Social Mobile Apps - Research and Co-Design

After the first presentations by Tesco I began by trying to narrow down my user group for this project. To do this, I created a Google Docs spreadsheet with a form containing a questionnaire asking people about their use of mobile banking and their experiences with it.

With these results I got a variety of responses from various age groups, with the majority of responses coming from 18 - 30 year olds who used their mobile phones very often. This helped me begin to narrow down my concept further - I was interested in looking at how people could use digital banking to budget for upcoming social events and how an application could be paired with a bank account to then allow this interaction to take place.

To gather more information on this subject I created another survey to gain insights into how people organised their social lives. This involved asking how people recorded their events and how they budget for these events and looking at how I could bring this into the digital banking application. From the second survey I learned that the user group I had chosen - which I had now decided was working for people 18 - 30 - enjoy using Facebook as a means to of planning for these upcoming events since all of their peers are using it and it's a fast way of sharing events information. Facebook implemented features to allow the events calendar to sync to other applications including Apple's iCalendar application or the iPhone's calendar app. This helped streamline all of the different events on the various platforms in one place.

While this was taking place, we had a second presentation from Tesco from James Palmer, the head of Mobile Development at Tesco. He took us through Research and Co-Design and the methods Tesco used to create or improve their products. They used their new mobile application as the basis for this and listed various steps including doing research on various behaviours to create personas which can then be used to identify how specific features should be designed for various people. They also hinted at how important it was to promote your application's experiences to show customers that you're listening to them and to build buzz about your products. 

They also mentioned how they called customer's actions on their apps as 'missions' which to me was an interesting way of describing the customer's journey through the application. This has got me thinking about what I'd want my user's mission to be while they were using the application and this is something I'm going to pursue in the coming weeks, especially when it comes down to deciding and finalising the various features of my application.

After this week I have written a basic concept statement for my application:

An application that allows a digital banking customer to sign into a secure service run by their chosen bank which will allow them to budget accordingly for upcoming social events. Using information from Facebook events, calendar applications or from manual entry by the user, this will allow a budget system consisting of a user setting aside funds by "locking" them down where they will only become accessible again on the day of the event, to ensure the user does not accidentally spend the money beforehand.