The first reaction of us is how necessary does this certain app need to exit? If so, will users go back to the app once he or she has found his/her pet through this app?
Therefore I divided the question into two parts:
After doing some background research, I noticed that there are three groups get involved in finding lost pets.
How to find lost pets?
How does natural disaster impact this process?
How does it affect people who get involved in it?
Here the research gets started..
Pets owner
Any related apps
I conducted 7 interviews with 2 pets owners (recruited from social media pages as well as people around us have pets) and 2 pets related organizations(found from google map) based in NYC.
I set different goals for these two types of interviews.
After collecting all the answers I got, I drew an affinity diagram to group these feedbacks with synthesized findings.
Difference and limitation between finding pets after natural disasters and finding lost pets in daily life.
Process and efforts of rescuing and finding pets.
The process of matching pets with their owners.
Ways of prevention from losing and tracking.
The behavior of trying to find lost pets
Behavior changes after finding lost pets
For organization
For individual
These findings were sysnthsized along the process of finding pets after natural disasters — from rescue, retrieve, to what happens after rescue and retieve as well as with some bonus findings.
For the sake of efficiency, there is no effort for organizations to put into finding a specific pet for a specific owner. (2/2 organizations)
Organizations would rescue as many as possible pets from streets or wherever. Pets owners would reach out to them later on. (2/2 organizations)
Not one on one but multiple to multiple
Certain natural disasters mostly happen in certain areas.
For different natural disasters, the prevention methods are different.
Locations make difference
Rescued pets are all around the world and they travel for adoption.
Not local but international
Most of the rescue teams consist of volunteers. (2/2 organizations)
Not paid but free resource
Volunteer teams take rescued pets to their original home areas after natural disasters to match pets with their owners.
Pets owners need to provide licenses to claim their pets who are found in organizations.
Familiar surroundings
Microchip is the most effective way to track a pet. Pets can be microchipped in nearby shelters and vets with less than 100 dollars fee, which is way more accessible and convenient than people think.
There is a natural way to identify their pets according to their birthmark or name.
Pets owners need to provide licenses to claim their pets who are found in organizations.
Organizations have their own social media pages or website to post lost and found pets.
Pets owners would post their pets to social media or print out some flyers to send out and paste.
Promoting information
Organizations would implant microchip and vaccine into pets they rescued if these pets have not been implanted yet.
Microchip & Vaccine

When I conducted interviews with pets owners who had the experience of finding their lost pets, they all expressed the emotion of how important their pets to them. However when I conducted interviews with organization staffs, they told me, even in daily life, some owners would abandon or give away their pets because of personal reasons.
By this, I realized that not all pets owners care about their pets in the relatively same level, which means not all the pets lost during natural disasters even have the chance to reunite with their masters.
Friends and family

Lost/ sad/ stressful

Owners describe their pets as a best friend/ daughter/etc..
Emotion lost lasts longer than they used to think.

Wrong reaching out to pets owners causes more stress.
Whenever or wherever natural disaster happens, it is almost impossible to take pets with their owner.

Prevention or Losing

Pets are available to be adopted if no one comes to claim after 72 hours of rescuing.
Using social media to promote their requests
Count on strangers/volunteers to rescue/find pets
Certain areas for searching/retrieving pets
I will break down how do these solutions come from as follow:

So after the synthesized findings, I found out that…

They would only be aware of the importance of microchips and vaccine when they lost their pets.
They are not aware of the convenience of getting microchips and vaccine

They would check if rescued pets are vaccinated or microchipped at the first time.

If not, they will implant them to pets for free.

Microchips and vaccine
Pets owners
Pets owners
There are many pets they have rescued have been staying in their shelters for over 3 years, and no one ever is interested in them. There is always more pets need attention.

Owners who lost their pets only care about their “sweetheart”, and some of the time they could never find their lost pets again. There is always more pets under rescued for them.

Lost pets
After finding these spots.. I drew three personas to help me better find solutions..

Peter Johnson
Goals and concerns
1. Taking care of the overall well-being of animals(over 10 species) that the whole organization received or rescued from daily life and natural disasters
2. Promoting information for animal adoptions
3. Organizing teams to rescue street animal weekly and rescue pets after a crisis
4. Finding reliable applicants to adopt current animals in the organization.
5. Would like to try new methods to make animal rescuing and adoption more efficient.
Occupation: Director of an animal care organization, and at meantime runs a small animal supplies company
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Marriage status: Married, Father of two kids (6 and 9)
Owned pets: One cat and one dog
1. Staying at the organization over 7 hours during every weekday, during this time continuously taking care of different animals and giving a reception to customers who come to him.
3. Checking his email three times a day, and picks up his phone in the organization from time, running two social media accounts to post animal information.
2. Traveling around the world 4 times a year to execute animal related missions.
We treasure every animal. — Peter Johnson
Lynn Ho
Goals and concerns
1. Taking care of the overall well-being her two dogs since they are pretty old.
2. Worrying about her loneliness when her dogs pass away.
3. Is interesting fruitful and also physical affordable activities she can attend.
4. She would like to offer help to others.
Occupation: Retired a year ago, was a pediatrician for 30 years
Age: 65
Gender: Female
Marriage status: Married, Mother of three children (40,37 and 33)
Owned pets: two dogs
1. Spending most of her time with her spouse and two dogs in a retirement community in Florida.
3. Traveling 3 times a year(takes her dogs) during holidays to get together with her children.
4. Checking her email three times a day, texting her children when she misses them. Having a social media account, but barely posting anything there.
2. Three children all got married and live in other states.
Pure company and caring come from the innocent mind. — Lynn Ho
After all of these interviews, I came up with problem statements as follow:

