Imagine a post-pandemic world, where herd immunity is long established, and variants of the virus are on a steady decline. You want to take advantage of this new found freedom to visit family, but the guilt you feel over leaving your pet at home after a full year of being together every day is almost unbearable. In addition, the pet sitter that you’ve used (and loved) in the past had to find more stable work during the pandemic, and can no longer come twice a day to give your pet its medications.
How can you find a reliable pet sitter, and ensure your fur baby is getting all the care it needs?
Defining the Problem:
I interviewed pet owners who are just as obsessed with their furry friends as I am. I asked them questions about their past experiences with pet sitters, and what types of qualities they look for when hiring pet sitters.
Through initial user research, I found that most pet owner’s concerns came down to two categories: communication and trust.
Pet owners want to know that their sitters are showing up and staying for the agreed upon time frames, and they want to be able to communicate with their pet sitter without feeling like they are intruding, or feeling like they themselves are being interrupted. Hand written notes or clunky outdated portals aren’t nearly enough to give pet owners confidence that their pets are well cared for while they are gone. They need efficient booking processes, real-time updates, and easy communication so that they can enjoy their time away.
After understanding the problem, I began to brainstorm how to go about solving it. The driving question behind the next steps became: how might we increase communication in order to increase trust between pet sitters and pet owners?
After initial interviews with the pet owners, I synthesized my insights into a singular persona centering around the simple, but extremely important, need of trusting their pet sitters. This user prioritizes the care of their pet above anything else, including cost, time, and convenience.