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A Social App Designed for Easy Dog Playdates


UI/UX Designer


Nov, 2021




Adobe XD

About this Project

This is a social app for dog owners to explore exciting dog-friendly places and communicate with other dog parents to set up a perfect dog playdate.

I started this project as I have found that many dog parents around me have trouble initiating or participating in dog playdates. Thus, I conceptualized an app to provide a better playdate experience.

Current User Flow




Find a place

  • Hop around search engines & review sites

  • Collect scattered reviews

Initiate an event by sharing its info to chats

  • Share external links to chats

  • Manually paste collected info

  • Manually answer miscellaneous questions from participants

  • Confirm everyone's availability

Find another place if pitch fails

  • Have to browse places again if the majority doesn't like the previously selected one

Group 128.png

Observed Problems


Scattered information & Time-consuming exploration

When a user tries to find a place, they use search engines such as Google and other recommendation sites such as Yelp, BringFido, Tripadvisor, etc. To find the right place, users have to compare information across different platforms, which makes exploration extremely time-consuming.


Tedious communication & Inefficient event initiation

To let other dog parents know, a user needs to copy the place info from the web, then paste it into their current messaging apps. All the participators need to type in their location preferences and availabilities, which usually requires the initiator to find a new place and a new time.

Design Goals


To Unify Information

  • Should offer a hub with recommendations dedicated to dog activities 

  • Should adjust the feed according to user preferences to increase efficiency

- so that users don't need to hop around platforms


To Break Linear Communication

  • Should offer a portal for participants to simultaneously vote for/against a place and time

- so that everyone's preference and availability will be visually clear

User Empathy Mapping

To better understand user motivations, I conducted contextual inquiries on three participants who frequently take their dogs to playdates. I observed how they initiate/get invited to an event, asked how they think, and participated in their playdates to better empathize with them.

Empathy Map 1.png
Empathy Map 2.png
Empathy Map 3.png

Main Desired Functions

According to the user needs explored from the contextual inquiries, I have listed 3 main desired functions that help them better set up playdates within the current scope.


Browse playdate locations

Users find desired places that fit their preferences. Preferences include distance, length, altitude, sunshade, difficulty, temperature, with/without a body of water, etc., are available.


Initiate an event in a chat

When users initiate an event, all the related information about the event is shared with the group so that participants can browse by themselves instead of asking a lot of questions.


Vote an event

When an event is initiated, a vote is automatically activated so that participants mark their availabilities collectively in one space instead of typing out in the chat. It also allows participants to offer other options.


UI Stylesheet


UI Components


Mockup Showcase


Browse playdate locations

Recommendations are based on users' preferences. Users can also multi-toggle the tags below the search bar to include/exclude certain location types and terrains.



Initiate an event to chats

Users create an event and simultaneously initiate a vote to the chats to collect participant preferences.



Vote an event

Participants mark their availabilities and create more options for others to vote.

SC_2 – 1.png

Secondary Features


Quick response

When users are attending an event and want others to be aware of their attendance status, they update their logistics and send out notifications to other attendees. Other users can also respond to those notifications.

SC_2 – 2.png


In-app chat reactions

Users attach their reactions to a message in the chat group.

SC_2 – 3.png


Create groups

Users invite friends to a new group.

SC_2 – 4.png

Lessons Learned


In-depth contextual inquiries are helpful.

Field researches help reveal more insights about users. There are many user needs that are not realized by users themselves, but active observation and inquiries conducted in an authentic environment can expose those needs.


Many users tend to experience different levels of insecurity.

After a few usability testings, more inner thoughts of the users are revealed. Users might fear information flooding, fear conflicts induced by voting for/against an event, fear social pressure, fear initiating an event, etc. It is very important to add extra safety steps and buffers to help users prevent errors and mitigate the pressure. 

Future Scopes


Friend System

  • Add/block friends

  • Find nearby friends


Profile System

  • Dashboard

  • Event history

  • Avatar customization


Content System

  • Filter

  • Live comment

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