PROJECT

Helping users easily track, manage and split their household bills

Designing an innovative split billing feature that allows users to easily track and manage their shared utility bills.

View the prototype >>
Year

Sept-Oct 2020

(6 Week Sprint)

CLIENT

noobill

Deliverables

Solution (Website)

Solution (App)

Research Artefacts

Concept & Mockup

ROLE

UX/UI Design

UX Design Lead

UX Research & Synthesis

Workshop Facilitator

User Flow

Information Architecture

Branding

UX Copywriting

Prototyping & Testing

Tools

Adobe XD

Figma

Photoshop

Miro

Zoom

CASE STUDY

Split billing, made easy.

noobill is an Australian fintech startup based in Melbourne that is applying mobile and AI technology to redesign how people receive and manage their utility bills.

noobill approached my team with a brief to design a split bill feature that would work in co-ordination with its price comparison tool and utility provider transfer service. My role on this project was as lead, working alongside three UX Designers to deliver the project.

The split bill feature would allow users to allocate a percentage of a utility bill to individuals within their household, and enable users to pay portions of their bills at frequencies they choose (as noobill would pay the bills upfront).

The primary deliverables were to identify users, their needs and frustrations, their current methodologies and to deliver a split billing prototype.

Project considerations and constraints

  • Six weeks from brief to delivery
  • Deliver a prototype that could be built by the dev team within one month
  • Only one person (the primary user) can set up split rules (i.e. set up a split bill)
  • Must allow users to decline or terminate a split bill
  • Determine how non-payment should be managed
  • No fund transfers between users in-app

Defining the problem

The team began by reframing the information the client provided regarding what the perceived needs of users were. We hypothesised the following problem statement.

Exploration into the user

To begin our research, the team decided on an online survey as it allowed us to gather information at scale. The survey was designed to collect quantitative data on users habits and experiences paying for ongoing household bills, particularly in relation to their shared rental and utility bills. In total, we collected 57 survey responses within a five day period.

While awaiting survey responses, the team conducted a competitive analysis of the market. We analysed four major noobill competitors, documenting their standard and auxiliary features, strengths, weaknesses and any gaps/opportunities that we could address with our design solution.

The team also conducted seven interviews to collect qualitative information on users split billing methodologies, behaviours and experiences.

Findings and insights

Affinity Map

Once the team had collected a sufficient amount of responses, we cumulated the information to group and examine key themes, documenting our findings in an affinity map. The affinity map helped the team to accurately identify our target users, their frustrations and the needs that were not being addressed with their current split bill methodologies.

Other important findings

  • Visibility and transparency over household bills and the status of payments is valuable and would reduce follow-ups.
  • Accurately tracking bills, expenses and payments and reimbursements is a source of difficulty and frustration for users.
  • Trust is important as many users have one shared bank account to manage and pay bills.
  • Many users have experienced housemates not making payments on time or paying incorrect amounts.
  • Housemates can sometimes not have enough money to make a payment, subsequently an IOU situation arises.

The team categorised findings into an empathy map. From this map, we were able to empathise with our users and gain a clear picture of our their demographics, behaviours, needs and wants, and environment. Most importantly, the empathy map enabled us to create well-developed personas to design our split bill solution for.

Empathy Map

User personas

Based on our research, we confirmed that the client's target age group was 18 to 26 years old and went on to develop two personas that represented users bill splitting behaviours, attitudes and actions.

Primary & Secondary Personas


Next, the team developed a customer journey map for each persona. These personas enabled us to better understand our users' experiences with their current methodology for tracking and splitting shared bills. The visual representation of each touchpoint also allowed us to identify the points along the journeys that required improvement.

Primary & Secondary Journey Maps

Reframing the problem

During the discover phase of the design process, the team determined that the original problem statement did not properly reflect the real issue users were facing. We concluded that awkward conversations about money were not the problem. Instead, users were experiencing difficulty and frustration with accurately tracking shared bills and expenses and lacked visibility over reimbursements which resulted in manual and time consuming follow-ups.

Problem statement post research:

Housemates who feel unsure about the management of shared household bills want more visibility and control over the process but do not yet have a method that is easy and fully customisable to their needs.

Further to this, the team developed two 'how might we' questions that would facilitate our collaborative ideation sessions.

Creative ideation

The team used the HMWs as foundational questions to begin ideation. Using brainwriting and crazy eights techniques, we developed 36 possible solutions, placing each into an MVP Matrix to assess which would deliver the brief while also meeting the 1-month development time constraint. The team decided on nine solutions to present to the client via low fidelity designs, and, after a collaborative feedback session, moved forward with eight ideas that required modifications to align with noobill's current function and flows.

Design solutions:

  • Explainer screens: screens that capture the users attention and detail the benefits and the ways in which the noobill split function works.
  • Dual view: a dual view allows users to view and manage their bills on an individual level (via bill view) or holistically via the property view.
  • Property groups: groups allow users to view and manage their property expenses, savings and services all in the one place.
  • Property activity: a log of all property members activity.
  • Split service: a tool that allows users to select property members from their contact list, and, using an interactive sliding tool, easily assign a percentage or dollar amounts to each person, they can then invite members to join.
  • Customisable notifications: provides users with the power to choose what notifications they want.
  • Rainy day round-ups: a feature that allows users to set up additional amounts ($2, $5 or a custom amount) to be deducted from their bank accounts when repayments are made. This additional amount will be held by noobill for users to use the next time they are low in funds (this feature is set to go live on the noobill app in Dec 2020).
  • Gamification: Users reach milestones elected by noobill (i.e. setting up their payment information or making repayments on time) and are gifted with points that can be exchanged for reward offers through the app.

Low-fi Designs

User flows

As the split bill feature had to slip seamlessly into the noobill app, it was critical for us to document and understand all existing user flows before determining the flows for our design solution.

Once the team had clarity on the existing flows relevant and connected to the split bill feature. We designed three flows that went through an iterative process before determining the final version. The team designed a split bill flow for the primary and secondary users, as well as a user profile flow to present the gamification, rainy day round-ups and customisable notifications features.

Developing and testing the designs

Using Figma, the team designed a high fidelity prototype. To assess its usability, the team conducted moderated user testing with seven participants. Tasks and questions were drafted for the participants to action, and where difficulty or confusion arose, the team documented our observations (see below). Our observations were then examined to pin point the usability problem and prioritised so that critical issues were addressed first.

User Testing Documentation

Design solution

View the final high fidelity prototype provided to the client, or watch the prototype video below.

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