#fintech #add a feature

Add a budgets feature

to Kontist mobile banking app

About freelancers and banking service

COVID-19 has changed the nature of freelance collaboration for companies. According to a 2020 Upwork study, 12% of the U.S. workforce started to freelance for the first time in 2020, and 47% of hiring managers are more likely to hire freelancers. The number of people freelancing will likely increase in the coming years. With this trend, the demand for customized banking services for freelancers will also likely increase.

In Germany, freelancers and small business owners are still the underserved groups in many bank services. In this project, I want to explore opportunities in fintech banking services. The goal is to add a desired feature for the target groups and boost the business.

DISCLAIM

Kontist does NOT ask me to add a feture to their app or to do any kind of work. This is a personal and study project from my UX Bootcamp by Designlab. 

UX Research
UX Design
Visual
Usability test
TIMELINE

August 2021 (4 weeks)

TOOLS

Figma, Whimsical, Maze, Slack, Google (Doc, Sheet, Drive, Meet), Adobe CS, Zoom

This is a fictitious project at UX Academy from Designlab.

The challenge

Kontist is one of the top digital banking companies for freelancers and self-employed on the German fintech market. Their mobile app already provides many beloved features for bookkeeping and taxes. Combined with additional in-house tax services for customers with a premium account, Kontist has a clear USP and positioning on the market. It will be challenging to come up with a feature that would create additional value to the Kontist users and the business.

Project goals

The process

Discover

The market, services, and needs

I want to understand the target group’s needs and pain points, the full scope of Kontist’s service, and how current market competition looks like. The goal is to find out problems and explore meaningful solutions. My assumption from my own experience as a freelancer: any feature that is related to taxes, bookkeeping, and budget management could be useful to the target group.

Research objectives

How fintech and traditional banks are serving freelancers?​

The research on competitors in the German market showed the strong competition between direct competitors who are fintech with a focus on business account (from self-employed to mid-sized companies). Almost every well-known fintech in this category provides services that fit their customer’s needs well and is strong in mobile user experience. The position of traditional banks in this category is significantly weak.

What do the target customers want but Kontist doesn't have yet?

The survey with 7 response and 3 user interviews confirmed me the assumption I had. Income tax estimation, bookkeeping, and budgets management are the top three needs of self-employed have. The table of possible features showed, adding a sub-account feature would satisfy the customers and make Kontist stronger in their competition.

Wanted features to the target group

Research Key Takeaways

Pain Points

The tax system is too complicated to understand. It causes the struggle in managing the finance in general.

To estimate the net income and the income tax

To sort and organize the transactions

The paperwork for VAT pre-announcement to the tax office

Must-Have Features

6/8 Participants want subaccounts for managing the finance

6/8 Participants want categories for organizing clients and transactions

5/8 Participants want search with filters

Desired Features

6/8 Participants would like to have an income tax estimation report

4/8 Participants would like to have the VAT pre-announcement automatically send to the tax office

User Behavior

7/8 Participants would like to have help in accounting, organizing transactions, and tracking balance.

There is a significant difference in mobile and desktop usage for online banking between the US and Germany.

German users tend to prefer to use desktop computers for digital banking.

Define

The feature

Add a feature to help freelancers and small business owners better managing their reserves.

Why "Budgets"?

When talking to users, I noticed everyone has their way of describing the feature they are looking for to manage the business finance. Some focus on the functional aspect (like extra account, extra pool, saving account), and the others think about what they need (production capital, savings). But the common term that was understood by all was “Budget”. Therefore, the feature I am adding to the Kontist app is named “Budgets”.

Who is the target customer?

Base on the research, the personas show two types of primary customers of Kontist: freelancers and small business owners. Although the business transactions look different for both, they all have the common need for planning budgets.

How to integrate the feature and design the interactions?

Because of the time constrain, the user flow only mapped out the interaction related to the “Budgets” feature. The flow includes the primary tasks for manage budgets: create a new budget, make a transfer plan, check a budget status, and make a change when needed.

The focus was on how to make it easy for the users to access the “Budgets” features regardless of the screen they are on. There were more iterations during the sketching and prototyping phase. The final version was created after the usability test and revision.

Ideate

Sketch out & iterate the detailed task flows

Creating the high fidelity sketch with detailed information include key task flow steps helped me to eliminate distractions and also optimize the user flow and task flows.

Prototype

How would a customer use the feature?

The prototype shows the scenario of how a user would usually manage their budget: first, create a new budget, then make a transfer plan for the new budget and check the budget status. Users can access the “Budgets” feature from different locations.

The color choice of the "Budgets" feature

Kontist uses colors to differentiate areas. Violet (the brand color) is the primary color of the banking app and used for the “account” overview (default home screen). A blueish green for the “tax” and yellow for the “VAT”. I decided to go with the orange that is different enough from the other two areas but stays harmonic with the primary branding color.

Hi-Fi wireframing key screens

Test & Revision

Test methodology

• Remote user test via zoom call and recording (4 participants)
• Maze usablity test (19 participants)

Test objectives

Test finding

The usability test showed clearly that the task of how to make a budget transfer is the major pain point. Many users took an indirect path. Some users couldn’t complete the task because they couldn’t find the path they wanted. Therefore, the first iteration will focus on designing new paths for the budget transfer task.

Successes

Pain Points

Priority revision

The usability test made it clear, the “Budget transfer” feature was hard to find. Most users don’t expect to find the feature by clicking on the “transfer” icon. Therefore, a new placement for this feature is necessary.

Conclusion & next steps

Overall, adding the “Budgets” feature was a success. The feature is seamlessly integrated into the existing app. Some of the participants in the usability test didn’t have experience as a freelancer or small business owner. But, they all mentioned they would love to have the feature if they were the target group. The usability test also showed me how important it is to keep in mind that every new feature is “unknown” even for the existing customers who are familiar with the app. Many functionals in the “Budgets” feature need to be more direct and easy to find.

Next steps

Week 5
Week 6

What I've learned

Don't make me think!

The learning of this project was that users always expecting to find the feature they are looking for immediately. The "don't make me think" rule! I was focused on integrating the "Budgets" feature seamlessly for the existing customers. But, I forgot the aspect that every new feature means unknown for every user. Feedbacks from users showed me exactly this problem: any features that would take more than 1 step to find, causes frustration. But, It was a great learning experience by making mistakes.​