Project Scope
Market Research, User Research, UX and UI Design
Process
Interviews, surveys, persona development, user scenario, site mapping, paper prototyping, user testing, high fidelity prototyping
Tools
Sketch, Invision, Principle, Adobe Illustrator
Hypothesis
I began the process with an hypothesis and possible solution, that I would later seek to verify through interviews, user testing, and feedback. 

Hypothesis: Tracking our budget and expenses and maximizing our savings potential can be tedious and can benefit from specialized knowledge. Many people 25-40 years away from retirement are not confident about how to handle their expenses and savings, and may not be saving enough for retirement and other milestones.
Possible solution: An app that changes the way we visualize our money (possibly based on Elizabeth Warren’s 50-20-30 rule) that helps us maintain our “financial health,” and live within our means.
Research Methods & Findings
I interviewed friends and family members who were 25-40 years away from retirement. Many were single with no dependents, living in a major US city, and some were married with dependents. Through these interviews, I found that everyone has their own savings method and priorities. A few people noted that they fluctuate their spending habits depending on how far away they are from major bills and paychecks. Some expressed a lack of confidence that they were making the right decisions when it came to investing and a desire to see more advice tailored to their individual goals and lifestyle, and less “shaming” (i.e. big scary red letters.)
Questions included: How do you currently keep track of your day-to-day expenses? What are your largest recurring expenses? Do you use any financial apps?  If so, what do you use them for and what features do you like or dislike about them? What areas of your personal finance do you think you could improve the most? What are your financial goals in the next 5-10 years?  If you could design your ideal app, what features would you include?
Persona Development
Based on the interview results, I developed three personas that reflected users at different financial stages and life milestones. Although Kaleigh had the most overlap with the majority of the individuals I interviewed, I found the persona of Steven to be the most compelling and decided to pursue his needs further. 
Scenario
I created a scenario for Steven to help tell one story of how this application might be useful to him in his daily life. Steven uses Cash Cat to log his freelance salary and manage his everyday expenses more carefully. The app influences his decisions when grocery shopping and going out to eat and drink with friends.

Paper Prototyping
I created a simple paper prototype with some preliminary ideas for the application to test out the usability and get feedback on the feature.
User Flows
I designed User Flows for setting up the app as well as creating a savings goal.
User Testing
I sent a link to a few friends to test the high fidelity prototype to see if they could complete the task of setting up an account and a savings goal. 
UI Refinement
I created a style tile to define the visual look and branding.  I ultimately wanted the app to be friendly, approachable, and engaging, and appeal to a younger audience. 
Final Prototype
I created the Final Prototype which showcases a simple layout of the primary features of the app.

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