“Empire State Strays”
About this Project:
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anybody that New York has a huge stray problem. No matter what borough you’re in, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ve seen a stray cat duck beneath a car and out of sight, or maybe a stray dog sitting outside of a building. Our app aims to fix this by providing people with a safe and easy way to report stray animals.
When we started creating the wireframe for our app, one of our biggest struggles was deciding on a look that worked well for the tone of our app and something simplistic for our users of all ages. We went back and forth with a color scheme that conveyed certain emotions to help our users feel pity and want to help save stray animals. This was a decision we made after having the colors be bright and happy (light pinks, blues, etc). Another big change we made to our app was the name. Originally it was named ‘Save the Strays’ and then we decided to change it to ‘Empire State Strays’ to give it a more professional feel.
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What I do all day at work?
I design and maintain puzzles and props for fun Escape Rooms!
I am heavily inspired by pop culture and the insane combined fantasy imagination of me and my friends who run an online ttrpg gaming community, The Purple Academy. I am one of their artist, producing Illustrations for various Dungeons and Dragons campaigns and adapting our main campaign into a web comic!
I also use all the skills I learned in Mouse Design League to help build and fix fun puzzles with Nerd Escape Room! Our escape rooms are packed with Arduino's and Raspberry Pi's galore which (when paired inside fun crafty props and secret rooms) provide hours of fun for players as they solve our hands-on mystery themed puzzle rooms!
Check out my art portfolio here!
Check out NERD Escapes here!
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Game Design, Multimedia, Visual Art & Design
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Culture/Heritage, Education/Schools, Entertainment
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"Think of art and creating like layers of dirt. You need to get through the top layers of dirt before you find the gold at the bottom. Keep creating." Irene Koh (Illustrator for The Legend of Korra)
Nice work building the design around how your audience can use it to connect the community and work together to make NYC a better place to live in, for both humans and pets!
Eileen Marks DiFabio
Eileen is Instructional Technology Director for Brooklyn North NYCDOE Borough Office, supporting 235 schools with developing a vision for technology and supporting educators with meaningful integration of technology to support instructional goals and student outcomes. She also serves as Chair of the Brooklyn North e-STEM committee, whose mission it is to build a culture of STEM across Brooklyn North schools.
Robert is a Product Manager for RIA in a Box where he leads key new product developments and enhancements for their industry leading financial compliance software. Before that, Robert graduated from Harvard College in 2020 with a degree in Applied Math and Economics with a secondary degree in Computer Science. In his free time, Robert loves to adventure, play sports, and discuss his favorite television shows.
As a next step, I'd encourage you consider the use case of someone who lost their pet. How would they report their lost animal? How could that interact with your systems for reporting sightings of strays? How could you help these users find their pets? Overall, great work and I'd love to have something like this the next time I see a lost pet!
I work at Google Cloud within Google and focus on building out data infrastructure and analyses for product analytics.
I graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Finance and minors in Sustainability and Entrepreneurship. I'm certified as a Data Analyst in Python, have extensive SQL experience and I'm currently studying for my Masters in Analytics at Georgia Tech.
Overall great job! One thought on how to improve would be including users to upload photos of strays and details they could provide to help assist no-kill shelters with identification.
Feedback from the Community:
From a design point of view, I could definitely see a feature like that being added to our app. Ideally, it would allow users to report their own lost animals and attach an image. Additionally, any reported strays would have their images and information added to the 'Adopt' page of our app within a few days, where owners can filter by where the animal was found, the type or breed of the animal, and other specifics in order to identify if their lost pet was reported as a stray. From there, they could contact the shelter it was reported to and retrieve their animal.
Thank you for your question!
- Dalila, Empire State Strays
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