Time Frame
3 weeks
Release Date
March 28, 2021

Well Budget was created to help couples budget and track their expenses.

This app is about making budgeting as simple and flexible as possible.

Info of my project

My Situation

  • I conducted quantitative and qualitative research to understand how people budget with others.
  • I realized an "easy-to-use" and "flexible" app is the first step to attract users (and keep users continuously using).
  • I achieved that by having four main pages on the app while enabling users to edit nearly everything.

Process: Double Diamonds

I used the double diamonds method to solve the problem.

After I discovered the problem, I defined the problem by conducting research. Following this, I came up with solutions that could fulfill users' needs and started to do wireframes, prototyping, and developed a design system. Next, I did usability testing. And I modified my design along the way while I was doing the usability testing so the next tester could have a better experience and provide new feedback. After all usability testing was done, I made a final change and had the final delivery of the product.

Problem Statement & Goals

Controlling expenses and budgeting is always the first step to achieve a financial goal. Most budget apps on the market are designed for personal use, which is very different from two people budget together. Not to mention every couple is different. From how they split to who is in charge.

My goals was: Create a budget app for couples.

  1. Control both shared and personal budget.
  2. Allocate expenses easily and flexibly.
  3. Help users reach their goals.

User Research

Research methods on discover stage

Secondary Research**:

Who budgets with their partner? How do they do it?

Aged from 25-34, has been dating for a while, and is planning to move to the next stage of the relationship. Possibly Asian and more likely to be female. Tried to budget several times in the past, but always lost track due to some uncertainty surrounding income and/or expenses.

Research Findings
Research Findings

Competitive Analysis:

What others are doing and what can we do?

Competitive analysis: Mint / HoneyFi / Goodbudget / Zete
Competitive analysis: Mint / HoneyFi / Goodbudget / Zete

Primary Research:

What are couples looking for?

To understand more about how people budget, I did 1 quantitative survey (16 replies, 12 valid responses) and 1 qualitative survey (2 interviewees).

How do people budget
How do people budget?

Quantitative survey

Demographic background
  • Age: 54% 31 - 40 yr / Associate or Bachelor’s degree / income is quite diverse
Budgeting behavior
  1. More than 70% have budgeted with their partner.
  2. More than 80% have a personal budget but most of them don’t use it very often.
  3. Easy to use is the most important feature when choosing an app to use.
  4. Couples split the budget very differently, but more than 60% would split (50/50 or one pays big, one pays small).

Qualitative interview

Demographic background: See details here

Focus of my interview

Why chose the way they budget: Fits their needs!

  1. Calculate in head > apps seem complicated.
  2. Use spreadsheets > only use for allocating the expense

How often and how

  1. Categorize expense & allocate once get paid
  2. Budget when get paid and for that given week.

How about personal budget? 

  1. Doesn’t use personal budget
    > Not much left
    > Doesn't spend for herself that often

Overall, my research findings were

  1. Most people did or are budgeting with someone.

  2. Every couple does it differently (from the tools they use to how they split the money, to how to allocate the budget), there's no particular way standing out.

  3. Testers would use “how much they receive per paycheck” to budget.
  4. How to save money: move a fixed amount of money (saving goal) to saving before spending or after spending and move whatever that's left.

User Persona: Meet Sarah & John!

After talking to my interviewees and digging into budget-related research. I've developed my persona. This could help me develop more vivid users in my mind and empathize with what they want and what they need.

Persona: Sarah and John
Persona: Sarah and John

User Journey and Empathy Map

After the persona, I created the user journey and the empathy map. I focus more on how Sarah is feeling because female is more likely to be the main user.

As I was developing the journey map, I noticed there are a lot of pain points during the process of setting up the account and keeping track of the expense. I kept this in mind when I was creating the user flow, tried to make the paint points less painful.

Journey map
Journey map
Empathy map
Empathy map

User Flow

Next, I created a user flow based on the journey map. There were a lot of pain points on the journey map and everyone budget in his/her own way. Hence, my goal was to create an app that'd give users a lot of flexibility and easy to keep track.

For Sarah,

  • She needed to link her accounts to the app so she didn't have to type in all transactions.
  • Then she allocated her budget and set the cycle according to her pay period and chose the way the budget would be split.
  • Later on, when the transaction was linked to the account, she needed to be able to put the transaction under the right category and edit it if needed.
User flow
User flow
Main flows for budget
Main flows for budget

How to solve the problem

After the user flow, I had a more clear idea of what the users' needs are and how they would use the product. The problem was not just to create a budget app, was to create a easy to use app that people wouldn't quit using because it's too complicated or troublesome.

How did I use different features to solve my problems


A budget app could be very complicated, in order to deliver the product within a limited timeframe. I wrote down the MVP so I wouldn't get lost while I'm developing the wireframes.

Users are able to set up the account/budget. Then be able to see/edit transactions, budget and accounts.
  1. Link accounts with the app
  2. Set up budget
  3. See/edit/delete transaction/budget/accounts
  4. Choose what transactions and accounts that partner can see

Sketch Wireframes

After I worked on the solution, I tried to develop different ways of showing budget and possibility of having a home page.



After the sketch, I went back and took a look at my user flow and MVP. I decided to focus on 4 main pages: Budget, Account, Transaction, Setting.


Mood Board

I wanted to create a trustable and friendly atmosphere for the app. Therefore, I chose blue (trust) and green (calm) as my main colors. But I wanted it to be lighter and more neutral so users wouldn't feel very "heavy" while using the app.

Mood board
Mood board

Mock Up

I adopted my mood board to my wireframes to have the mock up to see how the app would look like.

Mock up
Mock up

Define then Develop: Usability Testing

5 tests: 3 unmoderated ; 2 moderated (1 in-person/ 1 remote)


  1. Log in and link one of your chase accounts to the app then set up the initial budget
  2. Edit your transaction record so your partner won’t see your spending in Sephora on Feb. 20
  3. Check all the transactions in your groceries budget and edit groceries budget to $180
  4. Delete your linked Chase Checking account
Doing remote usability testing with user
Doing remote usability testing with user

Findings & Update

  1. Users would expect to see the expenses through different routes (make sure be able to go to expense through different pages)
  2. Some icons are a little hard to find (enlarge icon)
  3. Dragging to delete isn’t very intuitive (add a edit page for managing accounts)
  4. Users worry that delete transactions might ruin the accountability of the number (add a reminder that they can change category instead of deleting whole things)

Final Product

I modified my design according to the usability testing results, including added more pages, remind message...etc.

Here is my final delivery of the high fidelity prototype: CLICK
Link account
Set up account
Edit budget and transaction
Overview of final product
Overview of final product

Future Development

  1. Provide spending reports and customize how to count the total amount they have as asset
  2. Being able to see what partner can see
  3. More details regarding the transaction (location, items..etc)

Lesson Learned


1. Dive deeper into why people “don’t use app” to know what's stopping them.
2. Interview couples or do field study with couples.


1. Financial decisions could be complicated, maybe work with financial experts in the future.
2. I focused a lot on "how to keep it simple". Hence, I was missing the opportunity of some potential features .


1. I only had 3 weeks. If I had longer time, I could spend more time on the interview and maybe try dairy studies.


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