Doni inc. is a financial technology web and mobile application targeting Generation Z. Their app, Doni, was created to allow users to reach financial goals together with friends in a fun, social, and effective way. 

Project Overview

Doni reached out to General Assembly looking for assistance in the re-design and gamification of their application. Our goal was to introduce elements that would expand the user base of the application and introduce more social elements to encourage greater collaboration. 

Maintaining consistent contact with the Doni development team located in Romania we utilized a variety of skills and tools including:

  • Heuristic Analysis

  • Client Interviews

  • Survey Development, Distribution, and Analysis

  • User Testing

  • Affinity Mapping

  • MVP Diagram

  • Sketching & Ideation

Heuristic Analysis

In order to properly prepare the group for working with the Doni application, we first had to familiarize ourselves with the current version. To do this we conducted a heuristic evaluation while exploring the application as a group. In order to avoid bringing any of our own design biases into play we used Jakob Neilson's user interface design heuristics.

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Above is an example of each of the 8 heuristics found within the application

(we did not find any heuristic inconsistencies for the final two)

Survey & Client Interview

To gain a better understanding of how Generation Z behaves; we conducted a survey utilizing our respective networks for age appropriate responses. Meanwhile, after completing the heuristic analysis of the existing application we reached out to the company stakeholders and development team with some questions designed to fine tune our role and responsibilities. 

Survey Questions:
  • How do you currently save money for an expensive item you are interested in?

  • Who would you ask for contributions to a goal item from?

  • How much control do you want over the gifts you receive?

  • Do you and/or your friends plan special occasions for one another?

Client Interview Questions:
  • What are your long term goals for this application?

  • What are your main task flows?

  • Who do you see as your company's biggest competitors?

  • What is your current plan to gamify the existing navigation of the application?

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With 1 being none and 5 being total control, we found that the majority of people want control over the gifts they receive

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Also the majority of people plan events for one another

Additional Findings

  • 87% of people would ask their family for contributions

  • 67% of people would ask their friends for contributions

  • Of the people who plan events for one another, many use some form of text or online communication

The data collected from the survey confirmed Doni's current strategy. It showed that Gen Z did have and invested interest in controlling what gifts they received, they will source their networks to finance their goals, and they have already used platforms similar to Doni to plan events for one another. Given the data, as long as Doni can keep users engaged with the platform they should be able to capitalize on Gen Z's financial goals.

User Testing

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Meet the 4 Generation Z users who tested the existing Doni application for us

Using the App

We asked the participants to complete several tasks within the application collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. Quantitative questions were based on a scale of 1(hard, bad, etc) to 7(good, easy, etc) such as:

  • How easy/difficult was it for you to complete this task?

  • How relevant was this task for what you normally do?

  • How satisfied are you with the app after completing this task?

Post App

The final step was to ask the participants some follow up questions regarding their overall experience with the application:

  • What are one or two things you liked about the application?

  • What are one or two things you didn't like about the application?

  • Is there anything missing from the application that you would like to see added?

Affinity Map: Key Findings

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The Good:
The Bad:
  • Having the ability to sign in with Facebook

  • The color scheme

  • The idea of fundraising with their network

  • Being able to see who donated the money

  • Unclear wording in some sections of the app

  • Desire for a home/landing screen

  • Savings slider was unclear, users thought it was limiting the amount that could be raised

  • Desire for goal option longer than 3 months

  • Desire for a photo feature

From the affinity map we were able to narrow down the scope of the project to focus on the features that users wanted to see in the application:

  • Home screen

  • Tutorial

  • Video recording/sharing

  • Direct messaging 

  • Sharing contributions on social media

  • Clear verbiage

  • Automatic contributions

  • "Friends" feature within the app

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With the assistance of the development team we were able to scale features from high effort to low effort

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Sketching & Ideation

In order to ensure we stayed on task when designing our prototypes moving forward we detailed 5 design principles to keep at the forefront of our minds while we worked:

  1. Keep users connected with friends

  2. Engage users with multiple functions

  3. Allow users to express their identity through functions of the app

  4. Keep it clear and simple

  5. Help users reach their goals faster

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Above is the basic outline of the wishlist and goal creation process of the paper prototype

Paper Prototype: User Testing Round 1

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Even in expanding our Gen Z user testers, we continued to receive negative reactions to the slider method for setting goal and savings amounts

Users were happy to have options for adding videos and descriptions to their goals but wanted more options for sharing their story externally

Users were disconcerted and surprised by a service charge only mentioned upon goal completion when the user tried to withdraw their funds

Medium Fidelity Prototype: User Testing Round 2

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Users were pleased to discover they could now share their fundraising stories outside the app itself

Users still found some of the language used in the app to be confusing but overwhelmingly responded that they would return to the app and tell their friends about it as well

Users appreciated the added tutorial but wanted the option to skip it and figure out the app through trial and error

Evolution of Screens

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All users preferred to enter their values manually rather than using the slider so it was removed completely

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Users wanted to be forewarned about the 3.5% service fee to withdraw funds, so we included it on the goal creation page. This prevented any last minute surprises that might turn users off from returning.

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Next Steps

While user testing was the backbone of our design strategy during the two month contract with Doni, if given more time and resources I'd focus on more detail oriented and broader reaching tasks such as:

  • Competitive analysis between Doni and its closest competitors

    • Complete a heuristic analysis of the competitors​

  • Conduct user research focusing on the parental involvement of the application's user base of primarily minors

  • Use less heavily monitored observational studies to ensure functional viability in the field

  • Spend more time on the creation and testing of the app's home page including its social and competitive features