Client: PayPal, speculative
Timeline: Oct 2019, 2 weeks
Deliverables: New app feature
Team: Self-directed, with feedback from mentor and peers
Role: UX/UI Designer
Tools: Sketch, Illustrator, InVision
PayPal’s current mission is to build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution. In the past they focused their efforts on providing the most relevant products for their customers, but now they want to go beyond just providing these products by also offering tools to help them manage money better.
There is an opportunity for PayPal to perform financial services superior to those of traditional bank’s apps. The latest studies show a continual increase of mobile banking, which now significantly outpaces desktop usage. Younger generations, particularly Millennials, expect to be able to do everything on-the-go. They are so disassociated with the traditional banking system that most of them believe that innovation will come from outside of the industry.
• Design a new personal finance management feature that embeds within the current PayPal IOS app
• Seamlessly integrate the new feature into the current app
Market Research / Competitive Analysis / Provisional Personas / Heuristic Evaluation / User Interviews / Empathy Map / User Persona
To begin conducting secondary research I gathered and analyzed existing trends, data, and insights to learn more about the money management habits of millennials and how they are already using technology to improve their financial health. This helped me understand the industry and provide guidance in creating user personas.
The FinTech Industry
According to CB Insights over the last three years more than $1 billion has been sunk into tech-driven personal finance companies–a whopping $261 million in the second quarter of 2014 alone–with a special emphasis on startups targeting young investors, complete with the user-friendly, low-cost, mobile-enabled features they crave (social responsibility is a plus, too).
The Financial Health of Millennials
Bank of America’s 2018 Better Money Habits Millennial Report pointed out that those born between 1981 and 1997 are doing just as well or better than older generations when it comes to money management and career confidence. Among the findings: 63% of millennials are saving, 59% feel financially secure, and 73% of millennials who have a budget stick to it every month, or most months.
It’s no secret that millennials have debt. In fact, millennials are responsible for $1.1 trillion of the $3.6 trillion consumer debt in the U.S. Add to that rising home mortgages, lower salaries, and even greater reliance on ongoing services for things like transportation and entertainment, and what you have is the most indebted generation yet.
I compared the strengths and weaknesses of 5 of PayPal’s top competitors. While these are not currently in the exact landscape as a PayPal, they exist in the scope of where PayPal is looking to go. This helped me understand what users are expecting from finance apps and to gain insight from investigating how other companies solve problems.
My full competitive analysis can be viewed here.
Based on my secondary research, I created 3 provisional personas of typical millennial PayPal users. I used my secondary research to inform the personality and behaviors of my possible users. These personas helped me recruit the appropriate subjects for my user interviews and put me in the mind of my user to begin the ideation process.
I conducted a heuristic evaluation, a usability inspection method that helps to understand the accessibility of a user interface. It specifically involves examining the interface and judging its compliance with recognized usability principles. This process helped me to become fluent in an existing app in order to design a feature that will seamlessly integrate into the current PayPal landscape.
I recruited 5 participants that frequently use the PayPal app to participate in user interviews. I developed a series of open ended questions regarding finance experiences to conduct my one-on-one sessions.
• Determine the pain points users have when managing money
• Identify what is important to those trying to manage their money
• Uncover who will use the new PayPal feature and why
• Identify the financial trends of millennials
• Compare the strengths and weaknesses of our competitors
From my notes, I was able to conduct an empathy exercise to better understand what my users see, hear, do, and feel. I wrote my observations on post-its, color coded by participant. From there, I could visualize common threads in order to discover key insights and user needs.
• Users have specific goals that they would like to save for
• Users currently put in significant effort into improving their financial health
• Users prefer to use PayPal for much of their online purchases
• Users feel shame around their money management habits
• Be able to effectively save for their goals
• Reduce effort needed to improve their financial health
• Continue using PayPal for their online purchases
• Gain confidence in their money management habits
Based on my secondary research, I created a persona of a typical user who would use the new feature. A fictional user, Vince, helped to visualize the user flow later on in the process, as well as crafting a one-on-one interview guide.
POV & HMW Questions / Brainstorm / Business & User Goals / Sitemap / Task Flows/ User Flow / Low Fidelity Wireframe Sketches / High Fidelity Wireframe / High Fidelity Prototype / Usability Testing
I used my research learnings to develop “point of view” statements and “how might we” questions to be used as thought starters for a brainstorming exercise.
I spent around 10-15 minutes brainstorming possible solutions for each HMW question. The idea here was not to find the perfect solution, but to generate ideas quickly that could be designed for testing. From the pool of possible solutions, I began sketching out ideas to see if they would ultimately meet the needs discovered through research.
• An easy to use app
• Customer satisfaction
• PayPal becomes only savings app needed
• Expand their product’s reach
• Current customer engagement
• Reach their savings goals
• Improve their financial health
• Feel good about their financial decisions
Based on an in-depth analysis of PayPal’s current app, I developed the high level organization of the key screens. With the app map as guidance, I was able to see where the new feature could integrate with the rest of the ecosystem.
I created 3 possible task flows for a fictional user, Vince, to inform the wireframes for testing. Using an app map, I could see possible linear routes for users to achieve their goals.
• Is already a PayPal user and wants to create their first goal
• Add a friend to their goal
• Enroll in autopay
I created a a possible route for the user to use the new feature to accomplish a variety of tasks. In this version, I show key action and decision points in the goal setting process.
Based on the outcome of the ideation process, I began to sketch out the specifics of each screen needed for the user to accomplish my tasks. I paid close attention to the design patterns of the existing app, in order to integrate the screens seamlessly. Once I had a solution planned, I translated the sketches into low fidelity digital wireframes.
High Fidelity Wireframes / High Fidelity Prototype / Usability Testing
I accurately recreated PayPal’s visual design system to create high fidelity wireframes. My goal was to integrate the new feature as seamlessly as possible, so all design patterns were present elsewhere on the site, and UI was designed to fit the current app’s look and feel.
I conducted think aloud moderated testing with 4 participants to observe their interaction with the prototype.
• You want to set a savings goal for your upcoming trip to New Zealand. How would you go about setting up a goal?
• Now that you have a goal set. You would like to add your fiance, Leah, to your goal. How would you go about adding her to your goal?
• You would like to set monthly autopay. How would you go about setting up your contribution method?
Using the findings from usability testing I used post-its to assign a color to each participant. I then organized common threads into columns in order to distill obvious pain points.
• User’s were unclear around the source and frequency of their auto pay contributions
• Users expected some kind of response to confirm that a friend was added to the goal
• Users expected some kind of response to confirm the status of auto pay
• Upon first glance, users confused the preview screen with the real goal
1. Specific selections around source and frequency can be made when user is setting up Auto Pay.
2. Create a confirmation screen when a friend is added to a goal.
3. Create a status indication for AutoPay so it is consistent with Round-ups.
4. Add actionable verbiage at top of screen to signify that this screen is a preview.
Because of the rapid nature of this project, I learned the power of testing early and often to work through the roadblocks on any given app. I was able to quickly locate pain points and iterate solutions, before spending extensive time on design and development.
One of the greatest challenges of this project was working within an extensive and recognizable existing design system. To accomplish seamless integration for my feature, I spent time arduously investigating the inner workings of the app in order to understand how to effectively design my screens, and to learn to work with the restrictions of design patterns than cannot change.
• Build out additional screens needed for the “manage goal” section
• Continue to test and iterate the feature