Pet Fostering Assistant

Project aim

Currently, being a pet foster parents in Austin lacks an efficient and organized way to communicate with the animal shelter and seek help when facing with issues. This project aims to provide a solution that builds a bridge between pet foster parents and the animal shelter/organization.


HCI Course Project in a team of three

My Role in the project

UX Research UX Design
  • Conducted UX research including contextual inquiries, interviews, and affinity diagrams to uncover the problem and generate insights.
  • Created persona and user journey map to build empathy with target users.
  • Developed wireframe and prototype and verified the design through pilot study and UX evaluation.

Scattered information, inefficient communication

Currently, there are no platforms available for pet foster parents. Oftentimes, pet foster parents have to look for information and answers to questions by themselves. Also, the communication mediums between pet foster parents and animal shelters have a wide variety from Google groups, email to phone calls based on the needs.


One single platform that connects the pet foster parents and animal shelters


Pet Profile



User Research


Create the hierarchical architecture of the pet fostering process

We interviewed 6 pet foster parents and 2 staff members at Austin Animal Center. Interview questions include the foster application process, communication channels, and information seeking and recording methods.
The affinity diagram is built from user interview notes. As a result, the notes are organized into 7 categories: user profile, pet fostering process (before - during - after), happy and sad category.

Click to view digitalized affinity diagram on Miro


Define the flow of tasks within the fostering system

By developing the Usage Flow Model, we illustrated how different roles of people would interact within the fostering system for each task through end-to-end fostering process.

Usage flow model


Identify barriers stopping users from completing tasks

We created scenarios from main tasks and identified the task goal, steps, task triggers, and barriers. This enabled us to integrate the various interaction design processes and allowed us to brainstorm on the requirements and experience of the users.

Examples of step-by-step task interaction model


Based on the research findings, we defined the direction we wanted to pursue through user persona and user journey map.


Design Ideation

The design solution focused on 5 work bins categorized from requirements and looked into what Xiao-Ming thinks, feels, conducted during the process.
The current system lacks a single platform for Xiao-Ming to communicate to the animal shelter. The design solution aims to create one platform that combines all the required needs and relieves the identified pain points.


The followings are the conceptual design ideas for each task flow when working on wireframes.

  • Search/Navigation
    Foster parents have the criterion in mind when choosing foster pets. However, the current system doesn't support the filter function. So our design has the feature for users to filter the search results.
  • Pet’s Profile
    Currently, foster parents are using different tools to update information, and a standardized form has not existed. Our design focuses on creating a simple and standardized way for foster parents to update pet's health and behavior information.
  • Calendar and Appointment
    Our design wants to provide the appointment process with the least steps to complete.
  • Messenger/Chatbot
    We focus on creating a conversational method to solve the issues of problems and emergency requests.


We interviewed 3 targeted users face to face and conducted the pilot study to investigate the usability and navigation for 5 tasks.

Example of redesign after user testing

Design Prototype


User Research

Through this project, I realized the user research process can be really dynamic! For example, we tailored the directions of user interviews several times during the process.


My teammates and I spent a lot of time discussing and working on the project together. At the same time, we gave each other constructive suggestions and had arguments in a positive way. We see the same thing from different perspectives and that creates more sparks during our teamwork.

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