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Hayota

Helping pet owners confidently make informed, independent purchasing decisions best suited to their specific pet's needs based on their consumption preferences.

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My Role:

UX Design, Research, Interaction Design, Visual Design

Platform:

Responsive Website

Personal Project
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The Problem

Pet owners have no knowledge to confidently make independent purchasing decisions on which product(s) will meet their needs the most so they end up being heavily reliant on the sellers.

These days there is a greater understanding of the importance of matching a product to a pet based on their specific needs and lifestyle, but the pet owners have no knowledge to make independent choices of the product that will meet their needs the most.
The current shopping experience for pet products has
owners heavily reliant on the sellers, as information is otherwise spread across the web ("Dr. Google"), potentially without consensus on the best fit for a particular pet or circumstance. Additionally, there is a wide and growing range of products, so there's a need for a scalable consumer solution.

Research

I started by publishing an online survey to get a better understanding of pet product consumption behaviors. I sent it to a variety of pet-focused social groups (e.g. on Facebook). I aimed to understand what were the main pain points and consumption patterns when purchasing a pet product.
In addition, I conducted interviews with pet owners and observed their interactions in relevant online groups to get a better understanding of the problem(s).

Users' Desired Outcomes

1.  Best out of the budget

Most pet owners purchase with a budget range in mind which they use as the first filter of how to buy the most suitable products for their pets from their knowledge.

2. See the pets happy

Some of the owners will buy a product to simply make their pets happy. They tend to imagine their pets' responses to receiving that new product, typically this is some kind of a snack or a toy.

3. Have a purpose

The owners will choose to invest in a product that directly helps with raising their pet.

I also did some competitor research to see how other products were tackling the issues I mentioned and taking notes of what did or didn't provide a good user experience. Through my research, I realized that there are not many websites that help pet owners find products that match their own needs as well as the pets'.

Challenge

Designing a shopping experience that cuts the middle person in purchasing pet products, from lifestyle to medicinal, by increasing the pet owner's autonomy and sense of control through accessible information and tools.

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The Process

I designed the project using a mental model based on the typical conversational flow in shops and online groups. I noticed that conversations focused on:

1. The features specific to the pet - what kind, size, etc. as well as any constraints like allergies

2. The pet owners' desired outcomes - what was the purpose in obtaining a specific product

3. The pet owners' constraints, e.g. budget

Personas  

I created two distinct personas (the extremes of a spectrum) :

Person A

"It's just a dog"

A pet owner who had a set of specific constraints in mind in their shopping journey for a practical product

Person B

"It's my baby!"

A pet owner who focused solely on their pet's potential reaction upon receiving a present with no limits on how much to spend

Conclusions for implementation & design

Through my research and conversations, I noted that the site must be as visual and personalized as possible to reduce the cognitive effort and ease the consumer's decision-making process.

  • Include helpful features for finding the ideal products, e.g. Best Product Fit, Smart Recommendations

  • Showcase priming picture on the homepage 'above the fold' to uplift the shopper's mood

  • Use filters to enable shoppers to easily and efficiently find relevant results

  • Provide the commonly sought information right on the product screen along with varied photos to give a fuller understanding of each product offering (I was surprised this was missing from so many sites!)

Solution

It was pretty clear to me that I needed to create an experience that emphasizes the importance and value of each product: an e-commerce website that will give users the ability to make independent purchase decisions. I used the priming technique when implementing my user experience to encourage the user to purchase a product by getting them to imagine the end result - their happy pet.

Selected Wireframes

Based on the data collected in the user research, I started sketching the first wireframes.
I explored a few options to see which one could be the best fit for the user. The one I ultimately chose is below, and I chose it because it best answered both personas' needs and therefore could appeal to a range of actual users.

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Yael

"it's a dog, it's not human being"

Yael does not invest too much in pet products. The quality, price and  the practical purpose are factors that are most important to her in buying a pet product.
she buys a product when she finds it useful, but not always she has the ability to understand the products' benefit.

Act:

  • When sees the the products' benefit.

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Raz

"I'm glad when they get excited about something new"

Raz invests a lot in her pet and considers them a part of his family. He can spend a lot of money on treats and it always gives him pleasure to see his pet happy.

Act:

  • Imagination of the pet's joy over the purchase. 

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Final Design
Home page

Upon entering the website, users are first greeted by a carousel of different products. Instead of images focusing on the packaging, priming pictures of pets reacting to the new product will be displayed to incite the user to make a purchase right away.

Search

On top of the search menu, the user will be able to search for products in two other ways:

1
Pet-characteristics-based search
The user can search for a product by the pets' characteristics for customized products.
2
Goal-based search
Per my research, the pet owner is typically first led by a clear purpose, e.g. getting rid of lice.
If several products meet the criteria, then all will be displayed, with several main details that quickly answer cost-benefit considerations for the user to make an informed decision, e.g. budget, overall rating, etc.
Product screen

The product screen provides easy and smooth access to all of the users’ needs to make a solid purchasing decision, e.g., useful information about the product using texts and icons, reviews, and recommendations based on the pet's characteristics. There's also quick access to the Match a Product feature.

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Product Matching
1
Best Product Fit
The user can use a product they're currently reviewing to see products similar products by adding or deducting certain parameters. As a result, the website will show the most products that best fit their new search criteria.
2
Smart Recommendations
Based on an algorithm, this feature will also recommend products that match the pet's characteristics by the pet owner and pulled from the pet owner's page visits to increase the likelihood of purchasing the product.
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Registered users

These users can customize the site to their needs by creating a personal profile that includes their pets' information.

Add a pet to your account
Registered users can add their pet(s) to their profile by filling out a questionnaire about the pet. For each breed, an animation will appear at the side of the screen that the user can design, reminding them of their pet.
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Pet-Specific Recommendations
After the registered user has set up a pet, the site recommends products for it.
Hovering with a cursor on the icon       will explain more about each recommendation's particular product fit for the user's needs.
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Customized product screens for registered users
For lifestyle products (e.g. toys and clothing), an animation of the owners' pets, as opposed to a generic pet, will display, showing how they interact with or use the product. This is also meant to prime the users to make a purchase by showing the product's potential fit and getting them to imagine their pet's use.
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SEE MORE
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