Future Relationship Between Human and Their Animal Companions

A Research for the U.S. Pet Lovers


How Can We Generate Insights, Business Opportunities And Bold Ideas In Today's Competitive Marketplace?

Unlock The Creativity By Using The Generative Research Tools

This research project was developed in 2016. In 14 weeks, I gathered inspirations, discovered what people really need, generated ideas, pushed past what’s obvious to get to breakthrough solutions and finally made ideas tangible and better.

The goal of this project was to design and conduct a research. The research will conclude with the choice of eight insight/opportunity pairs discovered in the process.

The opportunities will be explored in an ideation phase, which will conclude with the selection of five best concepts that answer the most viable opportunities.

Research Plan

This research work was divided into four phases:

Academic research
Field Interviews
Analysis
Ideation
Select and frame a research topic with targeted objectives and knowledge goals.
Design a plan a research project using generative tools.
Analyze research findings, selecting methods for analysis that are appropriate.
Develop 80 ideas based on those opportunities.
Review current literature on the topic and produce an annotated bibliography
Conduct interviews with 4 consumers and 1 expert. 
Conclude the analysis with a selection of 8 opportunities based on insights from the research.
Further define and finalize 5 final concepts.

Overview

It's estimated that
70-80 Million dogs
74-96 Million cats
are owned in the United States.

37-47% of all households have a dog
30-37% have a cat in the United States.
(Source: APPA)

It's a huge market there. However, it is a super competitive industry. There are a lot of big players already dominated in this area. So, in this project, I used the generative research tools to find out some new insights and opportunities.

"because what people say they do is not always what they actually do, and understanding why people do something is infinitely more important than merely knowing what they do."
"in order to find insights that can fuel a viable design breakthrough, we need to discover these underlying issues - attitudes, values, dreams, and so forth - that people either can’t or won’t talk about. This is why we will use the generative tools."
Field Interviews
I interviewed 4 pet lovers with their spoiled pets and 1 expert who is a professional pet's toy designer.
3 Research Knowledge Goals and the Methods
KNOWLEDGE GOAL 1

Understanding the motivation of why people treat their pets so well.
KNOWLEDGE GOAL 2

Understanding pet owner's personal perception of the world and how the others see them.
KNOWLEDGE GOAL 3

Understanding how the animal companion affect their life.
TRADEOFF

Also called a “forced choice exercise,” this is a game board with sets of colored tiles representing six aspects of the research topic.
IMAGE DECKS 

This is a methods that using cards with images to help participants to put ideas into words.
TIMELINE 

Provide a sheet of paper with a time line bisecting it horizontally, asking participants to represent the experience from start to finish by putting positive emotions go above the line and negative ones below.
THE OUTCOME

This tool is especially effective in revealing the decision making process.
THE OUTCOME

Many of the images are metaphors that represent what they are trying to say. 
THE OUTCOME 

This tool will help me to understand a experience that happens over time.
Analysis Process
THE KJ METHOD (THE AFFINITY DIAGRAM)
Making order out of chaos.
THE ETHNOGRAPHER'S QUESTIONS
what does future relationship mean to pet lovers?
what are the repeated behaviors?
what sense of order is provided for pet lovers?
what are the roles of participants and non participants?
USER EXPERIENCE JOURNEY MAP
P.N.S.T.I.O.
A map that summarize different aspects of the user experience in each touchpoint
problems, needs, system challenges, themes, insights, opportunities
80 IDEAS
5 Final Concepts
Insight
 Opportunity
The invisible communication needs
product that could help pet lovers to understand and communicate with their pets
SOULMATE

Concept 1: Pet translator system
SoulMate is a translator system. It includes an electronic collar and a free App. Electronic collar receives the sound from the pet
Then translates that to text message and send that to user’s cell phone
SoulMate translator even can translate the conversation between different species.
User also can send the voice message to his/her pet through the cell phone.
Insight
 Opportunity
Many dog-exercise enthusiasts encourage bringing a dog along on runs
A new way for dog lover to interact and have fun with their best friend
DoGo

Concept 2: fitness tool for dog lovers
DoGo fitness system allowed dog lovers to work out with their dogs. This system include a motion tracker and a free app.
By building a profile for both dog and owner, user could set up a fitness goal and a training schedule.
Motion sensor will track and analyze movements during each training.
People can also play games with their dog by using the game model on DoGo.
Insight
 Opportunity
People see their pets as 'Reflection' of themselves
A new sharing experience
Happy Face

Concept 3: Pet emoji social platform 
Happy face is an emoji social platform. Through a free App, the pet owner can easily upload their pets photos and transfer that into an emoji.
The pet owner can share that emoji with anyone.
Emoji rating system allow all the users to interact with others.
Happy face even offers the convenient services that turn your emoji into the merchandise.
Insight
 Opportunity
people always want to share their pet's pictures with others
A new sharing experience
PeTalk

Concept 4: pet camera for people who love posting pics of the pets
Petalk is a new sharing experience for pet lovers. It including a digital collar with a camera and an app.
The digital collar measure the heart rate of the pet and automatically take pictures when pet feel excited. And then send these pictures to pet owner.
instead of posting pet pictures made by the owners, people could post these original pet made pictures to the internet.
Insight
 Opportunity
People care about the quality of pet's life
Product could improve the quality of pet's life
Feeder

Concept 5: food supply system design for pets
Feeder will build a close food supply system by connecting the pets, pet owner, pet store, deliver service and pet doctor together.
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