BuscaFuska is a free online platform that matches potential pet adopters with animal shelters.
After the rapid growth of the website with 500,000 adoption requests a year, I was tasked with the creation of a new online experience. The project included an admin dashboard for protectors a pet search engine and a matching system that helps people find their ideal dog or cat.
What started out as a small website idea—to help homeless dogs find a home in Mexico—had evolved into something bigger. Some of the initial challenges for the redesign were:
I conducted phone interviews with 8 adopters and 5 shelter administrators. Based on my findings, I created and shared with the team an empathy map* that reflects quotes, actions and thoughts seen on the interviews, to inform the team about the main pain points of our users.
Storyboards were used to communicate to stakeholders the offline and online actions that happen on both sides of the adoption process. The entire team could immediately see use cases we could easily overlook if we had thought about the online process only.
After discussing use cases, I put together a user journey* that accounts for the adoption process, and indicates when to send emails to shelters and adopters when there's no response on either side. Our two engineers provided guidance about how things connect within the system, and how this would affect our dashboard for shelters.
Once we had a clear path to follow, I started sketching to explore different ways to organize the vast list of adoptable pets, and provide enough information about the adoptable, at the right time.
Should we use the candid -but long- descriptions on the search results? Or maybe take a less descriptive but more visual approach?
We decided to wireframe both options and test them with the adopters previously interviewed. The wireframe B performed better for its clarity. People were more compelled to explore and dig into a particular pet, when they had less information visible.
The modular design approach was followed through the entire site and dashboard. This facilitated an effortless adaptation to desktop, tablets and mobile phones.
The color palette was a mix between the Buscafuska identity, and the ASPCA personality colors, required on the 'Meet My Match' partnership agreement.
We also added a save functionality: Adopters can mark a pet as 'loved' using the heart icon. These pet profiles are available for a month, to help adopters keep track of their search.
We partnered with ASPCA, creators of the 'Meet my match' system, which uses a test for adopters to match animals classified within 3 main energy levels. Every pet on Buscafuska would have a personality given by the shelter by following a very simple stimulus-response test with the animal.
I took the offline test provided by ASPCA, and took it to the online world. The quiz asks questions about personal preferences, lifestyle choices and environmental factors. Upon completion, the adopter obtains a match with an energy level and a list of available pets with that specific energy level.
The colors of the system and personalities heavily influenced the visual design work for Buscafuska.
BuscaFuska grew thanks to animal protectors who regularly used the platform to post adoptable pets. They deserved a great control panel! The new dashboard helps protectors pre-screen adoption inquiries, publish and manage adoptable pets, create events, publish success stories and get training.
The creation of this dashboard took 2 months and is a project in itself. Here's a sneak-peek:
BuscaFuska is one of the most exciting projects I've been part of. Thanks to the collaboration between all team members and the community, Buscafuska is growing every day:
There's still a lot of work to do: We need to track, not only conversions, but the response of users to pet personalities and discover which ones are performing best and why; And also what percentage of users are guiding their decisions by the "Meet your match" quiz.