whistle pet tracker

Whistle is a dog activity monitor. Dog lovers attach it to their dogs and gain insights about their dog's activity via an app on their smart phone. I worked with Whistle to define their user experience strategy, with an initial user study, main scenarios, definition of the values and some insights on the core feature set. The company was acquired by Mars Petcare in 2016.

User research, Storyboards, Scenarios, Requirements, Interaction Design

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Scenario Storyboards

I put together the main scenarios describing how the device is bought, installed and used, with the founders as domain experts. In the process we defined two types of households - Dog moms with kids, and Dog moms without kids, as well as defined all the users that will be potentially involved (moms, partner, kids, dog sitter) and made assumptions about how users will interact with the device and how it fits with their existing context . The scenarios helped surface problematic issues with the design of the product, anticipating issues with battery charge and data sync.


Qualitative user research

I reached out to a few friends of friends. The goal was to verify the problem and validate the solution. The first was done by engaging in a free format conversation about their dog, and the dynamics around the dog, and the second part by reviewing the storyboard scenarios. Dog moms were excited about the device helping them becoming better moms to their dogs, and as a potential way to engage other family members in the taking care of the dog.

Beyond that, it became clear that  knowing where your dog is (GPS), might be bigger pain for moms than the activity monitor, but it was too late to change the hardware configuration of the product at this point. The current version (2017) is a GPS tracker device.


Core Experience & Values

Whistle was defined as a way to always stay connected to your dog, when away at work or on vacations. On top of that, we identified an opportunity to become a thought leader for the dog owner community as well as a neighborhood community tool.

I defined basic values for whistle including: Credibility (achieved by accurate synced data, and vet approval), and Supportive (suggesting that insights are there to make the mom feel good, and not to judge her, and lastly Personalized (all activity data is specific to breed, so that the app doesn’t bring you unreasonable expectations).

Interaction Concepts 

The data was there to tell a story. I wondered, early on, how to tell this story in a compelling way. Some concept included visual experiments of perspective, while others were thoughts about transitions -  matching the time away from the app, to the data showed when you come back.