenue.
I did 4 usability tests with pet owners from Chile under a moderated video call via Skype. Users could go through all the tasks successfully with "Pet-friendly places." They reacted satisfied with the experience and excited with the idea. In "Community," one screen became the most complicated. They struggled to select the categories, recognizing icons and the meaning of concepts. I iterated the screens having less friction after each usability.​​​​​​​
 Orange selection: (#1) Participants struggled to select the categories. They clicked on the icons to get information and didn't know if they could choose one or more. (#2) I separated the icons to guide them with the order when choosing the categories, but it wasn't clear, and they asked for labels. (#3) I added labels, and I came back to proposal #1, but the order wasn't evident yet. (#4) I deactivated the subcategories to help the users choose between dog/cat first and then the other options. Users understood and could do the task, but I'm still looking for better and easier approaches.
 Red selection: (#1) Participants were confused with some words. They didn't relate the tab "followed" with favorites. (#2) Users understood better when I changed the tab to "favorited."
 Blue selection: (#1) Participants took time to like a question. They were confused between the star and the paw. (#2) I changed the icon's order, but they still had issues to like a question. (#3) I wanted to innovate with the paw icon, but I decided to follow their mental models and change it to the heart icon. After that, users didn't have any problem when liking a question.
• We added 2 features to our MVP given the user's needs in our research. We incremented the time to build it instead of an early release.
• One of the features I added, "My pets," to register, save and keep their pet's info was implemented. Still, we decided that some functionalities, as reminders and medical records, will be developed in the future because of technical and time constraints, leaving only pet registration for now. 
• Because of the pandemic in 2020, we put the project on stand by.
• Users were very interested and happy when testing the app, willing to use it, and recommend it to other pet owners.
Person 1: “It would be great to have a place where you can simplify pet owners’ lives. Pets are part of the family, and you don’t want to leave them alone.”
Person 2: "I would love to have an app for pet owners. I haven’t searched if there’s one, but it would be very helpful.”
We built 4 features plus a profile section for the app. I had fewer issues after 6 usability tests and iterations.
• We haven't launched the app yet. But If we do, I would like to measure: number of app downloads, number of sign-up users, monthly active users, tasks success, referral, track satisfaction, and comments updates as participation/engagement. Do users need the Android app? Do they recommend it to other pet owners? Do they write reviews? Which features are most used? What kind of animals are the most registered? Among other metrics.
Retake and analyze what we have with time and distance perspective. Test each feature one more time, improve the product, finish the app, launch it, and keep iterating.
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