SitStay: A Credit-Based Petsitting App

During our 2018 Pointless Weekend, we built SitStay, a quid pro quo petsitting app.

The Viget team has a lot in common. We value being real and being brave. We love to share our learnings with each other and our readers. And we all really, really love dogs.

Okay, so not everyone at Viget loves dogs, and that’s okay, too.

But for those of us that do, this love of furry friends motivated our Pointless Weekend* this year. You see, many Vigets struggle to find dog boarding options for times when we’ll be out of town. The most readily available options can be expensive, overcrowded, and uncomfortable. So we built our own pet sitting platform, called SitStay

*Pointless Weekend is an annual event in which teams of Vigets design, build, and launch an app in 48 hours. We’ve had some really great projects over the years and here are some of our favorites. Check out the other 2018 Pointless project here.

SitStay is a reciprocal and community-based web app that allows users to earn credits by pet sitting for their neighbors. Users can then redeem these credits when a neighbor watches their pet in return. And so on.

The SitStay Pointless team had representation from almost all of our labs – Aakash Tandel and Mitch Daniels from analytics, Claire Atwell from project management, Dave Scherler from the UX team, David Eisinger from the development team, Ola Assem and Leo Bauza from the front end development team, and Will Chaing and Will Lutterman from business development. We also had a good bit of input from some furry friends, like Tupelo the Hound, seen below.


This was the first Pointless Weekend for many of the SitStay team, so we started by going over best practices from our previous experiences:

  • This is about experimentation and learning. (This was an especially experimental weekend, as many team members performed jobs they don’t do day-to-day.)
  • Try to avoid those all nighters.
  • Keep it simple. (We sort of ignored this one.)

We got started as these projects often do – with an exploration of what this app and its benefits could be. We talked through pros and cons of current solutions, explored features through market research, and considered opportunities. After we determined the scope of the app, we mapped the functionality of core features, including profiles for both owners and pets, and whiteboarded key user flows.

While our devs got started building our data models and front-end components, the rest of the team wireframed screens in Whimsical and later moved them to Figma for higher fidelity designs. It was fun and challenging for team members who don’t typically get to design and develop applications. Will L. had the opportunity to work through the user flows for the application. In his words, “While I don’t have the eye of a designer, this experience really gave me insight into how a product designer thinks and works.” Aakash and Will C. put their visual design hats on and developed the four-legged logo. “At the end of this, I've decided to leave logo design to the professionals,” said Will C.

The amazing part about these weekends is the amount of progress we make in a short amount of time. Pointless Weekend lets us stretch our creativity, solve problems we’ve never solved before, put our teamwork against a clock, and stress eat a few dozen pieces of old Halloween candy.

While we’re not going to continue working on SitStay, we had a great time dreaming it up and creating a clickable MVP. Feel free to click around it and let us know what you think. Oh, and be sure to check out what the other Pointless project: Adventure-Chooser.

Rachel Bush

Rachel manages Viget’s marketing and communications. She loves both storytelling and spreadsheets, and works from our Falls Church, VA, office.

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