Nikki Burton

Paws Fur Hope


Paws Fur Hope

  • Background: PAWS FUR HOPE is a mobile app idea that I would love to one day create in order to align pets that are in high kill shelters with forever homes. The inspiration for this app was my own personal story. I adopted my dog, Gypsy, from a shelter and was overwhelmed and saddened by how many available animals were in the shelter that needed homes. 

  •  Challenge: To create an app so users can share the information of the pet at the shelter, getting the pet a foster home (to avoid euthanization) or adopted from the shelter. Being that it was created to be a phone app, I needed to research ways to give users reasons to log back into the app.

  • Objective:  1. Create account / user sign in page. 2. Screen that asks what specific pet/ breed user is looking for. 3. Search option 4. Pet of the day 5. Favorites button  5. Share button  that allows user to either text / email / Facebook information on that pet. 6. Adopt me button that links user directly to the shelter. 7. Shelter page that lists all shelters in area. 8. Volunteer page that allows user to find out information on how to volunteer at local shelters

  • My role was to research, design and test all UIs related to the project, IOS pattern research.  


PHASE ONE:  Research & Understand

  • I conducted a field study with local shelters to observe potential adopters to better understand my users in depth.

  • I conducted secondary research which included a competitor analysis to familiarize myself with the topic. 

  • To get a better understanding of the user needs, pains and goals, I created a survey and gathered qualitative and quantitive data. 


Empathy Map: When creating my empathy map, I ran into this quote somewhere and really loved it.

I felt it really describes what UX Design is all about.

"Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care."

-Theodore Roosevelt

PHASE TWO:  Define

  • I created my core strategy using the UX Strategy Blueprint to define my challenges, aspirations and focus areas.


App Map



  • I created the wireframes around solving the problem of giving the user a simple way to search for a pet without having to go from screen to screen.

  • After my research showed that some people felt anxiety the first time they adopted their first pet, I thought of different ways of solving that problem and felt that creating a community page could give the user a sense of community. A safe place where they could ask questions, trade stories and photos and feel a sense of support. It would also give users a reason to log back into the app, instead of just using it once.

           For time restrictions, I drew my wireframes and it got the Gypsy seal of approval!

          For time restrictions, I drew my wireframes and it got the Gypsy seal of approval!


Phase Three: User Testing

  • A paper prototype was created using to conduct moderated user testing.


Phase Four: Design

  • For the user interface, I used photos of dogs that were adopted from shelters. The screens would change to a different photo of a adopted pet each time the user logged in.


Conclusion: This was very close to my heart and I had a lot of fun working on this, especially with the idea in mind that someday I could really turn this into something that could change the lives of so many animals and people. I know my life has changed in immeasurable ways for having adopted my dog.

This was also very challenging to figure out how to keep this as a mobile app. Most users will only use the app once to adopt a pet. This took a lot of concepts, sketches and brainstorms to get to a solution.  I think the take away would be to make this into a responsive site opposed to a mobile app. But either way I feel with the given time constraints, the knowledge gained through this experience was a total win.