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Fly with Fido Feature Addition
Adding Airport and Airline Information to the Mobile App

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Air travel with a dog is a very stressful endeavor with constantly changing rules and regulations that vary from airline to airline. This is why BringFido offers information on pet policies specific to each airline as well as general information on preparing for your travel with your dog. BringFido also has a list of the top 10 most dog-friendly airports. Despite 70% of all BringFido users utilizing a mobile device to access the site, these articles are unfortunately nowhere to be found on the BringFido app. Neither BringFido nor any of its competitors offer a comprehensive resource to support travelers flying with their dog and there remains no efficient way for these travelers to access up-to-date information on pet relief stations across different airports. 


Since the majority of BringFido users are accessing the site via mobile, and many of them via the mobile app, I will update the app to include resources to support dog owners traveling with their dogs and conduct user research to guide the content and design of these resources. 


With over 12 million users per year, BringFido has become the dominant online resource to support travelers and their dogs. Dog owners enjoy that BringFido provides a centralized resource to support them in their travel with Fido. BringFido can only expect more users given dog ownership is on a steep rise with 54% of American households currently owning a dog up from 38% at the year-end of 2016.


Founded by Melissa Halliburton in 2006, BringFido emerged as a crucial resource for travelers accompanied by their dogs. Since launching in 2006, BringFido has helped over 50 million people take their dogs on vacation." BringFido offers a range of resources to support dog owners in their travel plans. These include pet-friendly hotel information and booking directly on the site, pet-friendly restaurant and activity destinations, and resources for dog sitting, dog walking and boarding. Yet BringFido is sorely lacking in support for people traveling with their dogs by plane. Currently, 6% of all pets in United States households board a plane each year. The large majority of these pets are dogs, and as more and more households acquire new dogs, the majority of them fall under the category of small dogs that are eligible for in-plane travel. With dog ownership on a steep rise both in the United States and globally, we can expect far more dogs boarding planes.

Key Insights

80% of interview participants use a blend of resources and are most likely to trust and return to a specific resource if it is heavily validated or informed by the direct experiences of users.
BringFido has a problem with incentivizing User Generated Content (UGC) as reviews are relatively sparse in relation to overall site visits.
Any feature addition must also address the critical need for BringFido to boost conversions through incentivizing UGC so that BringFido becomes more resourceful.



80 hours


Solo Project



Interaction Design


User Research

Content Strategy




Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Illustrator



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Assumptions & Hypotheses

I assume there are target users seeking information on flying with pets and that servicing these users could be profitable for the company and expand their overall user base.

High Level Design Goals & Objectives
  • Understand the current scope of BringFido’s mobile features and identify any existing discrepancies between their mobile and desktop product

  • Identify the needs and pain points of those travel with dogs

  • Develop new product features within the BringFido app based on clearly identified needs

  • Analyze potential impact and resources/ efforts required to inform feature prioritization

  • Understand how my product update to the BringFido app fits into both national and global trends on traveling on dog ownership and airline travel with dogs

Research Objectives
  • Discover how people interact with the BringFido app and if they have not used it ask them to download it and explore the features, validate what value its current features may have for users as well as any current friction points impacting the app's usability

  • Validate/ test my project hypothesis that users might want information on air travel with their dog

  • Define pain points regarding air travel with users’ pet dogs

  • Define product features that address user pain points with air travel with dogs

  • Competitive Analysis

  • User interviews with dog owners, ideally with those who’ve flown with their dog (someone who’s flown with a cat may also be applicable as well in the event I cannot find enough participants within our project timeline)

Competitive Analysis
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Research Interviews
Who I Talked to
  • 5 participants, 3 women and one man, ranging in age from 34-41

  • 4/5 are current dog owners and 1/5 is a cat owner with experience flying with her cat

Key Takeaways from My Research
  • Every dog-owning interview participant noted they do not rely on a single source such as a vet, or a referral, or a tip from an app or website. Instead, there was a general trend of relying heavily on tips from other people with direct experience which was sometimes via sites like Reddit or Youtube or in other cases from family or friends.

  • My interviews also suggested users often don’t return frequently to BringFido mostly because they feel other sources have more user activity and reviews.

  • Based on my competitive analysis of top competitors, BringFido clearly dominates the market of dog travel-related digital products (as evidenced by their revenue of 32 million). That said, my primary research strongly indicates users are frequently using a blend of resources and are most likely to trust and return to a specific resource if it is heavily validated or informed by the direct experiences of users. This insight also pointed to several strong weaknesses in BringFido’s current product offerings including, reviews are relatively sparse in relation to overall site visits, the pay-to-list model for businesses has led to the omission of many dog-friendly sites, and low levels of interactivity between users  (such as users reading and posting reviews).

I developed 2 Personas based on my research to help guide my understanding of the needs and mental models of my target audience


User Persona A
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User Persona B
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To help define the problem I'm trying to address and to set the stage for possible solutions, I used insights uncovered in my primary research to generate Point of View (P.O.V.) statements and How Might We (H.M.W.) questions




Dog owners like to curate their travel journey in detail, often using many sources for information.


