With this initial information, I compiled a snapshot of notable pet matching sites currently out for use. A quick search for “animal shelters near me” brought to light my top competitors:
1. local animals shelters of various sizes (although they are indirect competitors, they are also partners with us)
2. pet locators that are aggregates of shelters, with Petfinder, AdoptAPet, and AllPaws being the most popular
I conducted a quick site audit of my top 5 competitor's website to help identify the strengths and weaknesses of each and surveyed pages for trend and feature implementations so to know where best to invest our resources.
In order to facilitate future design decisions, I aggregated and interpreted the data results into provisional personas, (relatable, representational customer profiles), focusing heavily on user behavior and motivation. I had created them early on to begin thinking about who might make up the customer base of Paws & Claws.