Khalid Al-Jaaidi — Product and design. based in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Put your pet in your pocket. Aleef, a platform for current pet owners to better manage their official pet profiles as they appear in the government records and care for their pets.

Aleef also powers a listing of pets available for adoption for current and prospective pet owners either through the municipal adoption clinic, or by connecting to not for profit pet shelters in Dubai.

Aleef was one of the most fun projects that allowed me to understand how the city manages pet population, and to build empathy and connect with real pet owners and not for profit centers.

Aleef is Arabic for “Domestic Pet”.

ForDubai Municipality RoleProduct Owner & UX / UI Design Lead
DateJune 2016 Project ApproachUser centric design, design sprints, user testing, scrum (Agile)

01 Understanding

Starting the project, I knew that we needed to understand our users. To walk their shows to talk to them and to make them a partner in our user centric design process.

I kickstarted this by creating a survey that would give us a lens into their lives, and understand a little bit. I created this survey using TypeForm, and recruited users from various local pet owners groups, including the main biggest 3 Facebook groups and existing Veterinary clinic customers.

Some of the survey results

Design Thinking Workshop

In addition to the survey, we needed to just talk to them! At this point I’ve worked with IBM who was a long time vendor that works with the Municipality, to launch a design thinking session, and we used their creative studio as the hosting venue to invite recruited users on a Saturday (weekend) morning, and go through an exercise to collaboratively build their user journey, empathy map, then generate ideas that could help them, and together asked them to prioritize them on a graph.

Invitation poster sent to users

An Empathy map built with the users

Potential users and the team huddled up and working on the user journey together

User journey throughout the day, capturing their thoughts, needs and pain points

From idea generator, to a prioritized list

02 Design Sprint – Five-day process for solving problems and testing new ideas

Following the understanding phase through the surveys and design thinking session, we felt that we were in a good position now to take our hypothesis, continue our understanding efforts and begin problem solving, come up with a few concepts and actually test them by the end of the week. For this part I turned to the Google Design Sprint process to put all the right cross-functional stakeholders together, and problem solve side to side. This was a first as people were not used to this level of high energy collaboration workshop method, and were used to working in silos.

Each stage is a full day in the 5 day process

Understand - Draw A Map Of the Users Steps

Starts with drawing a map of our users steps, and “How Might We” exercise, turning problems into opportunities.

Deciding on our most important user journey step and opportunity.

Everybody can sketch! Immersing the cross-functional team and coming up with various solution ideas together

Some of the pre-final solution sketches

Final solution sketches and voted on by the team, and then the deciding stakeholders

03 Wireframes

Going into wireframes is one of my favorite ways of quickly visualizing whats in my head and putting it down, and the beginning of my iterative design process. At this stage I took the winning solution from the sprint, and multiple great ideas from other solutions, added some additional ideas and began iterating on the product design. The wireframes also served as a great medium to collect immediate stakeholders feedback and help steer the direction of the solution early on, potentially saving time down the road.

04 Product Design

At this point, this is where everything comes together, the brand, the color scheme, the personality, and of course the product design.

Bidirectional Design Implementation

05 Usability Testing

The app was tested for usability and feedback with potential users, using Lookback. I later created usability report which was used to inform design iterations.

Promo Video

We worked on creating a promotional video for the app, I worked on preparing the mockups and screens, and participated in the script creation and conceptualization with an external agency.