Research, Strategy, IA, UCD/IxD, Visual Design

Case Study: Animal Shelter Management, Adoption and Corporate Website
Partnering via the SFSPCA with the Stockton Municipal Animal Shelter’s volunteer adoption arm, “APL” we set out to change culture by changing the way they work. One integral element was APL’s dilapidated website, static and dated, it was fairly ineffectual at fostering adoptions.


  • Heuristic review of the current APL site
  • Stakeholder interviews/workshops
  • Reviewed business goals
  • Comparative analysis
  • Contextual inquiries with the volunteers who work with the app
  • Content inventory


  • Developed use cases
  • Created site-map
  • User flows


  • Wireframe sketches (desktop and mobile)

  • Visual design mockups (highly annotated for interaction)

  • Flow diagrams


Segmenting the behavioral types, it was important to bear in mind that all CMS users were non-technical volunteers. So user-load (cognitive or otherwise) needed a priority consideration. I had to strongly advocate for the three disparate data sources covering pet categories to be presented as a single system interaction. It added (protested by the developer as unnecessary) complexity to the programming exclusively in support of the experience. As the product team was all volunteer itself, this provided additional challenges, as well as team member availability and commitment to the project.


Stockton and the SFSPCA are currently looking at repurposing the site as an auxiliary property for the municipal shelter, as APL was dissolved.


Push-back received over features designed specifically
to ease user load illuminated the importance of
communicating user empathy to team members, both
within the overall process and specifically relative to
integral but complex interactions.