UI/UX Review: Rover (Become a Sitter)

Whether you need in-home dog boarding, pet sitting, dog walking, or daycare, Rover connects pet parents with dog people who’ll treat their pets like family.

Rover sitters are your rainy-day-dog-walkers. Your every-day-belly-rubbers. Your tug-of-war players. Your middle-of-the-night-pee-breakers. Because we get it—your dog is family. And when you can’t be there, you can trust us to keep your dog happy, healthy, and sweet as ever.

But it’s not just about dog love. Rover is also an award-winning technology business committed to making pet care safe, easy, and affordable so that everyone can experience the unconditional love of a dog. Get $20 off your first booking!

Sign Up Process

Signing up to become a sitter for Rover was a fairly straightforward process, but it did require some time to fill out your profile and select your preferences. Rover makes you upload at least 5 photos with you and a dog or cat as well as describe your experiences with working with pets. After your profile is complete, you need to take a quick test as part of their screening process. Once you’ve finished, you’ll receive an email stating that you’re ready to accept service requests. The first thing you should do is update your availability calendar and confirm your service rates. Rover features your profile higher if the next 2 weeks are up to date.

Left: Upcoming jobs
Right: Availability Calendar

Accepting a Job

When you first get a potential job request, you get notified on the app and sent a text message from the owner. The phone number is masked and is used to talk with that particular client only. In the app, you’ll see the proposed job, dates and times, and any other information regarding their pet. Some requests have the entire dog profile completed so you know what type of dog you’re working with. Before accepting the job, Rover suggests that you go meet the dog and owner first to make sure you get along, this is totally optional. If you proceed without the meet and greet, the job will be added to your upcoming task list.

Today’s Rover Cards

When the day arrives to begin service, you can check out your jobs in the app under Today’s Rover Cards. Only scheduled walks, drop-ins and daycares appear here, so dog boarding and house sitting you’ll need to keep track on your own. When you arrive at the client’s residence, you tap ‘start’ in the app to begin the timer. Once you start the job, a new screen appears which gives you a set of options to record including: Pee, Poop, Food, Water, Notes, and Photos. This screen also displays your care time and the distance walked (only with walks). This part is extremely convenient and user-friendly so that you don’t have to bounce around screens and can give your full attention to the dog. After the walk or visit is complete, you must upload a photo in order to stop the service (Gallery at the end of this post). Once completed, you’ll see a summary of your service and you have the option to add additional information and verify that everything is correct before sending the card to the owner.

Left: Today’s Rover Cards
Right: Active booking in progress

Getting Paid & Your Rover Score

Once your service or series of services is completed, Rover will release the funds into your account within 72 hours. From there, you determine when to deposit the funds into PayPal or opt for receiving a check in the mail. In order to book more clients, you’ll need to improve your Rover Score. This is done by receiving positive reviews and re-booking previous clients. After completing a few walks, you can login to the desktop application and check your Rover score as well as your response rate and time.

Overview of My Experience

I decided to try Rover out for 60 days and record my feedback while keeping track of all the dogs that I had an opportunity to visit. Overall, I found that the Rover app was very easy to use and had a great user interface. Here’s what I liked and things that could be improved:

Pros:

  • Services were easy to book, notifications were sent right to me and the actions were very clear on what to do next
  • Active visit card is laid out beautifully and so easy to use – best feature of the app
  • Managing payments is very simple with no confusion

What Could Be Improved:

  • Today’s Rover Cards could have more detail on initial view instead of having to go into each card. When I had several cards in one day, it was difficult to see which dog I had to attend to first. Having the cards in order of time and displaying the time would be helpful.
  • Communicating with the customer can be a challenge, especially clients who are boarding. Since Rover masks each phone number, I find myself scrolling through my text messages to find the client. When using the app, I have the same difficulty in finding a way to contact the client. Sometimes, I had to go under pending, other times going under past. There should be a centralized chat feature built into the app so that you can easily find the client and keep all conversations under one thread.
  • This goes along with Today’s Rover Cards, but more specifically with upcoming services. Having a better calendar view with your upcoming tasks would help out tremendously. A weekly task view with each upcoming service by day would eliminate any frustration when trying to figure out when your next job is.
  • I noticed on a few screens, both in the app and on the desktop version, that the picture next to the name is inconsistent with the context of the picture. The owner’s profile picture should match the owner and the owner’s dog picture should match the dog.

With these changes in mind, here are the suggested improvements mocked up:

Left: Upcoming jobs sorted by day and displaying time (New UI)
Right: Today’s Rover Cards displaying time, dog’s photo and shortened address (New UI)

Left: Chat with Owners Screen – Displays card for each owner with their pet and last message snippet (New UI)
Right: Active chat with Owner – Full conversation with owner from the intial introduction (New UI)

In the 60 days that I used Rover, I had the pleasure to meet 13 dogs, went on 83 walks and boarded 3 dogs. After the Rover fees of 15%, I pocketed a total of $1779.00 and spent time in the mornings, on my lunch break and occasionally at night tending to these dogs. Rover is a great source of extra income and what better way to spend your free time than with fun and adorable dogs. If you think Rover could be a job for you, sign up today to become a sitter!

Bonus: Gallery