A centralized place for pet owners to curate upcoming journeys with their dog


Marcus is frequently on the road with his dog Luke and needs to be able to both confirm Luke has all the required shots needed for his upcoming plane travel and schedule a pet friendly restaurant reservation for the day he arrives.


How might we make it easier for dog owners to curate multiple aspects of their upcoming journey with their dogs?



People tend to not trust airline pet policies and desire some form of vetting or confirming these policies to ensure they are up-to-date and accurate.


To get best practices and reliable suggestions for things like flying with a dog


Sarah wants to confirm she is not missing any crucial required steps when planning for upcoming air travel with her dog Mia.


How might we ensure dog owners can confirm airline pet travel policies?




Low Fidelity Sketches

To organize my feature addition of resources for travelers flying by plane with their dogs I originally conceived of a "Fly with Fido" homepage which would orient users to these new resources. These include airline pet policies and reviews, airport reviews, and the pet relief area finder

Brainstorming & Prioritizing Features

I revisited my research and began empathizing with my personas to generate the following features shown below. After brainstorming features that might address my users' problems, I diagramed them using the prioritization technique, known as The MoSCoW Method.

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  • My research continually underscored the need for dog owners to vet information and the value they place on the direct experience of other dog owners I realized I would need to include a strategy for boosting user activity within my feature addition. 

  • While the core of my feature addition was to consist of user vetted / reviewed airline and airport information related to traveling with your dog, I decided my design should include some indication of the basics for a user review point system which I would call FidoRewards.

Map View for Pet Relief Area Finder

For the Pet Relief Area finder I knew I would need to embed a map view into Figma and have some way of controlling the layers and labels on the map. Using OpenStreetMaps and Maputnik's visual programming language I was able to screen back the roads and highways and hide unnecessary map labels. 

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Prototype & Test

Task Flows & Wireframing

I developed 2 task flows to guide the development of my wireframes and to prepare for user testing. 

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User Testing
Who I Talked to
  • 5 Participants ranging in age from 24-39

  • 3/5 participants have a dog and 4/5 have owned a dog

I conducted user testing on my prototype and organized the feedback from my participants using an affinity map.

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Key Takeaways

  • 5/5 completed the 2 tasks in a timely manner with no major issues

  • 3/5 had issues with the Fly with Fido homepage

  • 4/5 had issues with the BringFido home screen menu and navigation

  • 5/5 noted a lack of feedback and clarity with the submit report as a review feature


Revised Prototype

Site Map

I originally conceived of my feature addition as requiring a Fly with Fido homepage so as to orient users to the range of resources my additions would offer them in their air travel with their dogs. This had the effect of deviating from BringFido's home screen menu where categories or menu items do not directly link to pages as users must first filter by a destination (or topic in the case of the blog).

I quickly realized that the BringFido menu has a learning curve even without this deviation and making such a change to the way the menu would work in one instance only made things worse. To better understand how my feature addition fits into the current site structure I developed the following Information Architecture Flow Map and also included my feature addition marked in red.

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Fly with Fido - Site Architecture Reorganization
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Instead of functioning as a stand alone page, the "Fly with Fido" content becomes a menu item (see menu below) that next prompts the user to select an airline or airport  

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Revised Task Flows
Flow 1  - Key Revisions
Submit Review of Your United Airlines Experience and Sign up for FidoRewards
  • Fly with Fido page removed with users now directly selecting airline or airport to access new features related to air travel; this change better matches BringFido's existing UI navigational patterns and streamlines the Fly with Fido features with fewer screens needed

  • Moved links to blog articles to a section just before the reviews; they were previously featured on Fly with Fido page

  • Clarified information on the FidoRewards page 

Flow 2  - Key Revisions
Search for Nearest Pet Relief Area at JFK Airport (Terminal 4), Get Walk Time, Report Issue, and Submit Report as a Review
  • Added more feedback to reassure users their report was submitted

  • Made the submit report as a review option into a checkbox rather than a link so that this additional option is better integrated into the task flow of submitting a report

  • Added titles such as "Airport Details" to better match BringFido's UI standards​

This is a concept project for BringFido and I am not personally affiliated with them.

Reflections & Next Steps 

This prototype focused on adding features to support travelers in their air travel with their dogs. FidoRewards was an additional element I integrated into my air travel-related feature additions for the purpose of boosting user activity on the BringFido site.

Given additional time I would have explored the full task flow for redeeming FidoRewards.  There are some issues users noted with the plus button (a pattern likely derived from Twitter) used to post reviews, as well as issues pertaining to the visual hierarchy with the reviews that I would have liked to address. I did darken the plus icon when shown on the detail screens as the highly saturated turquoise provided nice contrast when overlain on an image, but poor contrast when shown against a white background.

Overall I'm pleased that my new feature adds a crucial missing layer to BringFido's mission to provide a comprehensive dog travel directory. I am also pleased that my "Fly with Fido" feature addition included a rewards program, as this is an essential tool for boosting user activity. This FidoRewards system would dramatically improve user return rates, product's reach among target users, and boost revenue by an estimated 25%. As for tweaks to their business model, I strongly advise they eliminate the pay-to-list structure for creating listings as I've noticed this has led to gaps or missing dog-friendly businesses in their travel directory. 


Scott Jackson

Product Designer

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