Middle School Students from Mouse Design League (DIIT) at the Young Women's Leadership School of Astoria
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.
I design and maintain puzzles and props for fun Escape Rooms!
I am a freelance Character Design and Comic Artist born and raised in the Bronx, NYC. After getting my A.S. in Media and Digital Film Production from Bronx Community College, I have been inspired by film and media to design and draw fun projects with a focus on visual storytelling!
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!
A gif that represents what I love the most about my job
A gif that represents my career path so far
Types of work that I do
Game Design, Multimedia, Visual Art & Design
I am passionate about doing work that relates to
Culture/Heritage, Education/Schools, Entertainment
The best piece of career advice I've ever received
"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)
👏 Manager & Designer at NERD Escapes — Emoti-Con Judge
Very lovely project! As a proud mama of two rescued cats, I love seeing such an innovative approach to helping the strays in our city. Great job applying feedback and having a good focus on the design of the app as well! Building something easy to navigate and visually appealing will continue to show your understanding of how important UI (User Interface Design) is to growing your audience!
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 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.
👏 Instructional technology director at NYCDOE — Emoti-Con Judge
This project presents a great solution for a very common issue. I love how you considered how to positively impact both strays and our citizens. I am wondering how you might use the map even more? For example, could the map ping to local non kill shelters when a stray is found? Great job soliciting feedback from your peers and incorporating this into your project. I also think it is great that you included a fundraising piece.
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.
👏 Product Manager at RIA in a Box — Emoti-Con Judge
Hi Hayley, Dalila, and Grace - great job creating a feature rich site that tackles a problem near and dear to your hearts. During your video presentation, it was clear you had done the thought work of putting yourself in the shoes on your future users. By considering the needs and circumstances of your users, you were able to design an application to cater to various use cases. Additionally, I love the catchy yet clear name!
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!
Google — Product and Business Strategy Lead, Analytics
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.
👏 Product and Business Strategy Lead, Analytics at Google — Emoti-Con Judge
Great job! I really liked how you combined user research and feedback, incorporating design principles (color) and had a great demo that was recorded. Having the flexibility to take feedback and alter your design approach and decisions is really important to development.
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:
Em 👏 a Middle School Student
I love your idea. This will benefit the city in positive ways.
Randy 👏 a Middle School Student
This app really takes an initiative when it comes to the problem of strays in nyc. I would love to help rescue strays so I really like this app!
Gregor 👏 a Technology Professional
Bianca 👏 a Technology Professional
I think this app can be extreamly beneficial to the city and help save thousands of stray animals. As someone who loves animals and sees many strays daily, I would definitely use this app! Great job!
Danyell Tonka 👏 a High School Student
What an amazing idea! This is by far the most creative app i have seen!
Dalila 👏 a Middle School Student from Empire State Strays
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
Jordhan 👏 a High School Student from Staten Island
I love the beautiful design of your app. I could really see myself using this on a day to day basis. I'm rooting for you guys!
Marybelle :D 👏 a Middle School Student
I lvoe this app!
Chasen 👏 a Community Member from Empire State Strays
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