Fully indoor cats tend to struggle with changes in their environment, and when they are left alone for more than a couple of days, owners will often seek the help of a temporary caregiver who will visit or stay with the cat while they are away. It’s a demanding and time-consuming job that also requires some level of trust between owners and sitters, who are given full access to the owner’s belongings and assume full responsibility for the cat’s wellbeing.
Connecting cat owners looking for a sitter with fellow cat people looking for accommodations in specific locales who would be more than happy to keep company with a lonely kitty.
I looked into pet sitting apps as well as marketplaces for paid or free lodgings and homestays (mainly Airbnb).
I gained a deeper understanding of how people look for a solution for their pets while away, list their house for short stays or find one themselves. To interview potential users, I selected those who owned at least one cat. An important insight was that the app should work both ways, allowing users to find sitters as well as become ones.
Based on my competitive analysis and interviews, I identified 6 key touchstones to focus on:
By focusing on cats only, the app is designed to easily communicate the specific needs of house cats for sitters and owners alike.
Users can to go quite deep into the app before they are asked to sign up, giving them a chance to explore the available sitters/houses and assess if it is the best fit for them and the cat in question.
Allow users to decide whether they use the app to find a sitter, an accommodation or both.
Help cat owners find a suitable sitter that will meet their needs based on other users’ experiences.
Direct messages feature with an option for quick file sharing, making communication between users easy and effiecient.
Integrate social media and give users an option to link to it on their profile, thus further build trust and transparency between them and other users.
I designed a series of illustrations, inspired by living with cats, and coupled them with the more demanding flow of creating a profile and listing – in order to make it as fun as possible and to increase delight.
Presented in a wizard, the process allows the user to get immersed in it while also allowing them to exit at any point.
Wireframing and User Interface
I used large visuals throughout the app and kept the data layout visualization clutter-free in order to communicate it best to the users. I implemented the aforementioned touchstones by putting emphasis on certain elements and making them easily accessible, such as the rate & review system and social media links.
With applying the UI to the wireframes, I made tweaks that would reduce cognitive overload and ensure that the data was presented as clearly as possible.
*Hover over each screen to view its wireframe.