Individual Project | 8 weeks | 2017 Fall


Desktop Research
User Observation
User Interview

Adobe Illustrator


Design Space

Surveying 8,000 millennials, Gen-Xers, and baby boomers, venture firm Qualtrics and Accel found that less than two thirds (73 percent) of millennials want a pet. Meanwhile, 56 percent of millennials say they want to have children.

However, there’s always people who are not able to keep their pets for different reasons like working schedule, body status and financial problems.

User Persona

Before using the app, the user is desire to having a pet. However, being restricted to her own condition, she couldn’t have one. Based on observation, most of typical users follow quite a lot of pet/animal accounts on social media. That’s one of the reason why there are thousands of pet accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, etc.

Users who are living alone are more likely to feel the need of having a pet to accompany. While the entire society is advocating individualism, people are more unlikely to have interaction with others and produce sense of intimate and trust. Pets are now not only what you can play with, but serve more as your soul mate.

In order to maximum the similarity between virtual pet and real pet, in this game, all users are supposed to experience most of tasks they would encounter in real life.  So the game is actually not only bringing joy but also troubles sometime. The pet has its own physical and mental system. The user will not only need to feed and play with the pet. She will need to take care of pet when it’s hurt or sick.

Another intention of this app is that we would like to let those who are planning to have a pet in future experience what’s the feeling of having a pet By experiencing all joys and troubles brought by pets, owners will learn their responsibility better.

User Needs

So How the game works?

The main object of our design is animals. They are divided to three categories as the animals we can see in real life : Pets are raised in-door,like cats and little puppies. Pets are raised outdoor, like alpacas, large dogs,etc. The others are stray animals which can only be met on street and randomly appear.

When users are at home, indoor pets are accompany users. Using camera and augmented reality, animals will appear on users’ screen. Clicking on animals allows user to interact with animals on feeding, touching and playing. Users are adaptive when playing with Zooko. Zooko will be pushing latest news of pets to users.

Users are able to feed all of those three types of animals and take photo with them. There’s possibility to get animals’ gift back when feeding them.There will be an “album section” for users to collect both animals and gift.

Map function is designed when users are wandering on the street and collecting randomly appeared stray animals.

My boo

My boo is one of current popular virtual pets which allows the pet to have not only a feeding and accompany function but also a collection of multiple games.

Neko Atsumei

The cat game is popular in Japan – Simply putting food into plates there it comes random cats. The more precious food user provides, the more rare cat it comes. The motivation of this game is to collect all kinds of cats and their gifts.

Talking Tom

Talking Tom is the first classical generation of virtual pets – users are able to play with it and touch it. Its popularity and name has proved its succeed. It developed the primary interactions with virtual pets. 3D modeling add its reality. The simple interface promises access to more popularity.

My Om Nom

My Om Nom is a 2d graphic based virtual pet system. Similar to My Boo, it’s providing a collection of games using the character “Om Nom”. Serving more that a pet, Om Nom has a unique character which is not initiated from any animal, which is adding its first impression to users.

To sum up – The current virtual pets market is relying more on 2D graphic pets with simple interaction. Most of pets are serving not only the role of being a pet, but a character controlled by user. In order to create sense of accompany and simulating a real pet rather than having a figure implemented in the phone, the app is attempting to have a “retro” style of interaction – which allows user to touch and feel pets. Other game functions will be reduced from the new app since our main goal is to provide a “pet”. With the development of augmented reality, users are able to see and feel their pet without extra devices. We hope that users will access their pets whenever and wherever they are with the simplest hardware.


The virtual pet app is designed mainly for young generations that are familiar with mobile technologies. This covers a large group of potential users including students from high school or colleges, young officers, people having a busy and flexible schedule such as programmers, developers, designers, consultancies, etc. The app is playable both interior and exterior and could be played at anytime.

When users are at home, the indoor section could make your home a zoo full of the pets you collected. You can play with them and find if there’s any new visitors coming. While users are exterior like walking or wandering, it could started searching nearby stray animals and some rare animals that appears randomly. Some of animals can be “adopted and brought” to home making them a pet.

Key Elements


Before starting visualization of interface elements, the wireframe is established to show typical usage process and flow. Ideally, after downloading the app will create their account and enter her home. The app will guide her scanning the home and creating a interior plan. The animals will come and visit her randomly, if the user treats the animal well she will be able to adopt it as a pet – but the user will have to take good care of it! Otherwise it would leave the user again. The animals users adopted will need food, water, time to play with them and medical cares. They will appear in your camera interacting with the toys you buy for them. If there’s event happened there would be notification on users’ phone such as alarms, sickness, visitors.

Except for keeping your pets indoor at your home, when users are wandering or walking exterior, you would be able to meet some random stray animals. Some of them are adoptable. There will be rare animals that you could take photos with them.

There would be a friend system in this game! Adding social part will extend users playing time and be helpful for advocating. The most interesting part is that friends’ pets would come and visit user’s’ home randomly and bring some gifts.

Visual Guide

Color Palette

The main theme i would like to convey via this app is “love, passion, responsibility and warm”. The color palette consists most of warm bright colors that has the color emotion of love.

Icon System
Interface & Animation
Log In Page

When first launching the app, you are required to log in to your account.
– When typing your password, all animals would cover their eyes.
– Paws are used to indicate the process.

Interior My Home

If you are playing the game at home, the interior home map would show your home arrangement, where your animals are, and where you put their toys.


By clicking the camera icon on in the home you can open camera and see what’s going on around you. Your pets may pump out and appear and you can interact with them. The shop icon on right top corner ensure the full access to purchase food and other tools


If you are jogging or wandering outside, the exterior map would tell you what animals are surrounding. There may be stray animals that you could adopt or some super rare animals that means you are lucky today.


Sometime your friends’ animal would come to visit and left some gift for you but you need to find where they left them! There would be hints for users.

Check every Corner

You don’t need to exactly walk to a certain place in your home to check what your pets are doing. By clicking the icons representing what toys you put at home , you can check if there’s any animal around their and what are they doing. By touching the animals on screen you would be able to give them water, sunshine and touching.


The bottom right corner is a paw. By clicking the paw their would be pumping out buttons allowing users to go back to home, go the main menu and quit. The menu contains four parts : collections, friends, shop and settings.

Add new toys

At camera scene, there’s a “plus” button on the right bottom corner which will open your storage once clicking. By dragging the items in your storage to the screen it means putting the tool or the toy to certain place at your home. It would start attract your pets immediately after placing it there.

Get the prototype!



As an individual project, the process of designing ZOOKO is full of fun. Graphic skills got improved significantly while designing different animal characters. All All animations are finished by coding in Framer studio instead of After Effects which saves more time on adjusting and refinement. Another interesting takeaway from this project is that “Project never ends” – there’s no scheduled DDL so even till now I was still updating and refining this project based on user test ^^.

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