In preparing to launch a mobile application in a marketplace as vast as the iPhone App Store, I focused on identifying a very specific user need that I could explore deeply. While not an equestrian myself, a handful of my close friends and family members are very passionate equine enthusiasts. After discussions about possible “horse people problems” that could potentially be solved through a mobile app, I began to understand the outdated processes in which equestrians locate and contact equine veterinary services.
After further conversations on this subject, I was extremely surprised to learn how difficult and time-consuming locating vet services can often be, especially in times of emergency. This was the beginning of EquineVET. I first conducted several interviews with my target audience, gaining a thorough understanding of hierarchy in the user’s list of needs for a proposed mobile solution. I outlined an empathy map and considered my user group’s emotional needs relating to their horses and vet services. Horse healthcare and preventative emergency methods were enormously important to these horse owners. My user group repeatedly expressed the sense of comfort that would be gained knowing vet care was a click or two away, at all times. I carried over this insight when approaching my wireframe design. I knew one thing was certain - app users need an intuitive one-click option to reach available veterinarians immediately. Other features within the app’s functionality include the option to sort veterinarians by their customer review rankings, and by the veterinarian’s proximity to the user.
After developing a basic wireframe and operational prototype, I distributed my first version of the app to my user group. The user group’s initial experience and feedback provided great insight into how successfully various aspects, such as the intuitiveness of app operation, behaved. Their feedback also helped me to determine if any aspect seemed unnecessary and excessive. With this, I reevaluated and fine-tuned until I felt I had a user experience that was indeed both efficient and intuitive. After applying an attractive skin that further emphasized the visual hierarchy of my app screens, the end result is a concrete solution to a user need that I feel would be greatly appreciated in the equine community by riders and veterinarians alike.
Please enjoy a working prototype here: https://invis.io/9V70LP5NP