So, I have to make a gift for someone who I just met…
This is the first project for our Interaction Design Studio class. My classmate, Violet, whom I have to make the gift for, told me about her cat. And how her cat symbolizes her design practice. She told me that she wishes to have more direct interactions with her audiences and told me a story of how her cat liked the toy that was made out of a cardboard more than any other toy that she bought for him. Apparently, Kiki loves to scratch that cardboard. She told me she got Kiki for her mother as a gesture of gratitude and that her mother cares deeply about Kiki.
This was a quite challenge for me. First, I have never had pets in my life. I love animals but I could never see myself as a pet owner. So I do not have any experience with the connection she has with her cat. Second, I never made gifts for anyone… I know this is embarrassing, but in my family, we have always given everyone money or asked what they want or need and then bought it for them. One time I asked my family to bake me a cake as my birthday present, and they called me crazy! Why would they bake me a cake when they can buy much tastier cakes from a bakery?
So, I started by researching cats while thinking about what Violet told me about direct interaction with audiences. I Googled “does cat scratches actually mean something?” and come across a disease named Cat Scratches and started to read about its symptoms and causes. Then, I read about other life-threatening diseases for cats that can be prevented if we take a closer look into our their behavior. I thought to myself, why aren’t there any platforms that people can record their pets’ interaction with their environment and find out whether they need to see a vet?
Therefore, I started to come up with an idea for a mobile application in which people can set up a profile for their cats and record their behavior. I categorized the ways of interaction into five categories and design an icon for them: Sleep Duration, Licking Pattern, Meow Recorder, Scratch Scanner, and Body Heat. In each of these sections, the pet owner can record and save the inputs and the application will analyze them based on the profile and the cat’s medical history and cross-reference them with common diseases related to cats. The user can choose to book an appointment with a pet or just try something at home.
Because I knew this would be a sensitive subject for pet owners, I tried to set the verbal identity of this application very friendly so that the user would not be intimidated by the questions. I choose a very calm color palette and designed playful icons as well. The Fonts are Lato for the body and Diodrum for titles.
I wrapped this gift with Instagram. Which means I set up an Instagram account named When Kiki the cat talks (id: whenkikithecattalks) I will post some artworks related to cat diseases and how we can be aware of them. You can also watch the prototype that was made for Violet. And I’m giving access too so she could post all about Kiki and record his interaction on this page.
Don’t forget to follow Kiki on Instagram and wish him luck!