Few years ago I was talking to my friend, who was working in the animal shelter, about the adopting procedures, about… what is the reality of animals there. Not being judgmental – I saw a pattern that most people are looking for puppies or specific breed instead of a “random dog”. Also having few dogs during my life and speaking with great animals lovers I saw that even If we want to adopt, we often cannot find fitting one in our shelter. Also there is no place like “adopting market” where I can browse among shelters around the country and see If there is a dog who suits me. All I have to do is type in the Google Search sepcific shelter and see If there is an adopting section on their websites.
That’s how idea of Doggie became more important for me. Even If we can save few more lifes – it is worth. But now, when we know the background story let’s dive in even deeper and see why it will work and why we should create such app.
Everything starts with the idea
(If you don’t want to read it – click here and go to the summary of the section)
There are “projects” and projects. For me it is important not only to create “anything” but to create something meaningfull, something that will change the reality. Even If we cannot change the whole world for everyone, we can change the world for one being – and it is still success!
But let’s start with the idea! With one simple thought. “I want to save them all”. Now when we know how this idea came to me, I want to show you how it was growing.
Like I said before there is no “market” for adopting purpose in shelters. The main idea was to create such place where we invite animal shelters to join our database, add their furry children, write their stories, upload their lovely pictures and just like that – show them to the world. Without costs. For free.
Here came first painpoint: There is no way that shelters will find a spare time to do this.
Quoting very popular meme: Well Yes, but actually, No. They do this right now, they add pictures and stories, on social media, on websites. So we have here few solutions which I want to develop and discuss with accountant, with developers, and most of all with the animal shelters to find out best one.
Solution 1. We offer them a site in our app and in desktop version, kind of landing page so they don’t have to have their own. And do the same thing here in the Doggie.
Solution 2. We can always download data and try to connect with our. (I know there are always pros and cons, for example the way how data are stored in the database can be different between each shelter – like I said it needs to be discussed). Maybe we can use social media posts and so on.
Solution 3. Let’s offer them adding post in our app and allow them share it on social media – so they still do it in one place and only once.
Anyway, back on track, we allows shelters to add their beloved and allows user to surf trough out all shelters, offers, allows them to filter by age, by breed, by size, by wilderness or even go step further – by their lifestyle. As we know different breeds are ment to be for different purpose. Some of them for hunting, some of them are coach lovers and sleepy ones. Some are very active and needs to run everyday for few hours and some are so weak that to much activity can literally kill them. Thats why we want give a mountain climber a French Bulldog, whose breathing apparatus won’t allow them to travel.
We are connected with our phone like vampires with their victims. According to studies we are spending about 6-7 hours in front of our screen per day. We check social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or now TikTok, we use our phones while driving in Uber, in the bus or tram. Even now maybe you are reading this on phone or at least it somewhere near you, ready to be picked up.
Now imagine the situation that your time spending on phone can actually, intentionally help someone. You don’t have to adopt puppy to do this. Not all of us have money, time or enveiroment to do this. But what we can, is to create some inside system of points, that you can earn (by some events like watching adds, playing inside games etc.) or just buy. Then you can exchange these points for food, blankets or other stuffs for your shelter. You can even virtually adopt dog or cat and give it to him. All because of watching adds, so you don’t have to even hold your phone or by playing some inside games If you want to use your spare time.
You are not alone
If we want our website or app or whatever our product is to work better then the best way to do it is to create something engaing. Earning points. Badges. Title. Ranks. Encourage our user to make an action like – upload photo, like comment something. That’s why Doggie is also a Social App for dog and cat holders. You can place your images, ask a question about breeds, about caring or some vet issues. You can catch up for walks, trips or ask about some recommendations.
This with additional encouring system of points / badges / ranks or whatever will make people more connected to the app. Of course It won’t be a main feature, but this is something what we can add, what may help us to keep our users with us.
Also app will include some news or articles from behaviourists or vets. We can create somehting like “premium access” for some important stuff or even create a subpages for a profesionalists to make an adds in our app. Like I said this is developing idea, however as you can see there is a lot of business potential.
Swap to reality
Alright. Now when you can see that the idea is quite intresting let’s talk about numbers. Becuase after all numbers will determinate If this a good and working idea or it is not. Well like in business there is always a risk but I allowed myself to do some reasarch, competitor check, interviews with potential users and animal shelters.
Some wise person in my life said “If you made a research and there is no competitors then you made it wrong“.
Let’s start with the most obvious ones. I found 2 apps in The USA for adopting pets. Sadly I couldn’t reach their owners to ask how they handle this, however looking for amout of downloads they are working quite ok – in first phase they had like 10.000 downloads. Ok. you can say that Facebook apps goes for hundreds of billions – but this is not the same target. We are not reaching same needs and also the question is for how long do they exist and are they trying to develop their ideas and business.
The second one, closer to us, are websites of these animal shelters. I asked 20 friends who had something in common with adopting, with shelter work or with people who were looking for their 4-paws firends. 70% said that they were on the animal shelter’s website at least once for looking a dog / car If there is a list of pets. 35% answered that they were looking for shelter’s story. If they are trustful and truly exists (this gives us an idea to make an opportunity for business users to earn “trusted animal shelter” badge). However most of them enter website to get some contact info and they want to go to the shelter by personally.
The less obvious ones, but the most important and risky to us are offer boards, like OLX. When you can easly search for pets ready for adoption. However these offers and pins are more often from private accounts not animal shelters. But thinking of that – we can of course add funcionallity for our users and allow them to put their own ads.
Where is $$$?
The idea of this was to cooparate with some charitable foundations. But not only! Because of inside games, ads, micro-payments, we can easly earn from app itself. Business model is still open for discussion and needs some interviews with the users and check their behaviours.
Lists of pets in animal shelter around the country so the user don’t have to go site by site and see If there is a good boy for him. User can easily filter, read the story or match with the pet.
Feature 1. Inside games and events like ad watching etc. so people can earn in-app points and help shelters by exchanging these points for foods, blankets, etc.
Feature 2. Social section, where people can talk to each other. Speak with vets, behaviourists other pet holders. Where they can upload images, ask questions, comment and be a part of the community.
Feature 3. Some addons like “Where is my pet” and localize pet by GPS technology with a little device in the collar. Like a badge or pendant.
Phase 1. Ideation. Phase when I was developing the idea so it can be easily present to the group of people.
Phase 2. Interviews and tests with 20 respondents online. They were asked about functionality they want to have inside. Their behaviour while surfing shelter’s website. Workers of the animal shelter were asked about people behaviour while visitng. What do they ask. What do they want to know. What is important for them.
Phase 3. Make changes to the idea and creating designs.
Everything I design, every element I put in is on purpose. Nothing is by accident. The orange color which makes us more enthusiastic and bring energy to us, makes us ready for action. The font and roundness which gives us modern look and feel. I used 4 columns systems and pixel perfect design with 8px deviders.