Building a research-based website, we discovered, is a large undertaking. A lot went into this project to make it happen, including many setbacks that forced us to adapt and look at aspects of the project from different perspectives. Each member of the team was crucial for the project’s success.
During this project, I covered the research with Chey. Together, we synthesized information on each animal and created a care sheet that highlighted certain aspects of their needs and personality such as diet, enclosure size, compatibility with other pets. Although this may seem like a small part of the project, it was actually quite time consuming. The research for one animal took about an hour, as I had to not only synthesize the information, but check a multitude of other sources to make sure the information that was finalized was accurate. Because it was so time consuming, managing my time to complete the research was a serious struggle, which is why Chey joined our group, so a special thank you to her for that. However, once Chey and I figured out an efficient method that worked for us, the research became quite easy, and honestly even quite fun.
My participation in this project consisted of research. My participation consisted of researching specific details about animals including climate, enclosure size, common diseases, etc. We also cross- referenced information about each animals in order to find the proper care required for each animal to ensure people take care of their animal of choosing in the best manner. We ensured that we found research that people would like to know such as off- putting characteristics of each animal, time and attention that each animal needs, and how often each animal has to visit the pets. While information about each animal is important, so is the information about the owner’s life may have to adapt to the time and care each animal needs.
The first part of the process, for me, was organizing it and making sure we knew what we were doing. This involved substantial amounts of research into building a website, budgeting, and putting together a quiz — the first setback. Initially, one of the goals for the project was to program a quiz into the website that automatically matched users with a suitable list of pets. What I quickly realized, however, was the tremendous undertaking that would be. I quickly realized that learning an entirely new programming language, and making sure I knew it well enough to prevent bugs and ensure it was safe to use was far outside my skill set as a first-year computer science major.
This obstacle was initially a huge source of stress for the team; we didn’t know how the project could go on if the quiz was missing. What we realized was that we needed to change our approach to the project.
My primary responsibility, as a psychology major, was the quiz. The quiz on the website was designed to be a rough guide to what pet would be the best for each person based on their lifestyle and personality. This quiz was created using animal psychology, animal lifestyle research, and behavioral psychology.
The quiz was put together using a numerical pathway system that allows for each person to find a pet matching both their lifestyle (Small apartment? Smaller pet) and personality traits such as excitability, personal preference, hobbies, etc.
I was also in charge of finances throughout the year so as to keep track of the money we spent and had left, and what that money went to. The money for this project were primarily used toward purchasing and maintaining the website domain. Some of the money was not used due to setbacks involving time, resources, and technical difficulties.