The objective of the project was to design an interface that offered the functionality to help the user with a specific problem. The problem had to be defined and possibly existing solutions had to be researched. The interface’s core functionality had to be determined and the concluded system architecture had to be tested on potential users. Ultimately, the functionality had to be packaged in a visual design that supported the functionality. The final solution had to be digital, restrictions as to the medium were not given.
Based on observations and research results from a former classmate, I intended to create an application that would help financial beginners, such as students or young professionals, to establish and maintain a financial budget. In contrast to existing solutions on the market, solution had to focus on making the steps to create a budget easy to understand. A reduced functionality should prevent the scariness and overwhelming feeling of having to handle one’s personal finances without the help of parents or similar advisors.
BDGT is an iPhone application that allows its users to keep track of their spending by connecting to their bank accounts and pulling information about their transactions. These transactions can then be categorized and assigned to specific budgets. Monthly budgets for categories can be set, as well as overall available income for the month. Based on research in literature on financial advice, spendings had to be broken down to monthly payments to make it easier to keep an overview of how the monthly income is split up.
The applications also allows users to set alerts for specific spendings habits, such as a low remaining budget in a category, allowing users to get instant reminders to stay disciplined with their spending habits. This aspect was the key indicator for the requirement of portability that led to the development of an iPhone application. A report functionality allows users to compare the spending per month both generally and per category.
Because the application is targeted towards a young audience, bright colors were used on top of a colored image of dollar bills. The application’s friendly color scheme was intended to add to the effect of taking away the scariness of handling one’s personal finances for the first time. At the same time, the color coding of graphs allows for an immediate orientation within the application’s interface.