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Overview

Role: UI/UX Designer, UX Researcher 

Time Period:
May 7th - May 13th  (5 Days)

Tools Used: Figma, Excalidraw, Figurative, GPT-4, GPT Bot 

Problem Statement

Despite the availability of financial management tools, many individuals struggle to effectively manage their finances due to a lack of personalized guidance and difficulty understanding complex financial information. This often leads to poor financial health and a reactive approach to financial management, highlighting the need for a solution that offers tailored budgeting advice, investment recommendations, and educational resources to enhance financial literacy and decision-making capabilities.

Project Goals

  1. User-Centric Design:

    • Design an intuitive and user-friendly interface that promotes ease of use and accessibility for users with varying levels of financial literacy.

    • Prioritize clarity in presenting financial insights and recommendations.

  2. Financial Habit Analysis:

    • Implement AI algorithms to analyze users' financial habits, including spending patterns, savings, and investment history.

    • Provide users with clear visualizations and insights into their financial behavior.

  3. Personalized Budgeting Advice:

    • Develop a budgeting module that offers personalized advice based on users' financial goals, income, and expenses.

    • Provide actionable recommendations to optimize spending and savings.

  4. Investment Recommendations:

    • Integrate AI-driven investment analysis to offer personalized investment recommendations aligned with users' risk tolerance and financial objectives.

    • Provide educational content to help users understand the rationale behind investment suggestions.

  5. Financial Education Resources:

    • Include a resource center with educational content on financial literacy, investment strategies, and financial planning.

    • Offer interactive tools to enhance users' understanding of key financial concepts.

  6. Goal Setting and Tracking:

    • Enable users to set financial goals, whether short-term or long-term, and track their progress over time.

    • Provide motivational features to encourage users in achieving their financial objectives.

  7. Secure Data Handling:

    • Implement robust security measures to safeguard user financial data, ensuring compliance with financial regulations and user privacy.

Process Used: Design Sprint

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I used the design sprint process for my project because it is well-suited for projects with tight deadlines, especially this one which should be done in a week, and the methodology outlined in Jake Knapp's book, Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days, provides a clear, structured framework for rapid innovation and validation. The book’s practical approach allowed me to condense months of work into a single week, facilitating a swift iteration from concept to prototype. This enabled me to efficiently validate ideas and make informed decisions, ensuring the project met its objectives within the limited time available for submission.

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Sprint by Jake Knapp

Day 1 (May 8th) - Mapping 

User Survey

I started the design sprint with a user survey to directly capture the financial behaviors, preferences, and challenges faced by potential users. This initial step provided crucial insights that shaped our understanding of what users truly need from a financial wellness platform. The diverse responses highlighted the demand for a tool that simplifies and personalizes financial information, setting a clear direction for our sprint's focus on developing user-centric solutions.

Challenges Identified:

- High frequency of overspending due to easy online payments.

- Difficulties in tracking expenses and managing savings.

- Lack of trust in available investment platforms.

 

Desired Features:

- Budget and expense tracking are highly desired.

- Demand for automated savings and investment advice..

 

Technology Comfort Level:

- Majority are moderately comfortable using digital financial tools, but some need simpler, more intuitive interfaces.

 

Financial Goals:

- Users prioritize saving for major expenses, building emergency funds, and wealth growth.Indicates a need for goal-setting and progress tracking features.

User Personas

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Competitive Analysis

Day 2 (May 9th) - Sketching

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I start Day 2 of the design sprint by sketching wireframes, as the feature set and problem statement have already been clearly defined. This approach allows me to quickly visualize and iterate on the user interface, focusing on layout, navigation, and key components that align directly with the users' needs and the project's objectives. Sketching wireframes early in the process ensures that the design solutions developed are both functional and user-centric, setting a solid foundation for more detailed prototyping and validation in the subsequent phases of the sprint.

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Day 3 (May 10th) - Decide 

Training a Custom GPT

In the "Decide" phase of the design sprint, I focused on optimizing the capabilities of a custom GPT model, dubbed Eva AI, tailored to function as a financial wellness advisor. To ensure its effectiveness and accuracy, I initiated its training by incorporating a diverse range of resources, including articles, books, and numerous PDFs relevant to financial management, which I sourced from the internet.

