The BANQ app allows users to capture receipts and link them to client accounts for invoicing and their business bank ledger for easy year-end accounting. This facilitates seamless receipt tracking between client billing and internal bookkeeping.
Brand Creation, User Research, Competitive Analysis, Interaction, Visual Design, Prototyping Testing
How Might We?
How might we create an app that allows entrepreneurs to seamlessly run their business remotely?
First date butterflies.
Interviews & Empathy Maps
To understand my target users’ needs, I aimed to learn about their current accounting app experiences. Specifically, I wanted to identify which accounting apps entrepreneurs were using, and discover any major pain points or frustrations encountered with those tools.
Additionally, understanding their past accounting app use could reveal insightful patterns – apps they’ve abandoned and why. Key details around the limitations or flaws that led them to switch could highlight must-have features I’ll need to prioritize in my own app.
Finally, asking directly about desirable capabilities and functionality can spotlight the precise solutions and value I must deliver through my accounting app to incentivize my target user segment to adopt it. Identifying these user-centred priorities will enable me to focus my efforts accordingly during development.
Employing empathy mapping allowed me perspective on users’ accounting experiences and attitudes.
This method documents what users say, do, think, and feel, illuminating insightful patterns. The visualized journeys tell a story of frustrations and sought solutions.
These revelations of core pains served to pinpoint problem areas ripe for intervention through questioning and observation.
This vital understanding of motivations and goals will fuel the user-centred design. Gathering data around obstacles and desires will transform findings into resonant features.
Conducting broad user research enabled comprehensive insights into key customer segments’ aspirations, tendencies, and unmet needs.
By analyzing larger usage patterns, I aimed to pinpoint shared frustrations that spanned beyond my interviewed subset. Identifying intersectional pain points across user groups would facilitate recognizing widespread accounting
Thoroughly mapping the user landscape this way, through goals, attributes, and behaviours, spotlights macro-level trends ripe for intervention. These behavioural clues help unveil larger communal struggles that present ideal targets for disruption – abundance hiding in plain sight.
Putting a finger on it.
Pinpointing my users’ biggest problems enabled targeted solution development. Their pressing frustrations, once identified through research, became guiding design beacons – my true north for enhancing their experience. By spotlighting key pain points, I could channel
efforts toward resolving those specific obstacles, engineering purposeful accounting app features that directly ease accounting headaches. The user pains shaped the progression; understanding them laid the user-centred foundation essential for simplifying their financial lives.
Setting the bar.
✔️ Modern customizable estimate/invoice templates that reflects your brand.
✔️ Quickly snap photos of your receipts and get back to them later.
✔️ Easily invoice clients with receipt renderings attached.
✔️ Save money in accounting fees with our receipt filing system.
✔️ A stress-free time tracker to validate the energy you put into your projects.
✔️ Get paid fast! Clients can pay directly from your emailed invoice.
Following the yellow brick road.
Mapping the optimal receipt capture experience enabled the visualization of a seamless user journey.
Constructing this envisioned workflow brought key facets into focus:
✔️ User Tasks: What receipt upload and processing steps would users take?
✔️ Decision Points: What choices would users face when organizing receipts?
✔️ Screen Flow: What interfaces would users progress through after tasks and decisions?
Defining this ideal scenario guided understanding around critical user wants and needs. It spotlighted logical progressions given accounting behaviours and motives.
Sizing up to the competition.
Conducting competitor analysis established vital market context, unveiling where opportunity awaited amid crowded accounting app terrain. This landscape mapping illuminated popular features, widespread gaps, and avenues for differentiation.
These competitive revelations, both commonplace functionalities and untapped areas, directly informed product decisions. They are guided by including universally appealing tools that users have come to expect, like simple invoicing and receipt scanning.
However, the research also highlighted fruitful spaces to carve out a niche – ones competitors had yet to effectively capitalize on.
Blending these strategic insights enabled crafting a uniquely helpful accounting assistant. The foundations came from benchmarking viable basics and expected experiences. But elevating above convention came by addressing neglected user frustrations that competitors continually overlook. This inside-out and outside-in blending catalyzed an optimal balance between tried-and-true utility and standout value.
