UX designer

Rescue Dashboard

ROLE: Individual UX/UI project

Smaller shelters have traditionally used paper vet records and larger shelters use various shelter management software.

How is health information for dogs transferred from a shelter to a rescue organization? How is that information translated to the foster? What happens to the health records when a dog gets adopted?

The goal

To help as many shelters in many locations expedite and track data management while maintaining consistency in the records.


I will use a design thinking approach where I can conduct research to identify needs and empathize with the user a the first stage. From there, I can thoroughly define the problem and ideate solutions to prototype and test.

User research

I reached out via phone call to ten animal shelters in the NJ/NY area. I wanted to get an idea of how they currently operate their animal intake and how they track the vet records.

Research Goals:

  1. Learn as much as possible about how small and large shelters operate.

  2. What is their current data management system look like?

  3. What are their pain points, needs and wants with recording health data? 

  4. Analyze competitors 

  5. What could be improved for the current systems? What works well?

User interview questions

  1. Can you walk me through how your shelter tracks animal vet records?

  2. Who has access to inputting and managing the health data?

  3. How is information tracked?

  4. Are there any pain points in the current process?

  5. What would you like to change about the current process?

  6. What is the biggest challenge in recording animal health data?

  7. What is working?

  8. When choosing a management software system, what is prioritized, budget, features, ad-ons?

  9. Does any information get lost, what is the workaround?

  10. Do you work with fosters? How is the health data transferred?

Qualitative insights


  1. “Our current system, Shelter Buddy, is clunky and cumbersome. There can always be improvements. There's a lag in the process when we intake a new dog from a different shelter."
    -Kim, Liberty Humane Society

  2. “Since our shelter is very small, we don't have the budget to buy a management software system to track our health records. All of our records are kept in folders, it slows down our process when a new dog comes in or gets adopted."
    Kris Conte, Shelter Manager, Secaucus Animal Shelter

  3. “Since every shelter operates in different ways, it's confusing when we intake a new dog coming from a different shelter. We then have to input the data all over again and that requires a lot of human workforces."
    Kathy Humane, Society Of Bergen County

Synthesizing research

Some of their major pain points came from the time spent inputting data, transferring health records to fosters or different shelters and frustration with the overall UI of the systems.

Pain points

Lost time with inputting/changing data

Management system software is expensive, only larger shelters have access

How to manage the security of the data, unclear who has access to logins


More affordable options

A quicker process to input data


Nicer and easier UI

Less human work force

Share information with fosters

How might we...

I created a list of ‘How Might We…’ questions to help better align our user’s tasks and goals:

How might we track animal health data?

How might we create a platform to centralize health data?

How might we make shelter employees' lives easier?

How might we create an effective database solution?

How might we speed up the adoption process?

Competitor analysis

I conducted a competitor analysis to understand what features are available to users. After researching the software, it was imperative that UI and functionality is a major pain point. Most of the dashboards did not have the functionality to transfer records from shelter to shelter.

Next steps

I want to conduct more user interviews including fosters, recent adopters and rescue organization workers. It will better help me to inform what features are crucial and which are nice to have but not necessary.

After some more research, I want to sketch low-fidelity wireframes for the dashboard.

After sketching, I'd like to start designing the dashboard in Figma, with the goal in mind to create a seamless UI experience for users.

Next, test, iterate, test and iterate.

Lastly, I will create a design system with design tokens such as color, typography and iconography.