Sending money abroad, painlessly.

Brief: Design screens for Transaction History and Transaction Status

Whilst interviewing for a product designer role at a fin-tech company, I was asked to design transaction history and status screens for an overseas money transfer product. I chose to design the screens on iOS and adopted the companies existing UI and branding style.

USER RESEARCH

I began by trawling the internet to find high-level data about overseas money transactions.  Based on the research I found, I created a quick persona to help understand the user I’m designing for.

Candice, 28

  • Sends money abroad to support family members in her home country of Italy. She sends small amounts frequently.
  • She works long shifts, so uses the app mostly on the bus to and from work. (short bursts)
  • Tech savvy and owns a smartphone (iOS)

By working out why the user would want to see their transaction history and status (through typical use cases/scenarios), I was able to figure out which content needed to be on the screen.

Whilst researching, I soon found out how personal the process of sending money to a loved one can be. Many people take joy in it because they feel like they are helpful.

USER FLOW

After doing a user flow I realized the direct connection between the two screens that I would be designing. I made sure to make it a seamless transition between the two.

A PHOTOGRAPHIC NETWORK

This concept shows a photographic network of people that the user has sent money to. The initial reasoning behind this idea was that people remember names far better than they remember dates due to a psychological process called ‘chunking’ (which is to do with the way the brain associates things). By clicking on the photo the user would reveal individual transactions ordered by most recent.

PROS

  • Reminds user of why they are doing it (grand scheme of things).
  • People remember names better than numbers, so could increase efficiency.
  • Use of images increases inclusivity amongst different cultures/ages

CONS

  • Too reliant on photos.
  • Is integrating photos feasible outside of an API login (with little to no effort from users)?
  • What about receivers that are sent money via home delivery or through a mobile top up?
  • What about receivers that don’t have a smartphone?
  • Could potentially take up a lot of screen real estate

NAMES OVER PHOTOS

This idea is similar to the first concept but instead relies on a name as the primary identifier. Once tapped it would open as an accordion displaying the payments that were last sent. I also explored the concept of having an indicator of how many payments someone has sent. Because this could help Candice keep a record of the payments she’s sent

PROS

  • Reminds user of why they are doing it (grand scheme of things).
  • People remember names better than numbers, so could increase efficiency.
  • Use of images increases inclusivity amongst different cultures/ages

CONS

  • Too reliant on photos.
  • Is integrating photos feasible outside of an API login (with little to no effort from users)?
  • What about receivers that are sent money via home delivery or through a mobile top up?
  • What about receivers that don’t have a smartphone?
  • Could potentially take up a lot of screen real estate

CONNECTING HISTORY TO STATUS

I explored methods of creating a link to the transaction status screen that I was also designing. If the Transaction History showed a small indicator of the status of the transaction it would be perfect for the short bursts of time that Candice uses the app in. I organised the data by what a user would prioritise the most – The status of a transaction, the amount and the date it was sent.

ORGANISATION FOR LONG TERM USERS

The average person uses the same bank provider for 17 years before they consider switching. With the hope that it could be a similar case for a remittance provider, I made sure to explore ways to better facilitate long-term users through better organisation. A tabbed system for years seemed to work best out of all the concepts because Candice wouldn’t have to scroll to the bottom of the page to access a transaction from 2015. But, it would depend on research to make it truly suitable (ie. how often do users send money to an individual?)

ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL

Whilst brainstorming, I realised that users would mostly check a transaction status not because they want to know where it is but instead because they want to know how long until it reaches the destination. An estimated time of arrival would save the user making guesses and assumptions, it would also help them to establish what’s normal or not.

I also established that sending money is quite personal. The transaction status screen would be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate this. The first concept shows how it could work in an illustrative format, however, a major tradeoff would be efficiency which wouldn’t suit the users’ lifestyle of using the app in short bursts. I was aware that there would potentially be a lot of data available to the user whilst status tracking, so I designed the each status to be minimised when not in use. This way only a bite-sized amount of information was being presented. Part of the journey could be shown through the use of illustration. This would be a compromise between the two extremes. I then worked through each screen to ensure that there was a positive transition between them

A SUMMARY OF THE FINAL DESIGN

  • Transaction History is ordered by who the user sent money to rather than when they sent it.
  • The user is able to see transaction status at a glance.
  • Tabs to better organise history for long term users.
  • Estimated Time of Arrival for better transparency.

OUTCOME

The company loved this response. After presenting, I was told that out of all the applicants’ none had approached this brief in the same way as I had done and I was offered the position!