• Sole Researcher & UX/UI Designer 👨🔬
• 3/8/21 - 4/21/21 📈
• Figma, Miro, Pen and Paper ✍️
• iPhone X / 11 📱
• Competitor Research & Analysis
• Design Research
• User Research / Outreach
• Persona Development
• User Flows
• Lofi & Hifi Wireframing
• Usability Testing and Interviews
Freelancers have a hard time managing their variable income and are paid in several different ways.
Some freelancers have multiple services they can offer clients. So how do they keep track of their earnings? Why does it matter to track your income? Bit of a rhetorical question 🙃, but budgeting, variable income & taxes are a few big reasons.
So what's the solution to this problem?
Well for starters, it's taking into account the income streams. Freelancers are often paid via Venmo, Paypal, and Cashapp. Doesn't that income matter to freelancers too when it comes to knowing where they stand financially right now?
Get an overview of net income, as well as total income/expenses for any given month
Transactions from the 3 most popular digital payment methods...
linked to 1 app
Mark any transaction as an income or expense, then categorize it
View the income/expense breakdown for each freelance service offered
SKETCHING + HYPOTHESIZING
I began by sketching some ideas using the crazy eights method
Before designing anything, I went to pen and paper. The goal was to explore various problems freelancers deal with and I had some ideas before even beginning research into this topic.
RESEARCH + NARROWING IN ON THE PROBLEM
I can relate...
• For the past 5 years, I’ve been a freelancer as well as a professional touring music producer. I understand the struggle of hustling with multiple gigs at the same time.
A simple solution
• There are a lot of features to possibly include, but I’ve learned from my past projects that “feature creep” is far too enticing and it ultimately can hurt the ux.
SYNTHESIS + HYPOTHESIS CONFIRMED
The biggest takeaway: 100% of the freelancers confirmed they are regularly paid via Cash App, Paypal, and/or Venmo 😲
1) Current budgeting apps overlook the most common ways some users like freelancers get paid!
2) A way to categorize projects would be a huge plus
3) My participants would love to know their current financial state at any given time
There were several rounds of iterating during the lofi stage.
• Pie chart design for income/expenses
• Link credit cards and view balance
• Bar graph for monthly view
• Scratched the pie chart
• Replaced bar chart w/ line graph
• Eliminated monthly drop down menu
• Added “view by category” screen
This color palette was fun to work with!
I initially added a swipe-left feature to “mark as expense”.
This was a fun experiment with interaction design.
But it wasn’t very intuitive to the participants. 😅
And that's okay, it was worth it!
TESTING + REVISIONS
The usability tests lead to 3 major changes.
• Scratched the bullet chart on home screen & moved left/right slider bar to the top
• Added animation for positive reinforcement after categorizing a transaction as income or expense
• Deleted the swipe-left interaction, added “mark as expense” to match “mark as income”
Check out the Figma prototype below.
CONCLUSION + LESSONS LEARNED
What I learned/what I will do differently in the future.
1) Be prepared for lots of iteration. I was reminded (again 😅) that you don’t just end up with the final product on the first try. It takes many different sketches and lofi designs before landing on something that’s worth developing more.
2) Testing on targeted users requires time and patience, but it’s worth it. The best way to be on track before going too deep on UI is to confirm the you're solving the right problem. This is done by testing multiple, highly targeted participants.
3) Design with intent. If a design wasn’t solving a problem, I scrapped it. Sometimes simplicity offers more value. On this project, I tried to embody that philosophy.
4) Embracing humility and maintaining an open mind are essential to do the best work possible. I have met regularly with an incredibly helpful mentor who happens to be the Lead UX Designer for Gmail. When he has feedback for me, even if I don’t like it at first sometimes, you better believe I listen!
Thanks for reading!
Please take a look at my other projects below.