This case study was created as part of a Medium article, which you can read in full here.


Over the 2020 pandemic, pet ownership amongst young people in the UK has grown to almost 35%. Petsy is an app that helps new pet owners find toys and treats for their new furry companions.

As the sole designer on the team, my role was to help improve their new social feed. This feature helps pet owners to share their recent purchases with other Petsy members.


The problem

Our team was testing a new design for a social feed in the Petsy app. This is a space that lets customers share photos of their pets with their recently purchased products.

During a usability testing session, we discovered that a significant number of participants were struggling to post an photo. This was a problem as the majority (5 out of 7) had earlier expressed an interest in this but couldn't discover how to do it.


Why do pet owners share photos?

To further understand people's motivations for using in the social feed, we did a little more research. We sent out a survey to 30 Petsy users and we discovered these insights:

  • Photos of real products being used help establish trust. This was an important insight. Showing that the purchases are real and match the photos will encourage new buyers to make a purchase.
  • People would only share photos of products they'd bought on Petsy. 47% (14/30) of people said they would share day-to-day photos through platforms like Instagram. This gave us an idea of when would be a good time in their purchasing journey to nudge them to share a photo.
  • Liking and saving photos was a popular request. 80% (24/30) of people we asked said they would go back through photos they'd liked before for inspiration. Although it wasn't a feature yet, it gave us an idea of what to work on next.

For more details you can see the full list of questions and analysis here.

Design exploration

I created a few variants using the Material Design guidelines and our existing design system as a guideline. The aim was to create a few different variants that we could test.


You can see all of my design files for this on Figma.


To test the ideas, I created a prototype in Figma for each variant. Other than the placement of the sharing button, the rest of the journey stayed the same to keep the experiment fair.

You can play around with the different versions here. →

Validating the design update

With the prototypes, we created some task-based tests and sent them out to six Petsy users in our testing panel who had not yet seen the social feed feature. Like in the previous test, we asked them to share a photo in Petsy then rate how easy they found the task.


Overall, we found that Version B performed the best, but that all three were a significant improvement on the Original design. With the updated design, it became quicker and easier for people to add a photo to the feed.

Next steps

Since the designs used components we already had in our design system, it was quick to finalise the designs and hand them over to our developers. The feature was created and launched around two weeks after we tested it. In the thirty days after launch, the number of users uploading a photo increased by around 143%.

Through user research at the start of this task, we found a couple of ideas for things we could work on next, including the ability to save items in the feed to view again later.

Working on this task was great because the process was quick but still had a great impact on the success of the social feed. I'm also pleased that I used the design system, as it reduced the time needed for the developers to build it in which lead to a faster launch.