Rover iOS Dog Training Feature

In the span of one month, I embarked (see what I did there?!) on a project to implement dog training services in the Rover platform. I achieved this with considerable preliminary research, pinpointing existing issues, designing a prototype, and rigorously testing its usability.


Sole UX/UI Designer


March 2021


UX, Testing

a small green arrow pointing down


What is Rover?

Rover, established in 2011, has been a go-to platform for pet owners seeking trustworthy pet sitters and dog walkers, offering background-checked and client-reviewed professionals.

While Rover has excelled in its core services, it has yet to venture into the realm of dog training, an area where some competitors have recently expanded their offerings.

Please note that this project is a student undertaking and is entirely independent of the Rover company.

Goal #1


Offer an efficient way to discover professional, reliable trainers tailored to each user's needs

Goal #2


Enable users to easily schedule and tailor their training experience to their preferences

Goal #3


Allow users to effortlessly view and modify their scheduled training services

Challenge & Solution

Challenge: How can we empower Rover clients to hire trustworthy, dependable trainers for their furry friends?

The aim is to empower Rover clients with a solution that enables them to confidently and conveniently select reliable, dependable trainers for their beloved pets.

In a world where pet care is a top priority for many, the challenge lies in creating a seamless and trustworthy platform that connects clients with trainers who understand the unique needs and preferences of each furry friend.

By addressing this challenge, we aspire to enhance the overall pet care experience for Rover clients and their four-legged companions, fostering trust and peace of mind in every interaction.

solution #1

Detailed scheduling

Discover travel destinations and itineraries to include in your schedule, or create your custom travel plans from the ground up.

solution #2

Updating existing Rover UI

Connect email accounts or forward email messages from airlines, hotels, etc. for effortless and efficient itinerary building.


Market research

In a competitive landscape of dog training apps, my task was to identify gaps and opportunities within the market. I began by evaluating existing offerings, examining both their successes and shortcomings.

Key strengths among top competitors included features such as progress tracking, one-on-one training with real-time feedback, personalized lessons, social interaction, and affordability.

Conversely, notable weaknesses encompassed limited scheduling flexibility, anxiety-inducing user experiences, subpar app and website interfaces, and concerns about trainer reliability and trustworthiness.

By scrutinizing these aspects, I aimed to design a concept that would set the Rover app apart and address these identified gaps for potential users.

"Americans will spend a record-high $99 billion in 2021 on all things pet, ranging from food to veterinary care." -APPA

User interviews and surveys

Twelve dog owners participated in surveys and in-person interviews, providing valuable insights into their training needs. These sessions brought to light insights regarding users' likes and dislikes in the apps they frequently use, as well as their experiences with the dog training process.

• Virtual and video-based training methods were frequently mentioned
• Most common issues dog owners have with training: time and space constraints
• Many users regularly engage with platforms like YouTube and Spotify, indicating patterns to explore

After initial interviews and surveys, I realized I needed more input about the existing Rover app for any patterns that weren’t easily usable. I re-interviewed three users and came up with issues with UI consistency.

Who are the users?

Initial research and user interviews provided invaluable insights into the essential goals and pain points necessary to construct a user persona that is both relatable and precisely tailored.

For the MVP phase, I focused on creating a single persona, Matthew, who will serve as a pivotal anchor, ensuring that Rover users remain at the heart of the entire design journey.

Concept planning

Feature roadmap

Following discussions with users regarding their objectives and requirements, I determined the key features to prioritize for the initial launch.

Additionally, I revisited the insights gathered during the competitor analysis and identified several noteworthy features from competitor websites and apps. These insights inspired the incorporation of these features into the app's design and functionality.

User and task flows

I initiated the user flow by envisioning Matthew's journey to the Rover app, beginning with his Google search for "dog training." After scrolling through search results and clicking the Rover link, the app seamlessly launched, and he logged in using his recognized Rover credentials. The flow then walks through the subsequent steps.

The primary aim of the task flow was to create a usable and intuitive linear path.

Concept sketches

Using the task and user flows along with the patterns found during the competitive analysis, I sketched concepts of the main flow.

Branding and UI


Leveraging Rover's existing application as a foundation, I emphasized the application of UX and UI principles to elevate the overall user experience. This involved a redesign, which I consolidated into a new UI kit.

Among the most glaring concerns within the existing UI were inconsistencies in buttons, spacing, shadows, and typography, which had been highlighted as confusing by users in preliminary research surveys. To address these issues, I amended the inconsistencies and introduced fresh icons and buttons to harmonize with the new feature's design, resulting in a more cohesive and user-friendly interface.

Final designs

The UI designer and I collaborated closely to design this experience, making sure that every transition was cohesive, flawlessly smooth and that the content would be captivating for girl scouts.


Usability testing

Once I established the fundamental structure of the feature, my next step was to validate its usability with potential app users. The aim was to identify any pain points and ensure that the feature's objectives aligned seamlessly with the users' goals.


1. Test overall usability of the Rover Training Feature
2. Determine if users can request a session painlessly
3. Determine if users will utilize the “view report cards” pages as a tool
4. Identify any pain points through the task flows


1. Book a dog training session
2. Edit or cancel a scheduled session
3. Go to prior session notes


• Sticky Buttons took up too much real estate, users assumed it would be at the bottom of the filters
• Users said the product pricing should be more visible, and displayed multiple times
• Since there's no “home” page on the Rover app, there should be a nav bar available on every screen
• The homework section was not easy enough to find


Amended prototype

In response to the findings from usability testing, I refined the high-fidelity designs and prototype, addressing and rectifying the issues that users had identified during testing:

• Added pricing to the booking confirmation page
• Changed the FABs to fixed buttons
• Added navigation bars to the bottom of all pages except filter pages

Outcomes and next steps

Each iteration in this process was guided by the decisions and choices made by users, aiming to design the most user-friendly version of the dog training feature.

This was a student project so it will not go beyond this level of design. If development were to be contracted for this feature there are some more steps that would need to happen based on the research and testing:

• Test the most recent updates for improvement or added frustration
• Consider adding more personas based on user research
• Consider the best way to implement virtual training
• Figure out how to make the “homework” more accessible
• Add more gamified features to the homework section
• Redline and annotate the file for developers