The KidzCard bank app is a product that equips kids with a debit card and helps parents collect data necessary to train for healthy spending habits.
Through my experience in school, and doing a good amount of research, it was pretty clear there is a big gap in the market for this type of product.
We defined many problems with our users (parents, teenagers, etc...) and nonusers (instructors, financial advisors, etc...).
The focus for educating students on finances is minimal. The majority of schools do not require kids to take an economics class. Only 1/3 of our states require students to take a personal finance course.
Parents have plenty of responsibilities that are just as important or more important than their children's economic health. Tracking spending habits manually is a tall task that will likely add to inaccurate results.
Students are constantly learning. It is a majority of their daily routine. One day of study can wash-out the details from the prior day. Kids have the tendency to lose money and lose sight of where they spent their allowance.
Our solution focuses on giving kids a taste of independence and provides parents with enough visibility to help coach them along.
I used qualitative and quantitative research methods (1:1 interviews, unstructured focus groups, surveys, etc...) to gain a deeper understanding of our users needs. The data and facts were organized and used to create reference material for the team and our users.
A value proposition was created to map out key aspects of the product. It answers high-level questions and helps build consensus around what the product will be.
The competitor analysis chart was used to compare Kidzcard against the primary features competitors provide.
After interviewing users, I created user personas as a reference for our user types. These were used to define common user needs and help drive design decisions as we moved forward. See a few examples below:
A journey map was created in a workshop with our users. The output gave the team a visual to help better understand the different processes parents and children use to earn, receive, spend, and track money.
With the information captured, we held brainstorm sessions and started to uncover opportunities. These are a few questions that were raised as we discussed ideas:
How do you keep parents informed and still provide the kids with a sense of privacy?
How do we educate the kids/parents? What is the optimal way to prevent learning material from becoming outdated?
What can we do to make the product appealing to parents and their children? How can we make it fun?
Can we show growth in independence? What are ways we can measure performance? How do we bring visibility to the users return on investment (ROI)?
All of the knowledge and ideas were packaged and used to explore the optimal solution.
Various design methods were used to guarantee our solution would meet the needs of the users.
With the use of requirements and the project roadmap, I categorized features and started to architect the primary flow of the application (navigation).
Wireframes were created to understand the layout and functionality of the application. I met with users and had them validate the direction without the distraction of colors, words, or other embellishments.
We discovered flaws such as cognitive overload on the analytics page and confusing hierarchy of information on other pages.
After multiple revisions, the skeleton of our design (wireframes) received approval so we started working toward setting the right tone for the product.
I began to explore color and typography. Multiple color schemes were created and reviewed. The final decision was a vibrant, colorful brand to help encourage energy, activity, and entertain an educational experience.
The color and fonts were applied to the revised wireframes. I continued to make improvements and then presented the high fidelity concepts to our user groups. With more refinement, we started to see our solution come together.
The concepts were used to create a prototype. We put the app on cell phones and gave it to our users as something tangible to test. They gained a better sense of functionality and we received feedback/ideas for enhancing features.
We follow an endless cycle of iterating, testing, and discovered other opportunities to improve the product.
There were failures and lessons learned. Below are challenges I worked through that helped me grow as a designer:
Less is more
One of my top 5 strenths is being analytical. I want as much information as I can get my hands on. That is not the case for our audience. Only specific information is meaningful. Reducing cognitive load and the amount of information on the screen is more important to our users.
Break the ice
The kickoff meeting was exciting and the team was fully engaged. A few review sessions in and our gatherings started to feel dry. People were drifting. We made it a goal to start meetings with ice breakers and include short interactive games. Attendance climbed and the conversations became much more impactful.