01. Find Meow

My capstone project, a GPS tracker designed for cats.
Category
Multimedia
Service
year
2022
01. Find Meow

Project Background

My capstone project is devoted to our cats. A few years ago, we had a cat go missing. A missing pet is one of the worst feelings in the world, and the recommended methods for searching for a lost pet all have some degree of uncertainty. For instance, the methods that I employed were:

  • Putting up fliers with contact information and a reward
  • Going door-to-door and asking neighbors
  • Searching around the neighborhood generally several times a day
  • Calling local shelters and vets
  • Leaving food and some used cat litter out
  • Spreading word around social media groups related to my neighborhood

There are many GPS products out there for pets, but they're specifically made for dogs. The goal of this project is to create a GPS collar attachment for cats specifically, that is accompanied by a website and app that make use of the GPS functions.

Research

For this project I used four primary research methods, which were used to create the final product, a site map, and an information architecture.

  • Competitive Analysis: I looked at several products for this project focusing on dedicated GPS trackers for pets, and products that could be used in lieu of a more advanced GPS system. They were the Tractive GPS LTE, Whistle GO Explore, Apple AirTags, and Tile.
  • Contextual Inquiry & Analysis: This research came from personal experiences that I had with pet owners. The specific instances were when I was searching for our own missing cat, when a neighbor needed help looking for her cat in a snow storm, and when our family friends found their own cat who had been missing for a bit.
  • Community Surveys: I used Google Forms to create a survey and sent it out to groups associated with my local area. I wanted to learn several things from this survey including how many cat owners have collars on their cats, whether their cats are indoor or outdoor, what features they would prioritize, and to gauge general interest in this type of product.
  • User Personas: I built user personas based off my contextual inquiry and community surveys as the final part of my research, giving me a more focused design direction.

The Final Product

Find Meow is a product concept that would connect to local cellphone networks, transmitting a live location for pet owners every few seconds. There are services that do this for dogs, proving that this is a possible piece of technology. I created three deliverables for this project:

  • A prototype Website
  • A prototype mobile application
  • A 3D-printed collar attachment

The Website

Check out some screenshots, and you can try the prototype in your browser!

The home page for the website, focused on registration, purchasing the product, and showcasing the product features.
The home page for the website, focused on registration, purchasing the product, and showcasing the product features.
An alternative pet registration page, more catered towards users who already have an account.
An alternative pet registration page, more catered towards users who already have an account.
The GPS map, which hosts a variety of features including most common travel routes, heat maps, and has multiple pet accounts.
The GPS map, which hosts a variety of features including most common travel routes, heat maps, and has multiple pet accounts.

The Mobile Application

Check out some screenshots, and you can try the prototype in your browser!

Screens showcasing the registration and sign in forms.
Screens showcasing the registration and sign in forms.
Screens showcasing the heat maps and pet management.

The Device

3D renderings of the collar design, designed to look similar to common collar tags.
3D renderings of the collar design, designed to look similar to common collar tags.

Conclusion

If I had to change anything with this, I'd like to expand on it more, create a mobile website for users, outside of the app itself. I would also like to expand on the features under the account section, but I am very proud of this project overall, as it really challenged my web design skills, in addition to challenging me in new ways, by forcing me to think in a 3D environment.