Private financial management is an active topic and there are already a few solutions out there, some as great as Simple Bank. Yet we chose this topic for our Application Design project, because we still saw a gap: On the one hand we wanted to focus an a larger demographic, not just digital natives that are ready to ditch conventional banking all together. We also saw some regional problems: Simple is not available outside of the USA and in Germany in particular most people still pay a large amount of purchases in cash.
We didn’t find a product that tackled both problems – most apps consider either cash money tracking or electronic banking. So we decided to design a software that suits all users and is built for electronic as well as cash transactions.
To make this possible the user can add various bank accounts and a savings account to Money. It is also focused on making adding cash transactions manually as easy as possible. We wanted the users the gain a lot of information from the collected data and make exploring it both informative and pleasurable. Thus the user can browse several infographics and even more of them are integrated into the interface. We thought it was vital that there is a mobile and a desktop application. Each one is focused on specific tasks but designed with each other in mind.
We chose a bold, classical visual style in order to convey a sense of trustworthiness. To make the app not feel dull and boring we complimented this with small, delightful details like animated icons, tipps and nice notifications. We also added a bit of gamification: Keeping track of you money is a boring task and we wanted to create some extra motivation. We kept it down to gaining point for various actions in order for it not to become childish or too non-serious.
Our mobile application is stripped-down and condensed. It focuses on a quick overview of your current money, your budgets and the last transactions. The main feature is the seamless process of adding an expense. It relies heavily on smart suggestions based on the users previous transactions. We tried to make this process as fast and unintrusive as possible, so that adding you cash spendings isn’t something you dread.
Our desktop application provides a larger overview. It’s main purpose is to allow deeper analyzation of ones spending behavior.
There is an overview of all past transactions that can be searched using just a simple term like a date or a recipient, but more complex terms and combinations using logical operators are possible too.
In the visualization section there are interactive graphs of the users income or spendings. They can be represented as clusters if shown by category, as bar charts if shown by recipient or as circles on a heat map if shown by location. Users can select a period and toggle every category on or off. We picked those chart types because they give lots of information at a glance but also allow deep insight if worked with more intensely.
Process & Technology
My focus in this project was on process design, visual design review and (mostly) protoyping.
During the concept phase I wrote a small database application with a basic interface and tracked my real transactions for a month. We used the collected data for our final prototypes.
This is a student project created during winter semester 2014 as part of a course in Application Design by Jürgen Graef.