Google Design Exercise: Pet Adoption


Google Design Exercise

Interaction Design // Motion Design


As part of the hiring process for Google, I had a challenge of designing a new app that would connect potential pet adopters with the shelters to increase pet adoption. There is no NDA for me to share my process.



Interaction Designer / Motion Designer.


Sketch app, Illustrator, Principle App


The Prompt

Millions of animals are currently in shelters and foster homes awaiting adoption. Design an experience that will help connect people looking for a new pet with the right companion for them.

Help an adopter find a pet which matches their lifestyle, considering factors including breed, gender, age, temperament, and health status. Provide a high-level flow and supporting wire frames.



I started writing down the information that I believe would be helpful to potential adopters to find out about future pets.

Some assumptions made were “Events are important to the adoption” and “It is good to include information such as costs to adopt a pet that is taking medication.”

From this step, one of the ideas was to incorporate videos in a photo gallery similar to the experience on Google Photos.


Research Plan


To find out information about the pet adoption process, I separated the research into three parts:

  • Look for rationale information and get information about pet adoption

  • Talk to a person who adopted a pet and ask about her or his experience

  • Talk to an employee or volunteer who works in the shelter/adoption center and find out if my assumptions were correct.


General Information about Adoption Processes

  • The adoption process is different for each shelter/adoption center.

  • There are different fees for each type of pet (puppies, kittens, and dog/cat adults)

  • People must be adults to be able to adopt.


Research Process: Rationale Information


Understanding the reasons why pets are given up helps to find out what people should know and consider when they want to adopt a pet.

For dogs and cats, the top 3 reasons why pets were given up are Moving (8%), Landlord doesn’t allow pets (6%), too many pets in the household (11% for cats and 4% for dogs).

Reasons such as the cost of pet maintenance (6% for cats and 5% for dogs), incompatibility with other pets (2%), and pet illness(es) (4% for dogs).* are also in the top ten reasons why people give the animals to the shelters.

What's the Impact of Adoption Events?

Since 1994, the PetSmart Charities helped 7 million animals to find a home across the U.S.

People don’t need to wait for an adoption event to adopt a pet, but the adoption events proved to be another way to get more pets adopted.

*Source: The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP). Researchers interviewed 12 selected animal shelters in the United States.


Research Process: Interview with an Pet Adopter


User Story

I interviewed Katherine Song, who has two cats. On her pet adoption experience, she described to search for shelters online and see photos of the cats available.

She read the description of pets and she mentioned the importance of the photos to make a decision between so many animals available. 


The Importance Of The Interaction

She visited the shelter where the cat was located, but during the interaction with the pets, she liked the cat’s sibling, which was adopted and now is called “Leonard”.

Adopted the first cat, but bought the second one
After she adopted Leonard, she wanted to find a second cat to be a companion to Leonard.



I realized that the experience of adopting a pet might be difficult for some people.

For this project, I would like to make the process more transparent to facilitate the pet adopting process for people such as Katherine.

When she mentioned the importance of photos, I also had the idea of implementing videos from YouTube to try to make the emotional connection with the animal.


Research Process: Interview with
an Adoption Center Employee



I interviewed Lisa Martin, who works as a nursey technician at the San Francisco SPCA, that rescue animals from shelters and commit to take care of them for their entire lives. 

She has been working there for 8 years and the most important highlights from her interview:

  • The financial questions are one of the most frequent questions.The adoptions fees are to cover the costs for other pets in need.


Promoting Events

To incentive the pet adoption, she said the adoption center promote events to help adult cats and dogs to be adopted and they don’t charge any fees.


The San Francisco SPCA has two locations in the city but they have a temporary location at Embarcadero neighborhood. She said it is a way they found to make people think about adopting a pet and to be noticed by the new people moving to the city, since Embarcadero is a popular location for tourists


The importance of events to improve the animal’s social skills.

She described a dog that was problematic when it arrived at the adoption center, but after being at a couple of events, the dog was more social and it was adopted few days before the interview. Events are an opportunity to interact with the animals as well.

The events are important for the pets even it is not for adoption. They help animals to improve their social skills and increase their chances to be adopted.


Set a Mission and a Goal

Mission Statement

Get more animals adopted from shelters.


Design an easy experience for the Pet Adoption process and help people to find pets that match their lifestyle. Inform people about a pet’s life maintenance, such as costs to keep the pet for a life commitment.


Design Process


High Fidelity Designs


Improvements & Conclusion

I would ask for feedback from other designers and keep working on the task flows for other functions on the app.

Then, I would test the experience with potential adopters to give us feedback, and I could ask for help from the Research team. I would like to include the YouTube Channels on the app as well.

I made to the final round at Google Headquarters but I didn't get the job. Even though I didn't get it, I feel proud of my process. Thank you for watching!