Walking an office full of dogs is no small task. With 12+ dogs in the office, there's a lot to consider. Who gets along with who? How often does each dog need to be walked? What is Iggy's favorite treat? If something goes wrong who should I call? That's a lot of poop to think about!
Functionally, the app had to solve these issues. I felt that it was also important that the app be friendly, fun, and sort of silly. It is meant to be used by Crunchyroll, and its purpose is to organize bathroom breaks, after all.
Enter Dog Duty. It's an app that lets its users keep track of who needs to go potty, and recommends groups of dogs that have a history of getting along to help avoid a lot of awkward barking. It also has a profile that houses contact information for each pooch's owner as well as other vital info like each dog's favorite snack.
I started by writing down all of the potential asks from the assignment and selecting ones that I felt could work together as a single cohesive application. I starred the ones that I felt worked well together and disregarded ones that I felt would confuse or clutter the app. I did try to include as many as possible, though.
I ended up liking the name "Dog Duty", which was one of my earlier ideas. I thought it was funny, but also pretty apt to the job of walking dogs (duty sounds like doody, get it 9_9;;;?). All of my other names I wrote down were also terrible. Honestly, take a look. Sheesh.
I was originally thinking that it would make sense to have a bottom navigation on the app. After considering all of the features, however, I decided that it would be much more elegant to have a default view that allowed you to track the Duty Bar of each dog, and a view where you could add or check in dogs. Contextual actions like adding a dog or establishing relationships could be done more elegantly within other flows.
As far as coloring goes, one idea I kept coming back to was those plastic bags people with dogs carry around to pick up dog waste. I used colors that are a bit bluer than these bags, but that was the inspiration. I knew that I'd be drawing the dogs by hand, so I wanted the rest of the app to have kind of a wobbly feel. I decided to use somewhat irregular and wobbly shapes interspersed into the imagery and iconography. I feel like in some small way the wobbliness also references crumply poo bags.
I knew that I wouldn't have time to draw every type of dog for this assignment, so I decided to choose four to six to draw. I wanted a hand drawn art style, so I used one of my nights of nightly drawing sessions to draw and color six breeds that I like.
Six felt like a good number to show some variety while, at the same time, not taking too long to actually produce.
The main screen on the app is a running timeline that tracks the time between walks for each dog that is currently checked in. If several dogs are close to their maximum time, which is configurable in each dog's profile, it will suggest a group of dogs that the app knows get along. If you want to manually build a walking party you can tap on an individual dog, which will clear out the suggested walk and add only that dog to the party. Dogs considered a good fit for the newly created party will show an excited face in the list below. Dogs are only considered a good fit for the walk if they get along with all dogs currently in the party.
You can tap on a dog to say that they've finished with their business. This updates their avatar to a ridiculously relieved-looking face. Once you feel that all dogs are ready to go back into the office, you tap "Duty Completed". Doing so will reset the Duty Bar for all dogs that you tapped on during the walk. You can also end a walk by letting the app know that there was a personality clash or fight. That will prompt a quiz to help the app refine all of the dogs' relationships with each other, and to help avoid fights in the future.
Every dog in the system is represented on the dogs screen. If no dogs are checked in for the day, users will be prompted to go to this screen to check some in. Tapping on a dog will remove the "zzz" and change their avatar from black & white to color. In this state, the dogs will start accumulating time in their Duty Bar on the main screen. The "..." on the right allows for deleting dogs from the system, manually emptying the Duty Bar, and editing the dogs' profiles.