UX Design- Color Collar

A fun and innovative product that tells you how your pet is feeling.

When 2018 | Skills User Research, User Feedback Reports, Wireframing, Paper & Digital Prototyping


According to SPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals, i.e. cats and dogs, enter U.S. shelters nationwide. Out of that, each year, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized.
Being an animal lover myself, and considering the number of cat and dog videos, memes and posts that are shared online, I was alarmed by this number.
So I decided to dig a little deep and find out what's missing from the users' point of view - why weren't adoption numbers high?

Design Thinking Process

  • EmpathizeEmpathize
    User Interview Notes

    I interviewed five people - someone who owns a pet, someone who doesn't own or want a pet, someone who owns multiple pets, someone who wants a pet but can't get one, and someone who doesn't own a pet but wants one.

    User Empathy Maps

    I organised the data I gathered during the user interviews into user empathy maps that contained four categories - Say, Do, Think, and Feel. From there, I derived the users' basic pain points and goals.


    A few common themes were noticed while observing the users' pain points.

  • EmpathizeDefine
    Insights to Personas

    The insights gathered from the empathy maps were then converted into personas to give an identity to the users I was solving for, which would help me give reason to their acts and reactions during the brainstorming stage.



    The brainstorming stage had us identifying the problem statements of our personas and then, come up with ideas to solve for those problem statements. We then, categorized our ideas into Most Rational, Most Delightful, Darling and Long Shot.

    Problem Statements
  • EmpathizeIdeate
    Ideas to Storyboards

    The ideas that fell under the sweet spot, i.e. the Most Delightful, were storyboarded. And then, voted on by my classmates.


    The voting resulted in 'Color Collar' moving forward into the Prototyping stage. Hand-made wireflows were made to see the type of features that the app would have - a rough working of the app, if you will.

    Low-Fidelity Wireframes

    Low fidelity wireflows were made which was a digital version of what was achieved through the whiteboarding exercise.

  • EmpathizeUser Testing
    Paper Prototyping

    Based on the low fidelity wireflows, a paper prototyping usability test was conducted so that we can know the users' thoughts early on. A report was then made on its findings.

    Paper Prototyping Usability Test Report

    Participants -

    • 3 students from AAU
    • 2 females, 1 male
    • Ages between 24-29
    • All shared the feeling that sometimes they cannot understand the pet's reactions.
    • All who don't have pets were scared if they'll do a good job raising a pet.

    What the particpants did -

    • Answered questions about their digital habits, their views on pet adoption and pet raising.
    • Paper prototype usability tests of the Color Collar app.
    • Did tasks and shared their opinions related to different features of the app.

    Summary -

    Overall, they liked the purpose behind the app. All tasks were successfully completed and there was one critical-error by one user regarding the 'Activity' feature. One of the aims of the app is to not waste the user's precious time. However, it was interesting to observe that on some features, the participants wanted to spend more time and wanted more interactions.

    Key Findings

    Conclusion of Paper Prototype User-Test

    A few changes were made based on the feeback received by the users and low-fidelity wireflows were converted to high fidelity digital prototypes.
    The amount of feedback that was received during the Paper Prototyping Usability Tests was not nearly enough, which meant more tests and feedbacks were required.

    Digital Prototypes

    Hi-fidelity wireflows and two looks were created based on the findings of the paper prototype user tests. These were then tested with the users again.

    Digital Prototype Usability Test Report

    Participants -

    • 1 female, 3 males -Ana, Harsha!, Bunny, Adam.
    • Age: 25-32
    • All look at their phone every half an hour.
    • Two who own pets felt the color collar would be a great help to them.
    • Two who don't own pets felt they would get a pet if they have Color Collar's help.

    What the particpants did -

    • Voted on the looks of the app they preferred.
    • Did tasks related to different features of the app.
    • Shared their opinions, pain points and provided feedback.

    Summary -

    The participants pointed out that the look of the app wasn't constant.
    They were not able to understand the meaning of some icons and couldn't differentiate between the colors of light.

    Key Findings

    More Testing

    The app was nearing its completion when another round of testing was conducted, which included no tasks but only what the users thought about the app. It was more like a group conversation than an interview.

    Participants -

    The participants of this test were all the people that had been interviewed before and/or were familiar with the idea and the app.

    What the participants did -

    • Shared their opinions about what they thought of the idea as a whole.
    • Shared what they felt was missing from the app.
    • Shared their favorite and least favorite feature.

    Quotes from Last Round of Testing

    'Scan Feelings' and 'Color Chart' feature is the same. -Ana M.

    Having two features doing the same thing gives a clunky feeling. -Adam K.

    What if I have multiple pets? -Ananya G.

    I'm planning to get another pet, how will this app work then? -Dhodhi S.

    The app is about feelings, but I dont feel it. -Bunny P.

    I want to see my pet's picture more often. -Suriya X.

    I want a find my pet feature. Who makes an app without that, these days? -Dua N.

    If you have a technology that can depict feelings, find my pet should be a basic feature. -Adam K.

    If there's a multiple pets feature, I want to be able to switch easily. -Dhodhi S.

    What if I want to scan all my pets' feelings and vitals at once? -Dua N.

    The 'Activity' feature is my favorite. -Ananya G.

    My favorite feature is the collar itself. It would be such a style statement! -Suriya X.

    Final Changes

    Final Conclusion

    Maintenance of pets was once of the major concerns that my users faced.
    Not being able to understand and take care of the pet is what stops most users from getting a pet in the first place.
    Color Collar solves for many pain points that users experience while raising pets or thinking about getting pets. It brings out new feelings amongst the users as well.


During the Design Thinking Process I realized, the biggest concern for my user set lied in their lack of confidence in raising a pet and its maintenance. The decision of adopting vs buying was a much smaller concern. 40 percent of the users said they would adopt despite lengthy adoption processes and 60 percent said they would buy instead. To make the 60 percent change their thinking would require the city rules and regulations to be redefined in order to make the process of adopting easier and faster.

I figured if I could break the barrier of confidence and maintenance issues caused by the friction created by a lack of understanding between the pet and the owner then, it would result in an increase in the number of people getting a pet which would in turn increase the number of people adopting atleast by 30 percent.


Recent advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning suggest the longstanding dream of being able to converse with animals — in a limited fashion — could become a reality.
With the help of AI, scientists are learning how to translate animals’ vocalizations and facial expressions into something we can understand.

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/dogs-can-t-speak-human-here-s-tech-could-change-ncna836811

This study, when proven, will open the doors for our product idea to save the 3 million cats and dogs that are euthanized each year in the US, mostly due to poorly understood behaviorial problems.

Color Collar

Color Collar is a collar for your pet that lights up- each color of light refers to a particular feeling. Red light means angry, orange means happy, and so on.

  • Strap on the collar. Enter its code in the Color Collar App. And Voila!

  • Scan your pet's feelings and vitals. Easy-peasy!

  • Check your pet's daily activity- what it feels during the day, how its body is functioning, how its reacting to your actions. No more guess work!

  • Have its medical records and history on file. It'll be like your pet's profile!

  • Know its location at at all times- when you're at work or away on vacation.