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PAWS Chicago

PAWS Chicago is a local animal shelter that aims to achieve Three main goals:

1. Build a no-kill community.

2. End the overpopulation of homeless animals.

3.  Transform animal welfare. They use their website as a major asset in helping them spread awareness and achieve these goals.


The PAWS Chicago website serves as a central hub for adoptions, fostering, volunteering, and donations. With the assistance of PAWS' VP of Marketing, we have discovered through Google Analytics that all four of these crucial functions are being abandoned by users before they can complete their tasks. How might we enhance the PAWS website to ensure that our users can have their questions and concerns addressed, elevate their overall website experience, and connect them with reliable, long-term care for their animals?


UX Researcher & UI Designer

Tools Used

Figma, FigJam, Illustrator, Photoshop


Worked on a team of four UX/UI students alongside the VP of Marketing at PAWS Chicago to make a website redesign to drive more donations and adoptions.

Opportunities for Improvement

  • Navigation design & Structure

  • Information hierarchy/organization

  • Outdated visual design


3 Weeks



Objective 1

Why users chose PAWS over other shelters/breeders


Objective 2

How users used PAWS website to find information or services


Objective 3

How users felt after interacting with the PAWS website


The Adopter

First-time pet parent who wants to utilize PAWS adoption


The Doner

Lifelong animal lover looking to give back in her retirement

The Volunteer

Animal Studies major who needs volunteer hours for a class credit

Affinity Diagram

Paws (Copy).png

User Interview 

“If I could have found an email box to contact or just gotten a response from somebody…”

User Interview

“It wasn't really, like, the shelter, it was the dog…she looked like she needed the most love.”

User Interview 

“[The staff] were pretty good, in regards of [my dog’s reactiveness], they bring you in so that pets are not interacting”

User Interview 

“I think it's good that [the breeder] keeps dogs longer. It seems easier on the dogs and they are more medically stable by that point.”

The Problem

  • Outdated or missing information on the PAWS website

  • Lack of communication between the shelter and potential adopter

  • Users feel lost and unsupported during the adoption process

I like...

I Wish...

What If...

Stakeholder Input

Priorities for PAWS site:

  • Increase Donations​

  • Traffic to adoption page

  • Easier navigation

"People trying to find out about the organization can't find resources or information."


Of overall traffic goes to "Our Work"


of that traffic is for Adoption


adoption traffic that requests to adopt


To better clarify the value our proposed solution benefits and features, we created a storyboard narrative of our user person, Anna, and how PAWScan help her with the adoption process

Screenshot 2023-06-06 at 4.38.18 PM.png

1. Anna is looking to adopt another dog from PAWS Chicago but she is not super excited to go back on the website.

2. She logs online and notices that the website has more up to date information on the dogs available for adoption including a new chat feature.

Screenshot 2023-06-06 at 4.38.37 PM.png

3. She asks about a dog she in interested, asks about its current health, its behavior and the chat mod is able to answer her questions.

4. Anna then picks up her new dog and is able to use the website to easy find support from the shelter for medical care for the dog.

5. She and her dogs are happy and healthy together.

Our Solution

Chat Feature

Itemized donations

Compatibility Quiz

Component 7.png

Low-Fi Prototype

User Testing

Task 1:
Success Rate
Task 2
Success Rate
Task 3:
Success Rate

Program and Event Calendar

Style Guide

Component 6.png


High-Fi Prototype