Lots of great ideas were born during a cigarette break on our balcony. That was also the case with Psinder. Not that Tooploox supports smoking, but one has to admit – it can be a great way to clean your mind. So, a few weeks before our hackathon we were enjoying our time on a balcony and we were talking about pets adoption. We all agreed that it’s a hard process when you are trying to get a pet from a foundation. At the time I was struggling with communication issues with one of them as I wanted to take care of one of their dogs. We came up with an idea on how to improve the process of viewing and adopting currently homeless animals with a mobile application. We decided to present our project on a hackathon and do something valuable for organizations that are trying to find homes for pets in need.
It’s a match!
The app works similarly to a well-known app and helps you find a “perfect match”. The idea is simple. For those who have never had a chance (or reason) to experience a thrill of internet dating, a quick instructions on how Psinder works. There are two types of users: the people willing to adopt an animal (let’s call them Pet seekers), and those who represent shelters or foundations taking care of animals needed to be adopted (Pet hosts). So if you are a Pet seeker, you log into the app through your facebook account and fill in a form giving information about your accommodation conditions, other animals that you own, children etc. if you are a pet-host, for every animal that is in your shelter or foundation you have to detail specific requirements that a potential pet seeker has to meet plus a short description of the animal. If the pet seekers profile matches the requirements from a pet host, the app will show pictures of suitable animals. Pet seeker can swipe the picture left, if he/she is not interested in taking care of the displayed pet or right if he/she is instantly in love, which opens a dialog window with the pet host. That gives an opportunity of quick communication between the two of them. Simple, don’t you think?
Our crew consisted of: Karolina, Paweł, Kordian (iOS Developers), Zosia (Android Developer), Kasia, Łukasz (Designers) and me – Dominika (encouraging others, taking care of beer, sweets, music and joy). As the Psinder Team, we established the following action plan:
- Ordering pizza
- Establishing main goals for: homeless pets, foundations and shelters, people willing to adopt an animal
- App features qualification
- Designing and coding
- Having fun
What we’ve achieved in 24h.
We had established lots of goals and realized it wouldn’t be possible to do everything in 24h. At the end of hackathon we wanted to have running application on our mobiles. And we managed to do it.
We created simply and nice design. We had a profile of a Pet seeker with basic but important information and also bunch of profiles/cards of animals (not only dogs!). We were able to swipe left or right and store our “liked” animals. We also added sounds of a happy and sad dog to our app, to be heard by swiping.
Our goal was to share the final outcome of the application with the world so it could have an actual benefit for the animal shelters and foundations functioning. We believed it could positively impact the adoption processes as well as support the promotion activities. The next step was an action – Kasia and Łukasz took a small trip to a local shelter to share our idea and discuss it with the people who take care of the animals and those who would like to adopt them. Unfortunately, we were not the first ones showing up with this bright solution, which is a mobile app to support the adoption of animals, but the research has been done. We have learned some background and some background learned our lesson. There are several risks to consider with this kind of app::
- Lack of time – the high level of rotation in the shelter makes it impossible for the employees to update the animals profiles info accurately (2k adoptions per year).
- There are too many animals to create the perfect picture and description for each one of them.
- Those animals which need the support the most are the old and sick ones.
- The priority is way higher for donations and feed than promotion.
- There is no certainty that all of the employees own the smartphone.
Additionally, we have done extra research afterwards and such apps do already exist on the market…
We had a good mindset – to support the animals in need and to make a positive social impact. Thanks to that experience we know that our action plan could have been managed better – deep research first! The idea was good, brainstorming and the creation process were sound as well, so we are not giving up. We have learned much more about the adoption issues, possible risks and the ‘competitors’ so we can start the improvement plan. Conclusions have been made, ideas are still popping up in our heads, so no worries the Psinder story is not over.