Your loyal finances watchdog

Contextually-Aware mobile companion that easily and effortless guides you towards financial literacy.

Oscar is a Personal Finances app that helps users to care more about their spending habits by promoting awareness that certain behaviours carry implications not immediately transparent to them. OSCAR is, in a sense, a learning tool, both fun and approachable while being serious about financial literacy and financial "health" awareness.​​

OSCAR's superpowers

Opportunity Notification
Guided experience 
Rewarding users 
OSCAR can provide you with guided and clear instructions, when better behaviours are available.
Users get rewarded when they follow or proacively make better decisions. (Behaviour Modeling)
OSCAR provides users with smartwatch notifications, based on context, in order to promote good financial behaviour changes.
Approachable avatar
Follow your goals
Difficulty increase
A cartoonish avatar will try to keep the user on track while being easy to connect and prevent the user from feeling judged.
User is ultimately engaged into setting their own goals, and with special enphasis on long-term commitments.
As the user starts to regularly adopt better behaviours OSCAR will step it up, advancing to long-term strategies.

OSCAR Overview

Mobile and wearable touchpoints
OSCAR high-level process
OSCAR provides users with a mobile application and a companion app for a wearable (smartwatch).
OSCAR needs to connect to a user's account to track and provide insightful data to users, to ultimately aid users achieve financial literacy.

Design Process

Design prompt

​​The prompt for this project was for us to delve into designing the future of banking. 
We began to address the problems with the existing banking infrastructure, for this we conducted several user interviews, from diferent backgrounds, to understand their perceptions and struggles when it concerns to their  financial goals, savings, investments, trust and daily banking needs.

Methodologies and customer typology

After collating and analysing the interviews and other methodologies (semi-structured interviews, competitive analysis, concept maps, stakeholder maps) we started to envison several solutions which led us to design this focused solution. We opted to build for a specific customer typology, we designed towards those that stand to gain significantly more from an updated approach to their financial literacy: the millenials.

Insights to permiate our designs
The users we interviewed expressed a desire to save money, but lacked any concrete culture of thinking financially in terms of goals (such as buying a home or car, or saving for newborn), they don't feel motivated to do so. 
Our literature review and secondary research (behaviour modeling strategies) also revealed that millenials value adaptation, and their financial strategy must accommodate that. Thus, our project was scoped: designing an adaptive application that motivates millenials to develop smarter spending habits with minimal effort. 

Ideation and Concept Validation

After getting our data accommodated from research phase, we began ideating different ways to provide our users with an engaging and  motivating solution to teach on how to save without feeling overly didactic.
We sketched and brainstormed many different ideas, and created storyboards which we then used to speed date with users in order to validate the concepts. 

Brainstorming sketches and design ideas

Through speed dating and informal interview we found that our users responded most positively to the watchdog concept: and so Goldie (later on OSCAR) was born.
Goldie  is a digital companion that alerts users about money-saving opportunities at tthe precise occasion, so user can act upon the given information (i.e. while using an ATM with a fee or overpaying for an item).

In addition to alerts, OSCAR gives feedback on the user's financial behaviors, by showing negative or positive emotions to qualify the behaviour, thus reinforcing certain actions to condition smarter saving habits. From the interviews, users feel less judged when we switch from an antropomorphic avatar to a loyal canine avatar.

Goldie speed dating storyboard

Stepping it up

OSCAR is imbued with the premisse of gradual financial literacy. Through time and with evidence that users are improving and setting goals, OSCAR starts suggesting users to adopt behaviours that carry more commitment and responsability over time.

OSCAR conceptual learning curve for user progress and difficulty increase milestones

Prototyping and User Testing

We set to validate our concept: OSCAR (results from speed dating Goldie). We used low-fidelity mockups, and we created a styroform wearable device, as it is OSCAR's main touchpoint.

​We began wireframing ideas for desktop, mobile phone, and smart watch -- a requirement for this brief. We defined the possible interactions for each platform based on each platform's strengths: notifications for smartwatch, in-depth analysis for desktop, and somewhere in between for mobile phone.

OSCAR multi-platform resources and abilities

Prototype testing with real users

When we've designed enough wireframes to walk participants through a scenario of withdrawing cash from an ATM, we created paper prototypes to test OSCAR in its form more concretely.

Users report interaction being non-intrusive, useful, and fun, but not all is roses, we also discovered some concerns: the notification was ambiguous, and in the event where users make a poor financial decision, they felt bad for upsetting OSCAR.

  1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
  4. Managing Director

User testing with wearable styroform wearable device with paper prototype

Hi-Fi and Testing

After we've been through another round of validation of our wireframes to be intuitive and useful, we began creating higher fidelity prototypes.
We addressed earlier feedback by adding visual elements (color, character animation and emotional cues) that clarified OSCAR's messaging and behaviour.  We additionally refined the emotional feedback of OSCAR's avatar (an adult golden retriver, in honour of Goldie) to be more user-friendly. We later packaged these into clickable prototypes (using inVision) for additional testing.

We found that users' attachment to OSCAR, motivates them to keep it happy. Something we called "tamagotchi effect" (lack of better description, and for fun).

inVision prototypes