User EXPERIENCE Design Case Study

Cat Adoption Team Trainer app

Project goal:
Create an app allowing volunteers to receive training when and where convenient.
My role:
Lead UX Designer
User research, wire-framing, usability testing, prototyping, visual design
Target audience:
Volunteers, staff, and mangers at animal shelters
Research conducted:
I interviewed managers and volunteers at animal shelters that specialized in rescuing cats.
Key challenges:
Finding time to get people together for training was a major source of stress for both the managers and volunteers. Mangers also noted that volunteers needed regular retraining after long absences or policy changes. Planning training providing training was taking time away form other important goals.

User personas

  • Bill
    “Things are tough, I need to find a better way”

    Age: 46

    Education: Some college

    Hometown: Topeka, KS

    Family: Married, father of 3

    Occupation: Manager at Animal Shelter

    • Make training easier
    • Reduce staff and volunteer turnover
    • Find more homes for animals
    • Spend more time fundraising
    • Inconsistently trained volunteers
    • Shelter running out of space
    • Cats in the shelter for too long
    • Seeing cats returned
    Bill manages the Cat Adoption Team animal shelter. He is dedicated to his work but lately is having difficulty in training staff and volunteers because the turnover has been high. The shelter is also struggling to meet its objectives due to an influx of animals after the pandemic which has also made funding tight.

  • Julie
    “My job is okay, but I love to volunteer”
    Age: 35
    Education: Bachelor's Degree
    Hometown: Boulder, CO
    Family: Lives alone
    Occupation: Higher Education
    • Help animals in need
    • Spend more time volunteering
    • Maintain good performance at work
    • Advocate for animal welfare
    • Too many meetings
    • Not having enough time
    • Not enough flexibility in her work schedule
    • Seeing animals in need of a home
    Julie likes her job but gets more fulfillment from volunteering. She spends some evenings and weekends working as a volunteer at a cat rescue center. However, this volunteer work has been emotionally taxing due to an increase in the number of surrendered cats. Frequent training meetings have also been hard to attend with her work schedule.

Problem Statement

  • Julie is a volunteer at a cat rescue center who is thinking of quitting her volunteer role, which she loves because it is difficult to attend frequent training sessions during weekdays.
  • Bill is a manager at a cat rescue center who needs an easier way to train staff and volunteer because the current process if hard to schedule and time-consuming.

Early wireframe sketches of the app

Initial concepts:
Create a simple training experience that provides clear understanding of the training task and how much time it would take to complete the training.


  • Description of training to be completed including a time estimate provides clear expectations.
  • The ability to review questions helps users learn from incorrect answers.

Results of user testing

  • Training topics needing completion require better cues to identify their status.
  • Answer review component should be integrated into the quiz to meet user expectations.
  • Correct answers need to be more clearly indicated so they can be immediately understood.

Final polished designs

Main user flow prototype

Project prototype in Figma
I didn't realize how much of an effort it was to keep volunteers updated on their training until I conducted the interviews. It is only because of this research that I came up with the idea for a training delivery tool. Through usability studies, I was able to see how users responded to and interacted with the app. Seeing their responses and interactions allowed me to focus the app on a clear and simple core function.
Next Steps
  • The next step for the project is to create the user flow for the user that will create the training sessions and test a low-fidelity prototype.
  • After that, a high-fidelity mockup and prototype of the training creator user flow should be created and tested.
  • Finally, I would extend this training solution to other organizations and small businesses that could benefit from a similar training model.
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