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ux design, user research

Chase Bank

Adding a new feature to an existing application and brand

Project

Capstone for UX Academy

Project Duration

4 weeks

My Role

UX/UI Designer

The Challenge

Chase Bank is one of the largest banks in the U.S., serving over half of America's households. Through their research, they discovered that younger generations are using their mobile phones more often than desktop. They also found that 71% of American households are involved in very light financial planning. To help empower the lives of their customers, Chase wants to expand on their personal finance management capabilities on their mobile app.

The Goal

Conduct research to discover opportunities for Chase Bank to expand on their finance management capabilities. Then, test and integrate the new features, including a spending tracker and savings goal feature, into the Chase Bank mobile app.

This is a speculative project completed for educational purposes.

💡

How might I provide millennials with a way to easily save money
and keep better track of their finances?

Research & Synthesis

To determine opportunities, the research phase began with a lot of secondary research, including competitive analysis and market research. To discover how users managed their personal finances currently, a user survey was created and user interviews were conducted.

Research Goals

  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of personal finance management tools
  • Identify how users currently manage their personal finances and why
  • Identify user needs and pain points when it comes to managing their finances

Market Research

Chase wants to add in a new feature that will improve the lives of their customers. How will a competitor analysis help with this? I discovered what features personal finance management applications have and gained a better understanding of the current market. By comparing personal finance management software and applications, I identified their strengths and weaknesses. I could also gather data about the general affinity for each application by reading reviews, articles, and more. However, I was limited to the Google Play Store during my research.

Takeaways

After examining competitor applications, I discovered:

  • Chase is the most downloaded banking app on the Google PlayStore
  • Wells Fargo and Bank of America have spending tracker, budgeting, and savings goal features integrated into their mobile app currently
  • Mint is a free app that integrates all accounts from various banks to track spending and budgets
  • YNAB and Quicken are paid apps, but offer unique services such as finance education features and investment tracking

User Survey

A user survey was created and sent out via various channels including social media, the Designlab community, and the Design Buddies community. It targeted customers of Chase Bank with the goal of identifying user attitudes towards the mobile banking app and recruiting interview participants. 9 total responses were received.

Survey Findings

  • 77% of participants use the Chase Bank mobile app
  • 71% of those that use the app use the it weekly while 29% use it every 2-3 months
  • 57% of those that use the app use it primarily for monitoring account activity

User Interviews

To gain a better understanding of the user, I conducted 1:1 interviews. Due to time and location restraints, I interviewed 7 people ages 24-53 that are or were customers of Chase Bank from a variety of backgrounds. The sample was limited to friends, family, and classmates. The interviews were focused on gaining insight on how people currently manage their personal finances.

Insights

  • Participants valued a painless finance experience, saving time and effort, and convenience
  • Paint points included lack of motivation, financial stress, and distrust in mobile banking
  • None of the participants actively use personal finance management apps, instead some use spreadsheets, pen and paper, or find that banking websites provide them with enough information
  • All participants utilize auto-transfer and auto-pay for their savings and bills due to convenience

Personas & User Journey Maps

From the beginning, I knew that Chase wanted to target Millennials due to their previous research. But, I still wanted to use my research to validate any assumptions and previous research. Through the user interviews, I was able to craft two personas to represent our target user.

Instead of creating empathy maps, I chose to create retrospective user journey maps. I created one map for each persona based on the journey of saving money for a trip. Illustrating the current user journey revealed the pain points and potential opportunities for us to improve the current experience.

Pain Points & Opportunities

  • Users find it frustrating to track their finances due to the process being time consuming
  • Constantly having to check in on their finances while saving for specific goals to make sure they are on track
  • Figuring out how much money to save and if it is realistic can be challenging to determine

Define & Ideate

With the main problems laid out, it was time to determine what new features I wanted to create in order to improve the lives of our users. I came up with these solutions to the pain points:

  • Savings Goal feature: to provide people with more control and accountability for their savings, while completing calculations and giving them the option to automatically transfer money without worry.
  • Weekly and Monthly Expense Report feature: to provide users with an easy-to-understand breakdown of their weekly and monthly spending habits with automatically sorted categories

However, in the midst of my research, Chase Bank ended up integrating their own Spending Summary feature that broke down users' spending into categories. After some thought and analysis, I discovered opportunities for improvement for the feature and decided to make changes instead of creating an entirely new feature.

Opportunities

  • Include the breakdown of spending transactions on the Spending Summary main page
  • Add colors to differentiate each category
  • Include a Weekly Summary option for those that prefer to review their finances weekly

App Architecture

Due to the limitations of the project, I did not have access to Chase Bank's app architecture. But, I still wanted to visualize where these new features would fit in the app. I recreated the app architecture to the best of my ability based on assumption and my own analysis of the app through personal use.

Task & User Flows

To determine how the features might be used, I chose to create a task and user flow. Both showcase the same journey as the journey maps; the process of saving for a Europe trip, but this time with the new features that we had in mind.

Design & Branding

Wireframes

With the features and architecture defined, it was time to design the wireframes. I started off by sketching a bunch of sketches for all the screens needed for each feature. Out of those, I created mid-fi wireframes using Figma. After receiving feedback from my mentor and classmates, I iterated the design as I moved into creating the prototype with higher fidelity UI design.

Prototyping & Testing

Before the first round of usability testing, testing goals had to be determined. I crafted a usability test plan and created a high-fidelity Figma prototype for remote testing. It was important to test whether my design decisions were easy to understand and use. I recruited 6 participants and gave them tasks over Zoom to complete with specific scenarios using the prototype. I observed their behaviors, thought processes, and gathered feedback to use to aid future iterations.

Objectives

  • Test users' understanding of the new features
  • Test how intuitive it is for users to utilize and discover the features
  • Test how easy it is for users to create a Savings Goal

Tasks

  1. Check your spending using the Spending Summary
  2. Create a Savings Goal

Results

Task Completion Rate

100%

Task Error-Free Rate

66%

When exploring the Spending Summary, majority of test participants wanted to know what the categories meant and it was not obvious how to find that information. Majority of participants also thought that the title of the Savings Goal was interactive due to its similar appearance to the Spending Summary tab. While creating a Savings Goal, some participants wanted to be able to input how much they wanted to save monthly or weekly instead of setting a total goal.  

The information and feedback gathered from the usability tests allowed me to create an affinity map! This helped me figure out common problems that could be fixed in future iterations.

Key Takeaways

  • Participants could not get enough information from the Spending Summary, it took too many taps to view the breakdown and some participants didn't notice the View Breakdown button
  • The Savings Goal section was not distinguishable enough from the Spending Summary
  • Pricing was not noticeable, despite being an important factor for decision making
  • The Weekly Summary is not as important and all participants preferred the Monthly Summary

Final Prototype

Main Changes

  • Added a legend for the spending categories on the main page of the Spending Summary
  • Merged the Monthly and Weekly Summary into one, with the Monthly Summary as the default
  • Created multiple Savings Goal pathways to allows users to input how much they want to save monthly or weekly to see how much they will save over time

Conclusion

This project was challenging. It came with its curveballs and I had to pivot and think fast along the way. It was a great learning experience.

Next Steps

If I was given more time to complete the project, these would be my next steps:

  • Conduct another round of usability testing to test the new Savings Goal pathways
  • Create an onboarding flow for both of the new features and test it

Lessons Learned

  • I learned how to pivot quickly if conflicts or issues arise in the midst of a project.
  • Learned how to work within the restraints of an existing application and brand.
  • Testing and feedback is key to creating an effective design that appeals to the target user.
View Final Prototype