WALLETIFAI

PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT APP

Walletifai intelligently detects bills and subscriptions and helps manage them on a daily basis.

Walletifai website App Store

INTRO


Role

  • Research
  • Ideation, wireframes
  • User Testing
  • Prototyping
  • Hi-fidelity design
  • Developer handoff

Goal

Develop a money saving app that helps users get a better view of their finances by showing them the most useful insights generated by the AI algorhythm.

Manage bills and subscriptions with insight into the past and prediction of the future.

Approach

  1. Define MVP features by conducting user research and analyzing competitor products;
  2. Identify current user behaviour and pain points, create user persona(s). Ideate solutions;
  3. Wireframe best ideas, test and iterate;
  4. Create high fidelity prototypes, test, iterate and hand off design to the developers.

Duration

May-November 2020

Tools

Figma, Sketch, Jira

Team

Serene Deng (research, ideation, user testing)
Roya Kachooei (product manager, CEO)
Lubov Soltan (research, ideation, prototyping, user testing)

PROCESS


Double diamond design process

The goal was to ship a working MVP built from scratch within just a few months. This opened a lot of possibilities and required preliminary research.

Teams adhered to Agile methodology and Sprints to plan the timeline.

I collaborated with company founders, developers and growth/marketing team to design, test and iterate.

By participating in spint planning and retrospectives I had a chance to have a high level view of the whole company's interdependencies and priotities, how different teams interact and work together, best ways to prioritize next most important thing and plan according to agile methodology.

RESEARCH


Sending out surveys

After brainstorming and reviewing survey questions with the team I created a Google Form that was shared across our channels. Users could share their emails with us to participate in user interviews later.

User interviews with intent

These guidelines helped me come up with most effective questions:

  • Ask open questions;
  • Understand how user solves the problem, their paint points;
  • Ask about relevant opinions and experiences;

Results confirmed most of our assumptions about pain points that make it difficult for people to save money (paying off debt, large purchases, etc.) and uncovered a few unexpected insights.

So many competitors!

We compared features and interactions, defined what not to do, and what good practices we should get inspired by.

Synthesizing as a team

Insights from research were important to help determine which features to build and when.

After gathering as much data as possible during the research sprint, together with the team I used affinity mapping technique to synthesize findings that would be presented to dev and growth teams and stakeholders.

Personas naturally emerged

Based on those findings we identified two main homogenous groups of users that would benefit the most from our solution and were most numerous.

DESIGN


Sketching to shape user flows

When it was clear, what our users wanted from an app like this, we started to brainstorm layout and main features together and independently. We always kept in mind our personas and based our ideas on user stories we created.

Main goals of creatinga user flow were:

  1. starting to explore the idea in a more tangible way;
  2. figure out interactions and dependencies;
  3. make sure interactions and logic are intuitive.

Expanding to low-fi wireframes

Low fidelity visuals were purposefully used, so the team wouldn't get tempted to get into details and keep it high level.

First make it work, then make it beautiful.

Low-fi prototypes testing the logic

Main goal of testing was to get feedback on the logic and mechanics of the app independently from visuals.

Design team iterated on wireframes and brainstormed new solutions after each round of user testing.

High-fi prototypes testing experience

We gathered feedback on visuals as well as logic and simplicity of interactions and iterated after each round of testing.

Full prototype became too complex to update after every testing round, so we broke it down into small feature prototypes that we showed to users already familiar with the app. We used older prototypes to give new testers context first and then introduced partial prototypes.

EVALUATE


Remote user testing

Testing was conducted remotely via Zoom calls with Figma interactive prototypes. One person would lead the session and the other one take notes. Sessions we recorded with permission of the user for future reference.

After the round of testing was done, we transcribed insights into spreadsheets as objectively as possible, analyzed them and presented to the stakeholders before iterating on the design.

Team design critique

To ensure we are on the same page team held internal design critique workshops on a regular basis, adjusting priorities according to user feedback. Number of testers for each round was 4 to 6 people, so we took their feedback with a grain of salt.

User flow diagram

ITERATE


dev guidelines

Full circle

At this point, I worked independently and with a design partner on iterations of existing designs to prepare for the next round of testing.

Not only users' feedback was taken into account, we also took inspiration from competitor apps to find most commonly used, intuitive interactions, signifiers and layouts.

Collaborating with developers

Parts of the designs that were up to our baseline standard (i.e., equal or better to what users have right now) were handed over to the developers to build as a part of the MVP.

Communication was crucial to provide useful information regarding measurement units, common layouts for similar UI elements and pages.

MVP MAIN FEATURES


Spending overview

Home page helps users get a bird's eye view of their spending on a weekly and monthly basis by showing how they are doing in the header and how much they've spend on each particular category at the bottom.

Spending prediction is the concept unique to Walletiai: the app uses a range of predictive algorhythms and statistical models to analyze user's habits and adapt on the fly.

On "Spending details" page user has access to latest activity for each customizable category with a meter in the header and transactions at the bottom.

Recurring overview

This page gives user control over incoming bills and subscriptions. We named it "recurring" to encompass all regularly incoming payments.

Our research confirmed that people struggle keeeping track of their active and forgotten subscriptions.

In early iterations we had separate pages for bills and for subscriptions. That idea was abandoned because most users aren't sure in which category the payment belongs to or just prefer to have everything in one place.

It's easy to see most important information at a glance:

  • Upcoming payments;
  • How much user already paid;
  • Total amount for the period of time selected.

Alerts

To help monitor any unusual or suspious activity Walletifai app has customizable and learning alerts.

In v 2.0 there are following alerts:

  • Large transaction;
  • Double charge;
  • Missed payment;
  • Suspicious activity;
  • Subscription expiring soon;
  • Low funds.

In case algorhythm detected wrong activity user can let the app know, so it can learn and give better alerts in the future.

Security and privacy

During research phase we discovered that people are very concerned about security and are hesitant to link their bank accounts to third-party applications.

To win the trust of users we employed following strategies:

  • Clearly stating in "Privacy" section what data is collected and how it's used;
  • Explaining what type of encryption is used and why it's important;
  • Using third-party API Plaid to get access to user's bank accounts data and mentioning this where relevant;

TAKEAWAYS


Building an app from scratch

It was inspiring to be an integral part of creative process behind a product that aims to help people improve their lives.

Design process

Gained valuable experience participating and shaping many aspects of the product from scratch. This definitely strengthened my hands-on skills and knowledge of design process, empathy and design thinking.

Agile startup environment

Iterating fast, prioritizing ruthlessly, thinking outside of the box, solving problems from different angles and making it work - done all that.

Team work

Had a chance to collaborate and learn from talented and passionate professionals. Solving problems together is so much fun.

New domain

I have gained good understanding of fintech industry nuances, problems and strategies. Insights from financial advisors and regular people gave me broader understanding of not only people's financial lives but lives and personalitites in general.