There is a tension that exists between long term goals and short term gratification"

"

Ka-ching is a mobile application that solely tracks discretionary spending, highlights a concrete goal to save towards for continued motivation, and helps visualize the impact of smaller purchases. This way, people are empowered to control where their money goes.

 

Team:

Acacio Domar

Wanlin Li

Andrea Martin

Elise Neroutsos

My Role:

Research, Storyboarding, Prototyping & Testing

Poster Design, UI Design

Award:

Student Choice Award 2014

RESEARCH

Contextual Inquiry:

For the contextual inquiry we observed mall shoppers at Northgate Mall, trying to reach participants from a wide range of ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. We chose a mall environment in order to reach those who had recently made purchases so we could discuss their discretionary spending decision in the context of a specific event. The participants that we spoke to ranged

in age from 20 to 65+, were both families and single individuals, and had a wide variety of financial comfort. No one we spoke to used budgeting apps, but most had at least mental strategies to help them budget. Being a privately owned space, during our inquiry we were politely approached by security and asked to leave or contact the owners to get authorization. It was a great learning experience and we had already gathered valuable information at that point.

...during our inquiry we were politely approached by security and asked to leave..."

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...most had at least mental strategies to help them budget."

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Results:

Many participants knew that they should budget and most made mental goals but in practice do not tend to follow goals closely because they do not keep track of all of their purchases and do not have a more concrete way of goal setting. Participants that did want to make a budget all faced the initial obstacle of not knowing how much they have spent in the past resulting in not being able to come up with reasonable goals for spending.

 

Many described spending money on small ticket items without thinking about it, as opposed to taking time to think about and decide not to spend on larger ticket items that they really wanted. We found that people were largely unaware that the small purchases that they were making could potentially add up to the larger ticket item that they wanted.

 

For the people that used mobile apps, inputting purchases into apps was described as burdensome. The amount of work that it took to track spending versus the result that they were getting out of the tracking, was described as not worth the effort. The users would sometimes stop using an app due to lack of flexibility, or lack of in­app options. The granularity of budgeting tended to vary heavily from user to user.

 

...initial obstacle of not knowing how much they have spent in the past resulting in not being able to come up with reasonable goals for spending."

"

...inputting purchases into apps was described as burdensome."

"

SKETCHING

Initial Sketching:

First sketches done to record initial inspirations and ideas. This way the group could define a starting direction for the aesthetics and main functionality of the project.

TESTING

Paper Prototype:

Removed tester are key for honest feedback. Three participants were selected. We focused on students because they typically have enough money but not enough to do excessive amounts of spending. Paper prototypes allowed for iterating between tests.

      Observations:

  • Tab simplicity was appreciated.
  • "Add goal" confusing and was solved by word/path change.
  • Home screen changed to make designating discretionary spending information actionable.

FINAL UI

Final Screens:

After iterating multiple times and creating digital mockups to be critiqued, we finalized our concept and interactions into app screens and a mobile interactive prototype.

VIDEO

SCREENS

HOME VIEW

TAP TO EXPAND PURCHASES

SWIPE LEFT/RIGHT TO DESIGNATE DISCRETIONARY OR NOT

TAP TO SEE MULTIPLE ITEMS IN A LARGE PURCHASE

GRAPH VIEW

SWIPE LEFT/RIGHT TO CHANGE TIME FRAME BEING VIEWED

GOAL VIEW

TAP TO ADD NEW GOAL

REPORT 1

REPORT 2

PRESENTATION 1

PRESENTATION 2

DOCUMENTS

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