Let’s assume we are building a Facebook app and the purpose of the app is to help its users save money.
When I think about the persona’s interested in this service, I can think of a few user groups:
– Teens (pre-college) – They are not responsible for making money. They have very limited budget and sometimes get pocket money.
– College Students – They have limited budget but they do receive grants, loans, financial help from parents they sometimes earn small payments to pay for their living expenses
– University graduates – They work and make money. They spend time into financial planning and career planning. They have more complex financial lives.
For this case, I’m going to focus on the “students” group. I think it’s an interesting group to explore. They are tech and active on the social media. They have fairly simple financial life, making it easier for us to launch a new product.
When I think about the needs of the students, I can think of a few use cases:
– They receive grants and loans from university
– They usually pay rent
– They eat lots of fast food / cheap food
– They go out with their friends a lot and can spend a lot of money on socializing
– They sometimes don’t have any experience in making money
– They share expenses with their roommates
– They work in the summer to save some money to be able to pay for their school year expenses
Now, I’d like to brainstorm a few ideas to solve for some of the use cases listed above:
Idea 1 – A tool that uses student’s social media activities to score their likelihood of returning loans. Pass this information to the banks and obtain low interest fee loans for them
Idea 2 – Enable Facebook friends to create a group and compete with each other on reaching saving targets
Idea 3 – Gamify saving by enabling users to earn badges for reaching certain financial targets
Idea 4 – Connect with their bank account, analyze their historical expenses, estimate money needed for the future (rent, food, etc), and send warnings over Facebook Messenger if they go over budget
Idea 5 – Spending breakdown – Show breakdown of your expenses and show where you’re spending more than your Facebook friends
Now, I would like to evaluate each of these ideas based on impact on customer experience and cost of implementation.
Idea 1 – High on consumer impact, very expensive as you need to work with the banks
Idea 2 – Medium value to consumer (it can be fun and engaging), medium cost (develop capability to create groups, connect to banks to download statements, and create UI for the users)
Idea 3 – Low value to customer (badges are valuable if they can be shared. People are private about their financial status), low cost of implementation
Idea 4 – Low impact on customer (their banks can offer this. There is nothing unique about the service), low cost of implementation
Idea 5 – High value on consumer (it helps them see how they are doing compared to their friends), Medium cost
Out of the ideas above, I would focus on building a product that uses features 2 and 5. My MVP will include idea 5 and my V2 will have idea 2. To build the MVP, I would enable the user to connect to connect their Facebook Money Save app to be able to download statements and analyze transactions, categorize them, and compare users’ financial behaviors. The product will enable a Facebook user to invite their friends to the app and start comparing their financial lives with each other. For example, it will say 30% of your spending was on food last month whereas only 20% of your friend’s spending was on food. This product can be expanded to many additional features over time. Here are a list of few:
– Invite users to congratulate each other for reaching certain financial targets
– Enable users to give feedback to each other like “here is how I reduced my spending on food”
– Allow users to challenge each other (e.g. reduce next month’s entertainment spending by 20%)