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  • Euan McKay

Visit to the Vets

During my research process I made a visit to a local vet practice for some research. I have personal connections with the business so this was an ideal opportunity to speak to a potential user group for the app I am hoping to create. I didn't want to take any time out of the business day so I conducted my research through the working day and for this reason I was not able to take any photographic evidence as I would require permission from pet owners.

At first I was talking to veterinary nurses and surgeons to hear their thoughts and opinions of possible features that I may include in later prototypes. I was eager to have a professional opinion when it came animal care and more specifically dog care and ownership, I wanted to speak about features that would relate heavily to vet care and pet care. Many of the surgeons and nurses liked the idea of offering vet advice to app users as they already offer a similar service through the use of their facebook page. The idea to offer app users helpful advice was very popular, there were some ideas to offer seasonal advice for dog owners to educate them on times such as bonfire night or the festive period when frequently a little more care is require for your dog.

We then started discussing the potential of linking their client information system to the app to provide services such as vaccination reminders or online bookings as currently this specific veterinary practice does all their reminders through the post. In theory this idea was very positive for a singular or low amount of vet practices but as my app would be available on the app store a nearly impossible amount of different vet practices would need to be involved for this feature to be useful for anymore than 50 users who may all attend the same practice.

Other features were also discussed but the two above were the main priority of the day as the individuals who I had spoke with were the best to receive advice and input from regarding their experience and knowledge.

After speaking with the nurses and surgeons I then spoke to a few clients in the waiting room in a more relaxed setting and a less direct manor. I had conversations based around the idea of receiving direct advice from industry professionals and how they would like to receive or find that information. Many were aware of the practices facebook page but they had not seen more than a few advice related posts but they would love to see more and possibly on a consistent timeline such as once a week for example.

I then asked the clients about other features such as dog walk locations, public establishments that allow dogs and various other features but it quickly became a conversation about asking what each individual would like which then brought the realisation that everyone will ask for something different and I will either need to create a flying submarine or design a faster horse rather than something new and well crafted that may not have the ability to offer every service under the sun.

My research visit to the vets was very helpful in many ways. It was very insight fun to get a professional opinion from the nurses and surgeons and receive feedback relating to feature that I wish to take forward into my prototypes. I kept the questions very direct toward the features that I felt they would have the most knowledge about to ensure I got the feedback I needed. When I spoke to the clients as said above it quickly became a case of many people all listing things they would like within an app and it took discussions and conversations very off track but at the same time I managed to get a few insights amongst the large discussions I had with multiple people.

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