BC SPCA Website Re-Design Project
The Re-Design of the BC SPCA website was a team project at Brainstation. We were to take the existing design, do a heuristic evaluation and see where room for improvement could be made. The user flow we chose was a simple process of applying to foster a cat and go through a simple application process. We made several flow improvements as well as many aesthetic and navigation changes to make the user experience more intuitive and easier.
Create a simple process to foster animals through an application on the BC SPCA website.
Redesigning the SPCA website was a team project consisting of 4 people. My primary role was to create high-fidelity designs in addition to wireframes and sketches. In addition to this, we had overlapping roles for user testing the site as well as research and user interviews.
Design Challenge & Constraints
The current application process to foster and adopt an animal from the BC SPCA is a staggering 22-page application process.
Amongst these issues, we also found the fostering page is difficult to find. Based on user research we found that people wanted a hybrid approach to the application process and no more than a 10-15 minute online application combined with virtual or in-person meetings to screen and complete the application. We redesigned the user flow throughout the application process in addition to updating the website aesthetics and navigation to find the fostering and animal pages easier.
We believe that improving the foster onboarding experience using digital technology will result in an increase in successful foster applications with less animals in need of a foster home.
A 2006 study highlighted social isolation as a primary stressor for dogs living in shelters.
Benefits of Foster Homes
A follow up study found that moving dogs into foster homes caused a significant drop in their cortisol levels (stress hormones)
Allows for more expression and body language
A 2019 study revealed that fostering programs produced better behavior outcomes for shelter animals, leading to higher rates of adoption overall.
In person is less rigid and systematic
Without foster programs, nearly half of the 6–8 million animals that enter rescue shelters every year are euthanized due to shelter overcrowding.
User Interview Findings
Based on secondary research we created a list of questions about the application process for the SPCA and reached out to interview individuals who have or are interested in fostering or adopting animals.
People are emotionally motivated to foster and want to help shelters, and prevent animals from being euthanized due to shelter overcrowding.
Applicants feel overwhelmed
Applicants feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they have to fill out upfront and lack a clear understanding of the overall application process.
Set clear expectations
Aspiring foster parents want the BC SPCA to set clear expectations around foster parent criteria, time commitments, and living space requirements.
Applications maximum of 10 minutes
Aspiring foster parents report wanting to spend a maximum of 10 minutes on an initial form, but are more willing to spend time speaking directly with shelter workers.
How Might We
How might we empower prospective foster parents throughout the application process, so that more animals can find homes.
Persona – Julie
Julie is 24 years old and an avid cat lover, but she’s never had a
pet of her own before. Julie knows that shelters have been
struggling recently, and since she now has some flexibility
working from home, she’s decided to try her hand at fostering.
Motivations & Goals
- Wants a cat, but isn’t ready to commit to a long-term adoption at this stage in her life.
- Loves animals and wants to help BC SPCA foster so they can continue taking in animals in need
- Wants to help shelters with recent influx of rescue animals
- Doesn’t have a good understanding of what fostering a cat entails
- Struggled to find the foster page on the BC SPCA website
- Overwhelmed by the BC SPCA’s fostering application
After evaluating the SPCA we did secondary and primary research followed by a user journey map to evaluate the application process. We created several versions of sketches and wireframes based on user testing prior to creating high-fidelity designs.
The new application process, as well as web design, met our project goals and our original hypothesis was validated. People saw the value in the new optimized flow for the application process and the pain points were addressed.
Primary challenges arose around the large 22-page application process and redesigning it to a hybrid model of online application and virtual meeting. In addition to this streamlining the questions and keeping the applicant updated as to the general status of where they are in the application process.
BC SPCA Wireframes V1
FAQ – Begin Application
BC SPCA WebSite
BC SPCA Landing Page
BC SPCA Foster Page Start
- Implement virtual interview process
- Introduction Project Goals Research Design Process User Testing Insights
- Add email confirmation and next step timelines to final application page
- Iterate on application form flow to further simplify the process
- Connect with BC SPCA to better understand the stakeholder’s needs when receiving fostering applications