Enhanced Receipt Case Study

I started the year with a General Assembly course on Digital Marketing, and now I’ve ended the year with another General Assembly course, this time on User Experience Design. It has been a BANANAS week trying to cram in the material that’s typically taught over the course of 10 weeks. You can see my final presentation deck below or keep scrolling to see what I did.

The Worst Thing Ever*

*Okay, maybe not ever. But it’s still no fun.

The worst part of my month is going back through my finances from the previous month. It always takes so long, especially because I need to see my purchases categorized and Target/Costco are the hardest to keep straight. In a single trip, I may buy items from up to ten categories and no one should have to spend their Friday nights splitting transactions in Quicken.

So I had an idea – what if my receipts could sync with Quicken? What if I could cut my monthly budget review down from three hours to three minutes? I couldn’t be the only person with this dilemma, right?

Yes, and…?

Well, in a way, I was wrong. ish. Based on my small poll of the class, this wasn’t a huge problem for people because they had ultimately given up on budgeting completely for the same reasons I was struggling with.

So the problem wasn’t so much “I spend way too much at Target” as “I need a way to see how much I’m spending in different categories because I want to know which areas they can cut back spending on.” So I hypothesized that consumers would be more comfortable with their purchases if they could see the purchases broken down into categories.

For my project, I decided to brainstorm an integration between a retailer (Target, or Targé as I like to say) and a financial planning app (Mint) that would reduce the budgeting pain point and ultimately give me more time to shop at Targé.

My proposed solution was to take the existing orders interface Target uses for online shopping and apply it to the in-store experience as well. From there, just like on the paper receipts, the items would be categorized with the total amount spent on the category included next to the name. Essentially, Target was already on the right track and I wanted to push them a bit closer to the ideal receipt gathering scenario of my dreams.

I sketched out some wireframes and transitioned them into the paper prototype below.

Paper Prototype

Then based on some feedback and user testing, I was able to translate the wireframes and user flow into the higher fidelity prototype below (you can check the out the user flow in my final presentation).

High-fidelity Prototype

User testing

This was probably the most interesting part of the class for me was actually getting something I created in front of people to mess around with. I was able to make a few refinements, but learned a few key lessons based on my first rounds of user testing.

  1. Rather than jumping straight into the test, I needed to better introduce what I was testing
  2. The first scenario I wrote was took long which made it hard to remember. Breaking it into two questions made it more digestible.
  3. May help to introduce a success screen when a task is completed so the user knows when they’re done (in testing, not in actual app)
  4. Testing with iPhone users on an Android app is difficult
  5. I really need to work on soliciting additional feedback.

Sounds all good and fun, but now what?

Honestly, I’d love to see something like this implemented whether it’s on Target, Costco, or Amazon. I can’t be the only one tired of explaining to her husband why she spent XX amount of money at Target month after month.

So if anyone has the hookup with the good people in Minnesota, I can have my bags packed in 20 minutes, as long as we can make a pitstop in Target first.