$atisfied Money App
This is my thesis project. $atisfied is a retrospective money app that helps you increase your confidence with every purchase and improve money decisions with every use. Evaluate your transactions by swiping left or right. $atisfied will get insights on your spending to make financial suggestions.
My role
Created the product from scratch
UX/ UI, Visual Design, Motion Design
User Research, Usability Testing
Results
This product concept has got acknowledged by PMs & senior designers from Fintech companies for having great business potential.  
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How might we help these college students to be mindful about their spending for a brighter financial future?

$atisfied's onboarding assures users that the app understands their financial situations and has their goals in mind. 

Purchase Evaluations

On a daily basis, $atisfied prompts users to evaluate their last purchases by swiping left or right. The evaluation results are visualized on the dashboard in real time and suggestions are made at the end of users' evaluations.

Dynamic Budget 

After setting their monthly budget goal and prioritizing which spending category they want to work on, $atisfied generates a budget for each category. The app analyzes users' evaluation inputs and adjusts budgets accordingly.

Offers on Your Purchases

After using it for a period of time, $atisfied starts to offer users customized purchase solutions as well as services that help them save money.

A clear view of your financial situation

Homepage gives users a clear view into their financial situation and choice. It also reminds users of their daily tasks.

Challenge

According to a survey done by Ohio State University, seven out of 10 college students in the United States are worried about their finances. These students are not satisfied with their spending and suffering from paying their student loans. How might we help these college students to be mindful about their spending for a brighter financial future?

 

My goals were:

1. Design a budgeting app that can help college students form better spending habit

2. Apply hook loop into my design

Design Toolkits

Design Process

Secondary Research

Through my in-depth research on what causes people's dissatisfaction with their spending, I found: desires the markets create leads to consumer's impulsive spending on products that only enhance their utility in the short term. To break these vicious cycles of consumption, People need to be more retrospective about their spending.

Competitor Analysis

I chose 18 personal finance apps and did user interviews on whether these apps help their users form a better spending habit. It turns out there are mainly two categories. Apps like YNAB require a huge amount of effort from users in order for them to be more clear about where to spend money. Apps like Mint and Clarity show only general information about the user’s monthly spending, which hardly inform and nudge users to change their behaviors.

There is an opportunity for my app which requires a little user effort but still being constructive and useful for college students to kick start their money management and form a healthy spending habit. 

Users interviews

The interviewee took into account both college students and new graduates who have or plan to change their spending habits through budgeting. The interview took approximately 1 hour and included topics to get to the core of their motivation, their budget method, and their problems. I asked these questions:

  • What motivates you to budget?

  • What budgeting methods did you try? 

  • Did you try any budget app? Does it work? 

  • When do you feel great about your spending?

Insights from interviews:

Conceptualization & Testing

Based on the insights, I brainstormed some solutions, developed two low-fi prototypes and tested them with users and designers at Paypal, Intuit, and Etsy. Here are the insights I got:

  • The app should provide actionable suggestions to users instead of telling users what to do. It's essential to make users feel they are in control.

  • Users prefer encouragement to punishments when the app nudges users' behaviors. 

  • All the successful budgeting apps have a budgeting philosophy behind them, for example, YNAB is based on zero-budgeting methods.

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Concept: $atisfied 

Those insights helped me further iterate my concept. Finally, I decided to design an app that requires small user input but still nudge their spending behavior in the long run: $atisfied is a retrospective money app that helps you increase your confidence with every purchase and improve money decisions with every use. Evaluate your transactions by swiping left or right. $atisfied will get insights on your spending to make financial suggestions.

Prototyping & Testing

Challenges I faced during prototyping:

  • How to show user benefit of the app on the onboarding process

  • How to balance the information provided in each user interface 

  • Align the UI language and interaction design with the brand

Wireframing

To me, wireframe was not only designed to build the structure and architecture of the information but also provided a guideline of how users will interact with the app. So I experimented with some visual design & motion design elements in designing wireframes.

Visual Design

To differentiate from other budgeting apps and align with the branding, I chose the typeface and colors that represent calmness and rationality.

Learning

In engaging myself with this in-depth and challenging process, I realized the importance of prioritizing tasks and the necessity of user testing in every step. The users' feedbacks helped me quickly adjust my user flows to meet their needs. Apart from that, through trial-and-error in applying hooked loop to the design, I learn the current limitation and potential of digital platforms in changing users' behaviors. 

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