PETPACE

FOR CANINE EPILEPSY

CANINE EPILEPSY

DEALING WITH CANINE EPILEPSY AS A PET PARENT

Meet Bobo! Bobo is my mischievous Portuguese Water Dog/Mini Poodle. He enjoys games of Tug-O-War, barking at nothing, and looking cute to get food. Even though Bobo is a bit of an untamed spirit, I still love him. Three years ago Bobo was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy. He can have up to 12 seizures in a day or go 6 months without them. To say the least, battling Canine Epilepsy has not been easy.

As a pet parent, I have anxiety every time I leave home that Bobo will have a seizure when I’m away. Looking for answers, I reached out to other owners with epileptic dogs. To my surprise there are whole communities and support groups for pet parents with epileptic dogs, and they feel the same anxieties I do.

Currently there is no cure for Canine Epilepsy. As a pet parent, it’s easy to feel helpless in this situation. Refusing defeat, I set out on a design mission to create a product that would help Bobo and pets parents all over the world ease the pain of living with Canine Epilepsy. Canine Epilepsy is a condition we may have to live with, but NOT live for.

THE PRODUCT

A canine wearable smart collar + mobile application ecosystem that monitors the dog’s condition and alerts pet parents if their dog is showing signs of a seizure. The collar uses biometrics (heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and motion) to detect a seizure. Information collected from seizures can be brought to the vet to better control, medicate, and treat the dog’s condition.

BRAND PARTNERSHIP

Petpace is a current brand that offers a canine smart collar, but like many other brands, positions itself as a pet activity monitor. A differentiating feature of Petpace, is that it is the only product on the market that offers live monitoring, perfect for the Canine Epilepsy use case. By pivoting the brand for a specific market and use case, the brand can differentiate itself and have a more focused goal.

.process

REPOSITIONING A BRAND TO MEET MARKET NEED
O
1
UNDERSTAND

Challenge & Opportunity

2
STRATEGY

Insight + Approach

3
DESIGN

Designing the Experience

4
PROTOTYPE

Bringing the Vision to Life

UNDERSTAND

BRAND CURRENT STATE

Petpace is a current brand that offers a canine and feline smart collar that monitors health and activity of your pet by reading biometrics. 

DEFINING THE PROBLEM

In a crowded marketplace, Petpace is not differentiating itself from the countless other canine wearables. The unique feature of Petpace is live monitoring, but they currently do not market this to it’s full potential. Petpace must create a need for consumers to use their product.

OPPORTUNITY

5% of the canine population is diagnosed with Epilepsy, with some breeds having Epilepsy rates as high as 15%. Even though this target market is niche, it has the potential to be extremely lucrative. On average pet parents of epileptic dogs spend 4x more of their pets than regular pet parents. There are currently no other devices on the market that address Canine Epilepsy.

STRATEGY

PETPACE FOR CANINE EPILEPSY

Petpace is a connected collar that helps manage Canine Epilepsy by monitoring biometrics, alerting pet parents of epileptic episodes.

MISSION

Help pet parents and their epileptic dogs live with and NOT for Canine Epilepsy.

What this means for Petpace

The actual hardware of Petpace is not changing, the purpose of the collar is still to read heart rate, temperature, respiratory rate, and motion. It is how this information is being used that is changing.

Pivoting Use Case

Petpace now has an active problem they are solving for. Petpace can focus on a specific goal because we have changed the use case, who the consumer is and how that consumer interacts with brand changes as well. For this reason touchpoint, AKA mobile interface will also evolve with this pivoting of brand.

There is currently no cure for Canine Epilepsy. But Petpace CAN encourage pet parents on this journey, relieve anxiety, and aid in managing condition.

DESIGNING A PRODUCT

TRANSFORMING INSIGHTS INTO DESIGN DECISIONS

Through one-on-one interviews, focus groups, survey, and external research, we found these pain points for pet parents with epileptic dogs.

1. Anxiety when away from pet
Epilepsy is an extremely unpredictable condition; for this reason many pet parents have anxiety when they are away from their pet because there is a chance their beloved pet could have a seizure when they are away. For many dogs, if the dog is not monitored carefully, it could turn into a lethal situation.

Episode Notifications
Using biometrics, Petpace will be able to read if the dog is showing signs of a seizure. If signs are being shown, a notification is sent to the owner. The owner is asked whether they are with the pet or not. If they are with their pet, episode live monitoring mode is turned on. If they are not with their pet, they are asked if they would like to contact someone in their support circle who they know can get to their dog quickly.

