Fieco is a mobile application designed to help user manage their financial resources as well as educate them about financial concepts. The app encouragse users to search relevant investments options aligned with their goals, improve financial knowledge and control personal financial accounts. Primary users of this app are young adults, who manage their own finances.
Most young adults in India find it difficult to save money due to insufficient knowledge about investments and other basic financial concepts. The idea of setting up financial goals and investing towards them by understanding the various financial aspects makes it a very challenging task. Additionally, the complexity to explore the right investment options and actually investing makes it a very time consuming process.
Therefore, the challenge was to create an application that will help improve financial literacy of the users, encourage users to explore better investment options and allow users to efficiently control their personal financial resources.
#1 Context Study
I started my research by studying the concept of financial literacy in India. I researched about the topic on the web and read few articles related to it.
Financial Literacy Scenario in India
Financially literacy is a term coined for ability to understand how to make sound financial choices to confidently manage and grow your financial resources. This is not very widely discussed topic, but is one of the most crucial and essential life skill for a population of a developing country like India.
Percentage of Indian Population is Financially Illiterate
Percentage of urban indian population that does not have a financial plan for their future
Percentage of Indian population that does not know how to access credit facilities
Percentage of Indian population that is unaware of their credit score
Percentage of earnings spent on current expenses by the Urban Indian population
#2 Surveying users
After my preliminary research, I wanted to confirm few assumptions about the topic. Therefore, I created a Google form and sent it within my network. It helped confirm few assumptions and gave additional insights that helped me set the direction for the project.
Source: Google Forms survey. Based on responses from 31 participants
Insights from the Survey
1 - Lack of awareness about managing personal finances
77.4% participants manage their own finance yet 71% do not have any knowledge about managing them.
2 - Investments are not aligned to financial goals
80% participants believe financial investments are very important yet 74.2% of them do not know if their investments are aligned with their goals.
3 - Searching investment options without knowledge is very complicated
64.5% participants do not find it easy to search for investment options.
4 - Lack of financial literacy in youth can be challenging for a country
92% participants were in the age group of 18-35 years. It was surprising to know that this age group that was suppose to be the most educated, skilled and technologically advanced lacked financial literacy.
#3 Created User Groups
Based on the survey and few personal interviews, I decided to create 3 distinct user groups because it was difficult to select a specific user, as the concept of financial management is very subjective. The idea was to create specific functions for the app based on group requirements
The Worried one
Constantly worried and insecure about his finances and concerned about saving them for his family
The Lazy one
Has sufficient financial resources and does not really bother much about managing them
The Smart one
Very much aware about his goals and has planned his finances accordingly
Prefers to save the money through traditional means like fixed deposits, Gold, etc. Does not have much financial knowledge, hence does not like to experiment
Earns money through business and does not worry much about investment options. Prefers to invest in familiar options like real estates, Gold and other businesses
Likes to take calculated risks. Prefers to keep aligning his financial investments with his goals through professional guidance
Likes to keep money safe and does not want to venture much into investment
Prefers to invest in traditional investment option within community based on friends and family advice
Likes to explore new options and open to experiment with various investment opportunities
Easy to understand
Less Time Consuming
#4 Defining the App Functions
To define the app functions that will help me design specific screens. I created 3 groups by combing 3 requirements (one from each user group) that aligned under a common theme. This helped me define 3 main functions of the app.
Easy to understand
Educate and assist users with financial management
Help in searching new & suitable investment options
Less Time Consuming
Allow users to view and control personal finances
#5.1 Ideating Information Architecture
Based on the 3 core functions of the app, I started Ideating the information architecture on paper. I sketched the app workflow on paper to be very clear about my concept. This exercise helped me clear my thoughts and be specific on what is required for designing the screens.
#5.2 Building Information Architecture
Based on my paper ideation, I created a clean and well defined version of the information architecture. This helped me align and accommodate changes before designing the wireframes.
#6 High-fidelity Wireframing
Based on the information Architecture, I created high-fidelity wireframes because I spent lot of time in research and information architecture. I wanted to create a playful, engaging and unique interaction for the home screen to encourage users to explore and interact more with the features. My goal to help user get familiar with financial concepts by fidgeting and exploring the application through interactions.
#7 Style Guide
I wanted to have a dark theme for the application to create a curious mood for the user which will encourage him to explore the content more and enjoy the experience.
The Logo Story.
As Fi-eco is an application which acts as a platform for all the financial needs and demands, I decided to have a very bold base which would resemble a platform. I decided on circular shape because it potrays the idea of motion and movement in a procedural pattern thereby conveying that the platform is about elements that are in constant motion and interaction around the user. Hence, the user is denoted with a strong distinct color to reflect the user centric principles of the application.
Enter your PAN Number.
As soon as you launch the application, the user needs to enter their PAN number, which will help the application identify link relevant financial data.
Verify your Details.
Once the PAN number is approved, the application will ask you to register your biometrics to secure your access and the data.
Control. Your Finances
This is the home screen of the application. The screen has info cards that give daily financial tips, scheme infos, introduces new financial terms, etc. The idea with info cards is to educate user with new information everyday. The screen also features a joystick interface to access main 4 features of the app.
The joystick interface is designed to give a unique experience to toggle between features. The idea was to incorporate a fun fidgeting element in the dashboard that urges users to interact in playful way and retains their curiosity to further explore the content.
The user has possibilities to search or read quickly about complicated financial terms or concepts through app's own financial dictionary that can be accessed through the search feature.
The user can stay up-to-date with financial news and updates. Additionally, the user can read financial blogs, market trading insights and ask queries to other users through the advisor feature.
The app has a notification prompt that pops up incase of any critical news, updates or information related to user's financial resources
Invest. with Ease
Portfolio feature of the application displays various investment options categorized as per the type of investment. The user can read about the schemse and decide to invest quickly by pressing the 'Invest' CTA button.
The app shows user's his personal portfolio and the type of investments made by him that are linked to his PAN card. Additionally, the app prompts suggestions through info cards to help the user improve their portfolio.
When the user links his PAN card with the application, the app retrieves information about all the accounts that linked to the PAN. This lets user view all the accounts and necessary details related to them.
Every transaction related to expenses done through the linked accounts is tracked by the application and automatically filtered in categories to help the user track the expenses and maintain it within set budget.