Social Mobile Apps - Recap

A vague post to sum up this semesters work.

For this project, the app I have designed is called Social Spender. Social Spender is an application that helps the user budget for their upcoming social events.

During this project my general area of interest was originally how the user group of ages 18 - 30 budget for their social events as well as looking at the various physical and digital platforms they use to plan these events i.e. Facebook, third-party apps and diaries. My other area of interest during this project is how to create a personal experience within the application.

I conducted various questionnaires and interviewed people from my user group to get a sense of what methods they were using to budget and organise their social events. This gave me some initial insights but once I’d interviewed a user this helped shape my budgeting system for the app and gave me a criteria to base my app on. These were:

User tries to budget by only taking out smaller amounts of money.

Forward planning is a large part of budgeting for bigger events i.e. balls, birthday meals

User uses multiple platforms to plan his events (Facebook, iMac calendar etc.)

Budgeting system must be simple to understand

User likes to take money from different accounts so access to different accounts is a must

Taboo to budget for a night out since things can’t always go to plan.

My user also commented on how he did not enjoy how impersonal the experience could of using a mobile banking app could be, especially if he had queries regarding his services. This meant thinking about the various ways I could try and make my app feel more personal to use.

After gaining my insights, I settled on the following concept statement.

Concept Statement:

Social Spender is a mobile application that allows a digital banking customer to sign into a secure service run by Digital Bank allowing them to budget accordingly for upcoming social events.

The app is designed for current account or instant saving account users who feel they need a tool to help manage their budgeting for their social life. It also aims to be a solution to the problem of banks appearing as impersonal and distant by allowing users to build trust with their banks through giving them a glimpse of their social life as well as an important role in planning for the event.

When thinking about the user journey, I like the idea of Tesco’s missions and this influenced my decision: I wanted to make the user to reach their desired goal in the least amount of time possible so in this case, saving for an upcoming event in the fewest steps possible. 

My user journey can be found at the bottom of the post.

PROTOTYPE - Walkthrough

Users sign into the app using their Digital Bank personal customer number and passcode.

When the user gets to the home screen they have a number of options they can utilise before they can save for events.

They can access a list view of their upcoming events and add any new events through either manual entry or through another platform (Facebook, iCalendar). This screen contains slightly more information that on the home screen as it tells you which event has come from which platform.

Users can also access additional information such as their account balances which avoids them having to leave the app to access their digital banking app to access information such as balance or account numbers. They also have access to saving infographics which present their saving habits and patterns in a visual form i.e. the average amount spent per month. Finally, the app also offers saving guides to give customers advice on saving for their events if they feel they need any extra advice. 

All of this information is kept off the home screen and tucked away as it is optional whether or not the user accesses it and so the user doesn’t feel bogged down if they are just quickly trying to save for any of their events.  Instead they know the information is there if they require it but only if they want to access it. 

Once the user is ready to save for their desired event, they can swipe through the coverflow to the event and tap to access the event. I opted to present the events this way as coverflows are easy to navigate and with the coverflow being on the home screen it meant the user can begin saving quicker and achieve their end goal quicker.

When the user taps the event, very basic information is presented. The user can tap the map icon to find out the location of the event as well as receive a route from their current location - this is to help if the user is unfamiliar with the event’s location or how to get there. Again, accessing this information is optional to prevent the user getting bogged down with information they deem unnecessary. 

Once the user clicks to say they are attending, more information is revealed - the only information the app makes sure the user sees is the recommendation on how much money the user should need for this event based on previous events like it. 

The app will also provide optional additional information if the user requires such as cost of travel, cost of meals and even who is confirmed to be attending the event. This information is deemed less important as the recommendation and so is hidden away to be accessed if needed. 

When the user is ready to save, they select the amount on the slider between £10 - £50. They then confirm the amount by tapping the save button. They can also choose which account they would like to save from by choosing from the account menu. Once the user has confirmed their amount, there will be a final prompt to confirm that they are certain they want to save the amount for the event.

The events card will change on the application to show the amount has been saved.

All in all, this was an interesting project with a lot of free reign to explore different possibilities and help me find my interests as an interaction designer. I believe that I have achieved in accomplishing everything I set out to do with this project, and that Social Spender meets the criteria I set for myself.

Prototype

Walkthrough Video 

Sketchbook

User Journey