Users would abandon an animal related app once finishing a specific task on the app.
Many pets are still homeless after being rescued from natural disasters.
Pets and their owners got separated from each other after natural disasters.
Five people theory + O2O2O = Events
Data: What behind data = Possibility + Preference = Finding + Adoption
(Prevention > curing)= Microchip + Tips based on location
Nancy Clark
Goals and concerns
1. She was close to her dog Maggie, but 2 years ago Maggie got lost during a flood and she couldn’t find her ever again.
2. Is active to voluntary work related to animals
3. Try to meet the same-mind folks like him care about animals.
Occupation: Senior year in high school
Age: 18
Gender: Female
Marriage status: Single, Oldest among her 3 siblings
Owned pets: Her family used to own one dog
1. Grew up in a farm, is going to the urban area to do her college.
3. Constantly active on social media, is willing to share her life on social media. Inclined to instant message.
2. Drives around the country with family or friends every summer vacation.
Every live owns some right. — Nathan Clark
With these questions in mind, I did a round of landscape analysis, analyzed apps offer service about reunite pets and pets adoption.

Paw Boost
Joy points
Pain points
Helping reunite lost pets with their families
1. Reporting lost and found pets.

2. Filtering certain range of pets based on location, distance, and species.
1. Favorite a pet

2. In-app message for adoption
3. Filter certain range of pets
1. Favorite a pet

2. Filter certain range of pets
1. Clear UI design with useful filter setting.
1. Only focusing on pets adoption making it is easy to use
2. Clear animal and contact information in the info page

1. Clear layout of main page
2. Can be used even without logging in

1. Taking too many steps to a get in touch with a finder from found screen.
2. Reporting lost pets(within the app) doesn’t keep consistency with report found pets(heading to another webpage).

3. Complex sign in page if users are not going to log in using Facebook.

1. Info page background(pets image), layout(all over the screen), and font(too small) interferes reading.
2. Icon(email) doesn’t work well(unable to open).
3. ‘Favourite’ doesn’t work on the main page. It heads to info page after tapping it.
1. Search function actually serve as a filter function
2. Subtle icon color changes when a user ‘favorite’ a pet in the information page
Pets adoption
Pets adoption
- Post blog
- Ads
Nice to Have
Low effort
High effort
- Recommend possible pets might be yours
- Recommend pets you might like for adoption
- Post pets you found or lost
- Enable adoption
- Events related to pets
- Tips about preventing natural disaster based on location and breed
- Instant message
- Favorite pets and events
- Recommend vets and shelters nearby
Okay now, putting our roles back to persona’s shoes, think about what challenges are we facing now?

1. Users would abandon the app once finishing the certain task they want to achieve on the app.
2. It is unrealistic to rescue and retrieve a certain pet for a certain pet owner.
1. Five people theory — You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With — Jim Rohn
2. Rescue teams == volunteers == pets owners. There is a huge overlap population between these people
3. In person communication conveys more information than online communication.
1. Gathering people sharing same values together
2. Encouraging those people to attend offline events online. During the whole process, creating an experience to let them feel worthy to go back online to the app again.
3. How to create such an online and offline community for pets lover/owner to achieve the goal? — Posting animal-related events.
3. The anxiety pets owners have when they try to find their lost pets.
4. The inefficiency of going through all found pets for pets owners to find theirs.
5. Many animals become homeless after being rescued.
6. Inefficient communication creates barriers from finding lost pets.
1. Recommending most likely pets for pets owner based on similarity(location, breed, gender, even with image etc)
2. Recommending pets for animal lovers for adoption
3. In-App message
1. Pets have their identities, and there is face recognition for human, so why not for pets?
2. Pets lovers have more chance to adopt homeless animals than other groups.
3. Preference towards pets of a pet owner can be predicted, it might similar to what kind of pets he/she had before..
7. Certain natural disaster happens certain area
1. Tips for preventing natural disaster based on location
2. Showing microchipped place around the nearby area
1. Prevention is better than curing.
2. Microchip is more accessible than people think.
3. Microchips can be implanted at vet place and shelters easily.
How do current animal-related apps take care of pets?
Can users really benefit from their services?
This project is designed for a given scenario ‘How to find your pets after natural disaster’ as an NGO program.
Pindor is a mobile app aiming to help pets owners to find their lost pets after natural disasters. There are mainly three aspects in this app.
Gathering animal lovers and pets owners from online to attend offline animal rescue events.
Suggesting most likely pets and activating adoption.
Providing prevention advice and microchips based on location.
Must have
Won’t have
Should have
Could have