2021 © Designed & coded by Nischal.
Increasing scalability and reducing the cognitive load of budget app users while creating a custom category
Roles: Product Designer (UX/UI)
Type: Unsolicited Personal Project
Tools: Google Sheets, Python, Miro, Adobe XD
Understanding the context & problem space
Exploring a specific opportunity
Potential solutions & returns
As an unfamiliar problem space, I had to spend relatively more time to get a better understanding of the problem domain and how users keep track of all their personal incomes and expenses.
While conducting affinity mapping with Neon user reviews (268), the Neon app was frequently compared to three other apps - Yolt, Emma and Classic*. Thus, it made sense to consider these apps to discover general user needs and frustrations in the problem domain. Therefore, a total of 1531 user reviews were studied.
A recurring theme across the user reviews was categories, which is understandable given the need of the users to view and track their income and expenses in an ordered and organised manner.
Another factor for exploring categories was Money Dashboard's business model of user insights and behaviour. Therefore, an easier method to categorise and view an overview of user spending might reflect a more accurate user behaviour, which would lead to unique discoveries and insights for the future.
A closer look at how people assign and engage with categories across the whole product. This exercise was also helpful in getting familiar with the design patterns, systems and constraints of the ecosystem.
At present, individual transactions are assigned automatically to one of the 14 default categories via a machine learning algorithm. This case study concerns the cases where the user has to create a custom category that does not fit the existing default categories.
Based on the previous research and experience with the app, I identified and plotted opportunities that might be valuable to the user and the company.
After considering several options, the most feasible and effective solution seemed to be a simple change in the presentation of the options for colours and icons. The new layout presents a reduced selection of 20 options at a glance, which would reduce the user's cognitive load and enable the user to weigh the available options and choose the most suitable one immediately.
If there is a need to add more options for colours and icons, the new layout should be a better alternative than the current offering, where adding more options to the horizontal scroll will only increase the cognitive load.
Validate the choices of colours and icons with stakeholders as well as the feasibility for implementation.
Validate and iterate with the users. An A/B test can be conducted where users are asked to create a set of custom categories and the time taken can be used as a metric to compare along with a post-test interview to measure the effectiveness and satisfaction.
Personally, the most challenging aspect was to scope the project into a concise case study that was interesting and sensible for a reader. A few alternative opportunities might have been more compelling but required knowledge and stakeholder expertise that I had no access to. Nevertheless, this was a good learning experience to practice my product design skills in an unfamiliar domain.
Also check out some of my other work.