Understanding budgeting methods
Key Problem Statement: How might we simplify budgeting and saving methods to make them more approachable to beginners?
I researched different methods of budgeting, looking for one to meet Skylar's needs of being easy to understand and showing a clear overview of how she spends her money. The method I found that best suited the user was called The Monthly Nut.
During on-boarding Skylar can enter her expenses, savings, & take-home pay to automatically calculate a spending limit
Skylar is also able to manually edit her Spending Limit for the month if she wants to set it to something specific
This is the amount that all her purchases are subtracted from to get her Spending Money
Skylar can view how much money she has left to spend to stay within her spending limit. This is calculated by linking financial accounts using the Plaid API
2. Spending Limit
3. The Bubble
Skylar can look at The Bubble to see an estimated proportion of how much Spending Money she has left
The bubble changes color the close she is to her limit
The Bubble: A Simple Visual of Monthly Spending
1. Spending Money
After deciding on the budgeting method, I wanted to design a home feed card that was a simple visual of how much of the spending limit Skylar had left.
Focus #2: Home Feed
Green=<80% of Spending Limit has been spent
Red=100% or more of Spending Limit has been spent
Yellow=80%-99% of Spending Limit has been spent
Pantsuit Professionals (PSP)
Fintech app focused on budgeting and saving for professional women
Redesigning budgeting for women
Pantsuit Professionals (PSP) is a women's lifestyle brand with a focus on empowering younger working women. They seek to provide resources to increase financial literacy.
PSP wanted to design an app aim at their target demographic to simplify budgeting & saving.
I was co-project manager as well as the UX Designer for the home feed section of the app on a team of five.
The project duration was three months.
Focus #1: User Research & UX Strategy
To understand our primary user & their needs, we conducted five user interviews (I conducted one personally) and sent out a survey on our social media with 239 results. From there we wanted to encapsulate who our user was through a persona.
“Managing money is stressful and I avoid looking at it sometimes.”
“I don't really know where to start with my money."
28% of survey respondents used money management apps to both budget and save
Users felt intimidated by budgeting and 54% of survey respondents identified as beginners
4/5 users interviewed value simplified overviews of their money
5/5 users connect feeling about their self worth with their money/progress on money goals
Main User Findings
Skylar is a recent graduate who is working in NYC. She is looking for help with budgeting and saving for some short term goals. She needs to feel guided through the budgeting process and reassured by building trust.
To accomplish this she should be shown clear information about her finances and an easy to understand and utilize budgeting method.
Home Feed Cards
Users valued simplified overviews of their money, therefore I designed two additional feed cards to show monthly & yearly spending trends
Skylar can view her monthly spending based on category
Clicking on the card allows her to view a transaction by category breakdown
She is also able to view different months
Skylar can view her spending over a year
She is able to view different years
The app also has a short-term savings goal feature and a weekly tips section. I designed feed cards for overviews.
Skylar can view her progress on her current short term saving goals
Clicking on this feed card brings her to the Saving section
Skylar can view a weekly Money tip
Skylar can favorite money tips to view later
Clicking on this card brings her to the Money Tips section
Final Design: Hi-fi Prototype
Understand your user: When designing an app from the beginning understanding your primary user really informs the functions and features you design and prioritize.
Work with your developers: Throughout the process I had access to developers to ask about the feasibility of design choices, this was very beneficial in understanding limitations.
Document, document, document: There was a period where my team was asked to change projects mid-project and then we returned to this project. Having documentation made picking up my work and process much easier.