 

This extensive training regimen was designed to equip Eva AI with a robust understanding of financial concepts, enabling it to deliver precise and personalized financial advice. The model was iteratively tested and fine-tuned based on its performance in simulated scenarios. This process was critical not only for assessing the functional capabilities of Eva AI but also for understanding how the AI would interact with users, giving me a comprehensive grasp of how the product would operate as a whole. These insights were instrumental in refining the AI’s interaction model to ensure that it meets user expectations and enhances the usability of the financial wellness platform in my case study.

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You can access Eva AI Chatbot now! Click Here

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Deciding on the Style Guide

Day 4 (May 11th) - Prototype 

High Fidelity Prototype

On day 4 of the Design Sprint, I began developing the high-fidelity prototype using Figma, focusing on refining user interfaces and integrating detailed design elements to enhance both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

On-Boarding Session of Eva

During the onboarding process of the app, a series of personalized questions are asked to understand the users better. This allows the app to provide tailor-made financial suggestions and insights, enhancing the user experience by aligning it closely with individual needs and goals.

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Eva utilizes SMS permission to scan incoming text messages for transaction-related information. Once access is granted, the app employs natural language processing (NLP) techniques to parse and extract relevant financial data from the texts. This data typically includes the amount spent, merchant name, and transaction date. The extracted information is then automatically categorized and logged into the app’s expense tracking system.

 

This process ensures that your financial activity is accurately recorded without manual entry, providing a seamless and efficient way to manage your personal finances.pp to provide tailor-made financial suggestions and insights, enhancing the user experience by aligning it closely with individual needs and goals.

After the onboarding session, Eva automatically categorizes your transactions by analyzing text messages related to your spending. This automated process utilizes advanced algorithms to accurately sort each transaction into predefined categories such as groceries, entertainment, utilities, and more. This feature enhances your budgeting efficiency by providing a clear, organized view of your financial activity without manual input.

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Homescreen

Current bank balance shown, taken from user's text messages.

AI based suggestions and recommendations on your spendings

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Income and Spendings of current month

Various categories of your spending are shown in caraousel scrolling.

Floating bottom navigation bar with Eva AI right at the centre.

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Detailed breakdown on user's expenses  in each category, with graph comparing current month's expenses with previous month's

 A World-Class financial advisor, right at your finger tips.

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Eva AI is centrally located on the navigation bar, providing convenient access whenever you need financial assistance, suggestions, or have queries about your spending. Whether you're seeking advice or need to analyze your finances, Eva is always just a click away, right at the heart of the interface.

Eva AI in action

On-Boarding Session To View Investments

In order for the user to view his investments, the app provides an option to link with any brokerage account of their choice during the onboarding session. This integration allows users to seamlessly access and manage their entire investment portfolio directly within the app.

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The "Community Blogs" feature offers a platform for users to share and read personal finance stories and tips. Authored by fellow app users, each post provides practical insights into managing finances effectively. This feature not only enriches users' knowledge with a variety of topics like debt management and investment strategies but also fosters a supportive community atmosphere. Including author details and reading times, it allows users to quickly find relevant content, making financial learning engaging and accessible.

Day 5 (May 12th) - Testing 

Day 5 of the Design Sprint is dedicated to testing. This phase focuses on rigorously evaluating the app’s functionality, user interface, and overall performance to ensure reliability and user satisfaction before final adjustments.

I  tested the Figma prototype of my financial management app with friends and solicited feedback from the Design Buddies community on Discord, which has over 70,000 members. This comprehensive review process represents the final leg in my design sprint, providing crucial insights that will help refine the app's usability and design.

Positive Outcomes:

- Visual Appeal: Users praised the aesthetic design and clarity of the interface, which enhanced the overall user experience.

- User-Friendly Layout: The layout was found to be intuitive, allowing easy navigation through various features such as the Community Blogs and profile settings.

- Engagement Features: Interactive elements like the financial health bar and the ability to post and read blogs were highlighted as key factors that kept users engaged.

 

Negative Outcomes:

- Feature Accessibility: There was feedback indicating that some advanced features were not immediately obvious to users, suggesting a need for more guided walkthroughs or tooltips within the prototype.

- Information Density: A few users felt that some screens were too cluttered or information-dense, which could be overwhelming, especially on smaller devices.

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