UI/UX, App Design
An app that provides parents an easy and effective way to teach money management to their children in the digital age. A personal project in collaboration with Candy Wang.
The growing popularity of cashless transactions and online banking is yet to be addressed in children’s education today. Parents need new ways of teaching money management skills that extend beyond the traditional piggy bank. It is a valuable asset to introduce children to financial terminology and the concepts of organizing their money at an earlier stage, in order to instill a desire to spend wisely.
The core challenges behind this project were understanding what parents wanted to teach their children about financing and how to overcome the lack of visualizing in the world of digital currency. We recognized that it is important for us to simplify complex financial concepts so that they can be consumed by a younger audience.
Tackling something outside our comfort zone meant that we had to spend a lot of time on better understanding the problem. We read articles, spoke with experts and talked to parents in order to better understand what we were building and for whom.
Understanding the Market
We looked into existing products on the market that aim to accomplish similar goals — there are several apps that make money handling a friendlier and more approachable for children while allowing some level of parental control. However, they do not offer lessons regarding credibility, loan payments and prioritizing purchases. Another competitor is the parents’ inertia towards introducing these concepts to their children in the first place, most parents have yet to engage with any digital platforms as an additional tool. They rely on cash based allowances as their only means of teaching money management to their children.
To better understand why parents have yet to engage with digital money management platforms, we spoke to five parents with children amongst age 10-14. Through our conversation, we wanted to find out…
their worries on teaching cashless transactions
skills and values they want their children to learn
how they currently teach money management
Three key primary concerns that the parents expressed regarding debit cards for children were lack of visualization, making uninformed purchases and complete lack of control. These are points that we made sure to address in our design.
Skills and Values
Parents listed financial principles and terminology they would like to expose their children to. Through affinity mapping, we synthesized this information into four core values which formed the foundation of our key features.
User Persona and Journey
In order to outline our features and functions clearly, we built a user journey to understand the needs our product should be fulfilling.
We began designing our product by sketching and thinking through the core features and how they weave together. Direct and clear information structures were a high priority so as to suit the young user group.
For the children’s side of the app, we wanted to separate each feature into its own tab to avoid confusion. This creates a laterally extensive structure rather than a vertically complex one. The bottom navigation bar is where all actions can be initiated.
We wanted the parents to efficiently view the activities of all their children. This involved organizing information for the multiple subsidiary accounts in a clear and understandable manner. We focused on customization settings that allow parents full control over their children’s accounts.
We worked on multiple paper sketches throughout the whole process. It was a place where the two of us sorted out our disagreements to find the best solution for the app.
The final product is an app with a myriad of features that allow children to manage their allowances, save up, request loans and keep their credibility in check. All these actions remain dependent on some level of parental control in terms of the monetary values.
This is our overall proof of concept and we are still in the process of gathering feedback. For our next steps we hope to conduct usability tests with children and their parents to further refine our product. We continue to look for professional opinions as we work through the legalities and probable partnerships. Please check back for updates, any and all feedback is much appreciated!