2. Vets must rely on pet parent accounts of seizures
It is very unlikely a vet will ever see a patient’s seizure. Instead they must rely on information given by pet parents about occurrences and severity. Seizure episodes are very traumatizing and can cause panic. 96% of owners surveyed said they record their dog’s seizures, but can only estimate length and severity.


Logging Seizure Episodes
Petpace will log information about each individual episode and display information so it is easy to view patterns. Information such as length of episode, severity, biometric statistics, frequency, and recovery time can  be given to the vet. By providing vets with clinical data, vets can more accurately diagnose, medicate, and control the condition.

3. Feelings of defeat
A common thread found between all pet parents of epileptic dogs, is that they all used the words “heartbreaking” and “desperate” when describing feelings toward the situation. They all went through a “search” phase, where they were obsessively looking for answers and new schools of thought on how to control Canine Epilepsy. Finding out there was no cure, many pet parents feel defeated. Because of this feeling, some pet parents give their pets away, surrender the pets to a shelter, or in some instances decide to put the pets down.


Encouragement 
Petpace isn’t just a utilitarian tool, it is a tool of encouragement. They are not alone in this world, many pet parents share their anxieties. To help soothe anxiety, Petpace walks owners through live seizure episodes: coaching, encouraging, and educating pet owners about the seizures and how to handle the situation. Tone and language will also be key to this product. Our mission is to “help pet parents and their epileptic dogs live with and NOT for Canine Epilepsy.”

4. Every dog’s condition is different
Epilepsy is the generic term for reoccurring seizures. There are many causes for Epilepsy such as: liver disease, low or high blood sugar, kidney disease, electrolyte problems, anemia, head injury, Encephalitis, strokes, brain cancer, toxins in the body, hereditary, or just unknown. Because there are so many causes of Epilepsy and each dog reacts differently, there is no catch all to treating Canine Epilepsy.

Petpace does not give medical advice  
Because each epileptic dog’s condition is different, Petpace cannot give medical advice. Only a vet who knows the history of the dog can do so. The mission of Petpace is to give pet parents of epileptics dogs peace of mind and comfort them on this journey.

STAKEHOLDERS

In order to design a product, we must know who we are designing for. Pet parents of epileptic dogs are our number one user, but there are also other stakeholders we must keep in mind when formulating design decisions.

ASSUMPTION MAPPING

We use assumption mapping to create assumptions about our users’ behavior and needs. Throughout the process, we test these assumptions and either validate or iterate based on results.

RESEARCH

During the research phase of this project, we sought after both quantitative and qualitative data to validate or iterate on design assumptions. We used survey design to gather quantitative data to understand behavior.  Results can be seen here. One on one interviews with pet parents of epileptic dogs were conducted to understand motivation. Learnings from quantitative and qualitative research were used to inform the design decisions above.

“Because Pancake was sick, it made me love him more. I become obsessed with researching ways to help him, I had to take matters into my own hands. I became my own home vet.”

“George started having seizures more and more. I started to work from home more because I was worried he would seize at home without me and I wouldn’t be there to help him.”

“Dealing with Canine Epilepsy hasn’t gotten easier over time. It’s still heartbreaking every time waffles has a seizure, you feel pretty useless.”

WHITEBOARDING SESSIONS

Whiteboard sessions allows teams to quickly express ideas, iterate on those ideas, and make collaborative design decisions. These learnings become our framework for app design.

Defining the product

“First Tweet”

User Journey Map

PROTOTYPE

WIREFRAMES

USER INTERFACE

HOMESCREEN

Users are greeted by an image of their pet along with live biometrics.

EPISODE OVERVIEW

View occurrences, length of episodes, and detailed episode logs.

EPISODE LIVE TRACKING

When an episode is in progress, view a heightened state of live tracking. Petpace coaches users through the episodes with rotating messages.

EPISODE SUMMARY

After a seizure, view a summary of the episode.

TOOLBOX

DESIGN THINKING

Pen & paper

CREATIVE CONCEPTING

Pen & paper

USER RESEARCH

Survey design, Qualetrics, user interviews, focus groups

SKETCH

UX/UI mobile design

KEYNOTE

Rapid Prototyping

MEET THE TEAM

EXPERIENCE DESIGNER

Bryan Mortensen