Kids banking app - Personal project
Parents struggle to find the time to save money and spend wisely. Kids can learn quickly and easily along side their parents, with the right guidance. Imagine a banking app that provides parents with the help they need to teach kids about saving and spending, as well as giving them the flexibility to set limits where they need to.
The goal of this project was to conduct an exercise in UX thinking and visual design for a children's banking app, to be validated in the future.
Imaginary bank has joint accounts as part of their services. Joint accounts allow for the primary account holder to share their funds with a joint account holder.
The goal is to introduce Parent/Child features which allow the whole family to utilize the Imaginary Banking App as their main household banking app.
- A parent will be able to set a budget and transfer the funds into the child account
- A parent will be able to set limits for child accounts and monitor spending and saving
- A child will be able to learn “How to save before I spend” habit
- A child will be able to learn more about budgeting and be able to request money if they need it
Initial User Assumptions
Parent - Primary Account Holder
Who are they?
- Parents with children under 18
- Caregivers of adult dependents
- Decide how much money a child has access to
- Set spending limits: daily, per purchase
- Help dependents learn better saving habits
- Evaluate spending habits of dependents
- Set recommended budget?
- Add / remove dependents from account
Child - Dependant Account Holder
Who are they?
- Children, young adults under 18
- Adult with disabilities or in need of financial support
- Freedom to make purchases with ‘their own money’
- Learn how to save money
- Set/see spending limits: daily, per purchase
- Learn better spending habits
- Request money from parent
- Set daily/weekly/monthly budget
Parents may have a range of concerns, goals, technical comfort, and social situations. I created two parent personas to demonstrate the need for flexibility of the application, where parents may want to set higher or lower restrictions for a child account.
Children may come from a broad age range, education level, and tech confidence. I created two child personas to demonstrate completely different goals based on the stage of life they are in, and the possible diversity in their wants and needs.
I began ideating by mapping out potential workflows, assuming that both parent and child accounts have been set up already. I mapped out the following segments to begin formulating questions I may have about what functionality might be included in the app:
- Learning to save
- Budgeting / spending goals
Ideation & Mockups
For the purposes of this exercise, I focused on the younger child persona - Jessica Vail and her mother, Cindy.
In the first image below, imagine that Jessica's Mom, Cindy, is signed into her account. She has switched views so that she is now viewing Jessica's joint account. In this initial screen, there are several things she can do to manage Jessica's account:
- View Jessica's spending habits, including transactions and how she spends her money
- Send a one-time transfer; showing the last deposit to allow the user at-a-glance information
- Manage recurring deposits; showing the current recurring transfer setup
- Manage spending limits for the child account; showing an empty state
The subsequent screens provide a snapshot of each activity, showcasing how each might work. The goal of this first round of ideation was to keep the tasks simplified, and provide the user with enough information to make a decision about their next action without having to navigate away from this screen.
When designing for the 6-12 age range for Jessica, I needed to consider reading level, reducing the number of actions that can be performed, and injecting a little bit of fun into the app. When a parent creates a joint account, they can include the child's age group during registration, providing customized content, language and look and feel for this age group within their app experience.
Learning to save money
In order to help kids learn to save, they can set goals within the app. By tapping on "Help me save money" in the home screen, they will navigate to a section of the app that allows them to set goals in three ways:
- Save before I spend - learning to save
- Limit my spending - planning how much to spend
- Decide how I spend - set goals around what they can spend on
In the "Save before I spend" flow, the child can set a savings goal in a few simple steps. They must name their goal to identify what they are saving for, enter the amount they want to save, and set a date to complete their goal. They may add an interval, like weekly, that will allow the application to calculate how much they need to save over time. In the final screen, they are provided with a summary of their goal in plain english, and a calculation of how much they must save based on their set interval.
When the goal is set, they can now see a summary of their progress towards this goal, including how much they have saved and how much more they need to save to achieve this goal.
From the same goals screen, the child can now decide to plan how much money they spend over time. They can decide on a maximum amount to spend and an interval to associate with this limit. For example, a child may decide they want to spend no more than $20 a week. Once this goal is set, analytics will be displayed over time to help them understand when they have achieved their goal or missed the mark.
Learning to Budget and Requesting Funds
Providing kids with a way to learn more about budgeting is a value proposition of the app. Parents don't always have time to teach their kids, and don't always know how to educate them about budgeting. This section of the app provides kids with access to videos about saving and budgeting, but also ties in any goals they may have set for saving and spending to help them learn based on their own behaviours.
One last possible feature would be a quick way for kids to request money from the primary account holder. A simple request form allowing the child to enter the amount they are requesting will trigger a notification to the primary account holder. The primary account holder could accept and send the funds as requested, accept and modify the amount they send, or decline the request and provide a reason.
I ended this research and ideation exercise with more questions than I had answers. Future plans include additional user interviews to determine the validity of the features and functionality provided, and to hone the workflows and designs based on user feedback.