A dog sharing app that connects busy dog owners
with their dog-deprived neighbors

The problem:

There are lots of dog-loving people out there who would like to enjoy the company of a dog, but can’t commit to the long-term responsibility of owning one. Meanwhile, busy dog owners feel guilty leaving their dogs home alone for long periods.

The solution:

Wagalong facilitates dog sharing between owners and their neighbors who crave canine companionship.


2 people

My role:

UX research, UX design, UX writing


Adobe XD, Miro, Trello

Time frame:

3 weeks


Our research began with the hypothesis that dog sharing is beneficial for owners and non-owners because it (a) relieves the owner’s guilt over leaving their dog home alone and (b) provides the non-owners with responsibility-free dog fun.


We surveyed dog owners and non-dog owners to understand why people might be interested (or not interested) in dog sharing. We also interviewed three dog owners and three non-dog owners who were open to the idea of dog sharing. We wondered, what does their ideal dog-sharing arrangement look like? What are their concerns?

User Insight

People feel more comfortable with the idea of dog sharing between neighbors. Some owners would be up for lending their dog out even though they’re home.

“I like the idea of keeping it in the neighborhood. If I kind of know who you are or I see you around, I’d be okay with lending you my dog.”

"I wouldn't let someone take my dog all the way to Dripping Springs."

“Sometimes, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is take my dog out. If someone wanted to take him then, I’d gladly sink into my sofa instead.”

User Personas

Based on our research, we came up with two user personas who we kept in mind as we went on to design our dog sharing app.

User Scenario Diagrams

After creating these personas, Susan and Tim, we imagined scenarios in which they would use our app to achieve their respective goals.


In this storyboard, we envisioned how Susan and Tim would connect through our app and how their lives might improve as a result.

User Flow Diagram

We did a “What if, I like, I wish” exercise, in which we got into the mindset of our personas to determine which features to prioritize. After nailing down our must-have features, we created a user flow diagram to map out how dog owners and non-dog owners would navigate through the app. It was an iterative process that started with pen and paper.


With our user flow diagram as a reference, we made some rough sketches and then created low-fidelity wireframes to prototype and test on potential users to save us time down the road.

Testing and Iteration

Based on initial testing, we were able to iron out the kinks in our dog sharing request process, both in terms of how to make it work and look right. We decided to combine the messaging and request process instead of having those processes separate as we originally sketched them out.

The Dog's Perspective

The app content, much like the design, is informed by research. Based on interviews, ethnographic research at a dog park, and a study of popular dog-related social media accounts, I decided, when writing, to tap into the human tendency to anthropomorphize dogs. Dog owners are thus prompted to fill out their dog’s profile from their dog’s perspective. Furthermore, when non-dog owners browse dog profiles and send a request, they “communicate” with the dog.


Finally, we created new, improved prototypes for two user flows, one in which Susan signs up and makes a profile for her dog Teddy and another in which Tim signs in, finds Teddy, and makes a request, which Susan sees and accepts.

Final Thoughts

  • I learned a lot in the process of designing Wagalong.
  • Going back to the early research phase, with more time, I would first create a survey screener to avoid getting the cat lover’s opinion on dog sharing, which was not helpful. I would also make sure to get more responses so that I could draw better conclusions about the target demographic.
  • The app splits into separate experiences for dog owners and non-dog owners, which we decided was the easiest way to build out the first iteration of the app. In the future, I might design a version in which a dog owner, as well as a non-dog owner, can borrow a dog.
  • If I were to develop the app further, I would spend more time thinking about the issue of trust, which I learned is probably the biggest roadblock to the app’s success.