Family Budgeting App



THE APP
The Sail team wanted to create a budgeting app for families to manage their expenses, specifically targeting moms. Sail would simplify budgeting while empowering women to make financial decisions. The app allowed users to connect their bank accounts, using Plaid's API, in order to pull in transactions. Users would create categories to which they would assign transactions and track their expenses. 
PROJECT OVERVIEW
Sail brought me on to update usability issues that they had identified during the app's initial release. Through quantitative (data queries & surveys) and qualitative (user interviews & testing) research methods, the team and I discovered more problems involving the onboarding process and customer retention.
RESULTS
Through results from usability testing, both on the former app and iterative prototypes, we were able to redesign the onboarding and budget management processes. We focused heavily on identify and iterating on usability and workflow issues, while updating poor and inconsistent UI patterns. Both usability and beta tests indicated that the new process has been successful so far.
RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Product Design Lead
  • Research (qualitative/quantitative)
  • UI Pattern Design
  • Prototyping
  • User Testing 
TEAM
  • 1 Lead UX Consultant
  • 1 Product Manager
  • 2 Engineers

Nudge the Budget
INSIGHT
During interviews, surveys and usability testing on the former app, we discovered that most users didn't know where to start when creating a budget. 
OUR HYPOTHESIS
Tracking your budget means tracking your income, so users first add an income source. When adding the first income source, we default its name to "Paycheck" to indicate to users what "Income Source" means and start them off with their budget.


RESULTS
Both users with little knowledge of budgeting and "veteran budgeters" (as one user described herself), quickly added their income. We learned that some users wanted to enter their monthly income while others entered bi-weekly, based on when they got payed. 
Creating Expense Types
INSIGHT
Just over 50% of surveyed target-users said they taught themselves how to budget, and over 85% of those users felt that they were doing it wrong. As we followed up with those users, we noticed a trend: they didn't know how to categorize their expenses.
OUR HYPOTHESIS
To simplify how users understand the budget, we broke out expenses into four types: income, bills, spending, and savings. We then suggest common categories that users can select from in order to subtly nudge them toward what they should include in their budget and expedite the category creation process. 


RESULTS
About half of the users tested were confused where to put subscriptions, like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Some considered them as bills while others put them in the "Spending" expense type. Some didn't think they belonged in either group.
To solve this, we included a fifth "Subscriptions" expense type, placed after "Bills" and before "Spending". Tests with this solved the problem identified earlier. 
Categorizing Transactions
INSIGHT
During usability tests on early prototypes, we discovered that many users were browsing transactions and assigning them to the same category, one transaction at a time. At the time of the tests, we hadn't created a way to assign categories in bulk. 
OUR HYPOTHESIS
Assigning categories in bulk would eliminate the time spent browsing transactions and speed up the category reviewing process.




RESULTS
Most of the users tested found how to assign in bulk, while very few continued with the previous process. We determined that we wanted to get more qualitative data from analytics once we had sufficient app usage.