project nala hero image

My Role

  • Interaction Design
  • Service Design
  • Book Design
  • Research
  • Prototyping


  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Contextual Interviews
  • Guided Storytelling
  • Business Origami
  • Affinity Diagramming
  • Wireframing
  • Iterative Prototyping
  • Customer Journey Maps
  • Service Blueprints




  • 4 months
  • Jan - May 2014

About Project Nala

Project nala is a website I designed and prototyped with 2 teammates for the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania. The Animal Rescue League came to us looking for a tool to educate the community about feral cats and also control the feral cat population. Project nala allows community members to request expert trappers in order to Trap-Neuter-Return feral cats in their neighborhoods. Trap-Neuter Return is a humane way of controlling the feral cat population.

Check out the article in TribLive written about our project, another article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the coverage on CMU's HCII website!

Service Design

In addition to the website, we created a service blueprint to specify what steps should be taken in the front and back stages for the service to be successful.

Book Design

For our final report, we delivered a 116-page book to our client. I was in charge of designing this book!



We talked to 13 domain experts. We even went cat trapping to experience what that process entails! Pictured below is me interviewing a Pittsburgh Animal Control employee.


We synthesized over 300 notes from our field research into one affinity diagram and one large flow diagram.


We spent a lot of time brainstorming and visioning. We narrowed down over 70 raw ideas from brainstorming to 3 high-impact ideas:

  • Request a Trapper Website
  • Report a Feral Cat Mobile App
  • Educational Mobile Game

How we filtered down our ideas. (Credit: Nissa).

Iteration 1: Lo-fidelity

After we chose a vision, I mocked up our paper prototypes. We created a request a trapper website to increase the number of people who spay and neuter their cats by decreasing their workload in the trap, neuter, return process. The website also allows people to report feral cats so the ARL can target education about feral cats to dense areas.

Iteration 2: Mid-fidelity

After gathering feedback from testing, I created our mid-fidelity mockups. After testing, we changed our report a cat concept to reporting a colony, because we received overwhelming feedback from community members that they would not report feral cats. Additionally, the animal rescue league can use data of cat colonies to release feral cats to their homes.

Final Steps

After doing one more iteration of testing, we finalized our concept for Project nala. I created a service blueprint for our Request-a-Trapper service. Finally, we presented our final concept our client, and passed our specifications to be developed to another student team!

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