Cheque is a platform that combines goals, budgeting, and automatic transfers to boost long-term saving habits, particularly for people struggling to build up a savings balance.
My responsibilities included collecting and synthesizing user research, personas, wireframes, user testing, and visual design.
Client: Intern/Personal Project
Role: User Research, UX Design, Visual Design
Team: Justin Park
Duration: 10 weeks
In summer 2017, I interned at a financial services company that tasked me and my partner with designing a platform that helps customers who struggle to save build up a savings balance.
According to the data, these 'non-savers' are spending too much and saving too little of their disposable income. As a first step, we sought to validate this claim and delve deeper into why this was the case.
In confirming that users weren't properly managing their disposable income, we found that this was due to lack of awareness. Therefore, our product needed to enable users to regularly touch base with their finances with minimal effort.
How can we motivate customers with little disposable income to put it into their savings instead of spending it?
+ Motivate users to establish an effective long-term savings routine
+ Help users reduce their overall spending
+ Help users be prepared for unexpected events and emergencies
+ Conducted a competitive analysis of financial readiness tools on the market
+ Studied a financial readiness case study of 60 interviews of non-savers
+ Conducted user interviews and observations
+ Referenced the Fogg Behavior Model for behavior change
+ Designing for automaticity is helpful in creating effective saving tools.
+ Existing tools do not address needs for customized goals.
+ Users are struggling to save because they don't properly manage their disposable income.
+ Users feel saving in small amounts is not possible or useful.
+ Personal, positive goals are the best motivators-- focus on small steps.
"Saying you're going to save is one thing, but actually doing it is another."
"It's important to me that I can show everyone I'm fine on my own."
"If an emergency happened, I won't be able to do much of anything."
+ Spends extra income on himself and his fiancee
+ Makes impulse purchases
+ Feels bad about not being able to buy things
+ Wants to reduce overall spending
+ Wants to save for future big events
+ Divorcee trying to establish financial freedom
+ Makes impulse purchases
+ Can't afford her lifestyle but can't cut back
+ Wants to build a sustainable financial routine
+ Wants to prove her independence to others
+ Saves but struggles to maintain a balance
+ Worries he is unprepared for emergencies
+ Feels like he has to choose between saving and paying off loans
+ Curious what's preventing him from saving
We wireframed three key features: targeted areas for improvement, automatic transfers, and notifications to keep users regularly engaged with the product.
Users liked how they could save in a 'goal-oriented way,' but found some of the visual feedback and wording 'spending target' to be confusing. They also emphasized the necessity of guardrails and being able to adjust their goals.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
After delivering a minimal viable product, I revisited this project a year later to create a high-fidelity prototype using the insights gleaned from user testing.
Here is the resulting breakdown of the interface:
CUSTOMIZED SAVINGS GOALS
Users select spending goals based on frequent purchases or customize their own categories.
Any amount spent under the goal automatically goes to their savings jar at the end of the week.
KEEPING USERS ON TRACK
Cheque lets users know when they've overspent and lets them adjust their goals to better fit their needs.
I hope to keep working through this concept by exploring the social aspect of saving, since we found that having an effective support system can help enforce long-term behavior change. In the next iteration, users should be able to interact with each other to build a network over time.