Millennials are experience-driven creatures--research has shown that this generation prefer backpacking in Peru as opposed spending their hard-earned money on things.
That said, it is difficult to keep good spending habits when you are constantly bombarded with social invitations to concerts, fun weekends in Las Vegas, etc.
How might we encourage spenders to develop healthy, goal-oriented money-saving behaviors?
II. Key Features
THE HOME PAGE
compares the user's spending with other people who are in the same income bracket. The pink data points represent the users' spending habits while the blue data points represents the average amount that people, who are in the same income bracket as the user, spent.
This page only displays the problem areas and functions as a visual representation for users to understand and see where they could potentially save money. For example, instead of buying coffee every morning, the user could save some cash by making her own.
Users can also tap on the data dots to receive a more comprehensive overview of their spending. This is to provide the users with a better understanding of their financial habits.
Understanding where money is being spent is the first step in saving money. Once the user is able to better understand her spending habits, she is able to develop a better plan for saving money.
allows users to add items they want to purchase to a list. This helps the user see their end goal and stay motivated until the end. The wishlist also helps users understand how much each individual items cost and visualize the financial choices that they are making.
MANAGE GOALS PAGE
allows the user to keep of their spending by creating goals that they need to move towards. They can also add items from their wishlist page to different goals to keep track of their overall spending
The user can also see the details of a specific goal by selecting one. The user will then be able to see his progress, the amount he have saved, his total goal, as well as his wishlist items.
THE SETTINGS PAGE
allows users to manipulate the settings of their goals. These three fields--end date, goal, and percentage--reduces the mental load on the user by automatically calculating the math.
These three fields are linked and so by changing one, the others changes. For example, if the end date is changed, that means the amount of time has also been change and therefore, the amount of money the user has to save on a monthly basis has also been changed.
helps users meet their goal by directly depositing (with the user's permission of course) a percentage of their paycheck into their savings account every month. The percentage is determined by the user and can be changed at any time.
The purpose of the auto-save feature is to make sure that users do not procrastinate or forget to set aside some money every month. This also prevents the users from accidentally spending the money that was supposed to be saved.
III. THE RESEARCH
To start, I delved into some user interviews as I was interested in others' spending and saving habits.
Some of the questions I asked were:
- Other than necessities (i.e. rent, groceries, utilities), where does the majority of your money go?
- Do you save some money from your income? If not, why?
- What is the hardest part about saving money?
- What is the biggest compelling factor that makes you spend money?
IV. THE INSIGHTS
V. PROTOTYPING & DISCOVERY
This phase allowed me to take a step back and consolidate the research, review the work that was already done, and dive into identifying user needs and pain-points. The interviews and secondary research revealed that the concept of saving money means different things for different people however, they all have one thing in common, people save money with a goal in mind. Whether it's for a short-term goal such as saving up for the latest gadget or setting some money aside for a rainy day, all of these savings have an end goal. In other words, the idea of saving money is goal-centric.
Keeping the research and findings in mind, I began storyboarding and sketching out various ideas on paper. I was then able to start designing the framework, user flow, and the main interactions of the app on a paper prototype. The paper prototype also allowed me to quickly and informally user test it so that I could make adjustments before building a more interactive and higher-fidelity prototype.
As I continued to user test with my paper prototype, I was also able to better my understanding of the layout. For example, from the user testing, I was able to see that users needed an easy and quick way to add items to their wish list. I also considered the different ways that users may want to enter an item and the different types of items a user may want to enter into the app.