Putting pen to paper.
Paper to Digital Wireframes
Validating the work.
To optimize the receipt capture capabilities, critical areas of the app were identified, including:
Efficiency – From opening the camera to submitting the image, where can time savings emerge in the flow? What streamlining or accelerants can minimize receipt processing duration?
Usability – What aspects confuse users or inhibit task completion? How can interfaces and interactions be clarified?
Value – Would supplemental data fields or interconnectivity with other features further enhance utility?
Adoption – What elements might deter engagement with the tool? How can friction points be eliminated to drive feature stickiness?
Addressing these experience-centred questions enabled the identification of obstacles, frustrations, and opportunity gaps latent in the current receipt functionality.
The report card is in.
A key experience metric was receipt capture time – how long from opening the camera to submitting the image. Through iterative testing, profound gains emerged:
Average Time – 3 minutes 5 seconds
Bottlenecks – Complex menu flows, multi-step cropping, manual data entry
Average Time – 19 seconds
Enhancements – Streamlined clicking, auto-crop and enhanced data extraction
The end result: a 94% improvement, reducing average receipt onboarding from over 3 minutes to under 20 seconds.
This order-of-magnitude efficiency gain demonstrates the power of recipient-driven development. By listening to users, sticking points became clear and the path to simplification revealed itself through their struggles. Witnessing the seconds melt away iteration by iteration was validation – proof that accounting work can be frictionless when built for ease.
After running my usability test I realized that IF the user didn’t give up that it would take them, on average, 3m5s to complete the test of snapping a receipt and linking it to their transaction.
After running my third usability test, all users were able to complete the test of snapping a receipt and linking it to their transaction in record time! Users could do this in 19s, on average.
Building upon what was learned.
Pending Transactions Iterations
* clicking each hotspot will provide further details.
100% of participants didn’t know where they were in the app and weren’t sure how to proceed.1 of 5
A “Pending Receipts” area was added to the app to help users understand where they were in the app.
40% of participants clicked the “Pending Receipts” icon, thinking they would navigate away from the current page.2 of 5
I added a bright green “Confirm” button and a progress bar in the top navigation with instructions.
60% of participants found the “confirm” button wasn’t a clear enough call to action.3 of 5
By changing the button copy to “Link Receipt,” 100% of participants were clear about the intention of the button.4 of 5
By adding a notification dot above the “Pending” tab, 100% of participants were confident of where they were in the app.5 of 5
Iterations 1, 2, & 3
Receipt Onboarding Iterations
Initially, connecting a receipt to a client’s account could only be done once onboarding was complete.
The user would have to go to the particular transaction, click “more details,” and edit the field with the list of active client accounts.1 of 9
80% of participants commented that the colours of these onboarding buttons were the same as the buttons in the transactions area, which made it confusing to them.2 of 9
40% of participants clicked “Next Step” thinking that it was what they needed to press to proceed.3 of 9
100% of participants failed to read the instructions under the progress bar.
Several participants clicked all over the screen instead of reading the top navigation instructions.4 of 9
60% of participants clicked this receipt overlay several times which took them to a receipt preview screen.
Users didn’t realize the overlay represented the receipt.5 of 9
A custom navigation bar with icons and copy reinforced the action that needed to be taken.6 of 9
The colour of the buttons were changed to a brighter colour to make them more obvious as the next step.7 of 9
None of the participants clicked this button after the button copy was changed to ‘Skip.”8 of 9
The receipt overlay was made more obvious and was titled “Receipt.”
100% of participants understood that the overlay represented the receipt.9 of 9
Iterations 1, 2, & 3
How do we Look?
For Here or To Go?
As a small business owner, I intimately understand the pains this app aims to solve. Entrepreneurs need simple tools to professionally invoice clients while tracking messy paperwork. Key functionalities like estimate templates, receipt capture, and seamless cloud sync with accountants can save owners hours wasted on administrative work.
In interviews, entrepreneurs reported losing thousands to unbilled expenses and misplaced receipts. Likewise, organizing books for taxes devours days and thousands more in accounting fees. By centralizing documents and finances, this app alleviates these major stress points.
Ultimately, I want to give business owners peace of mind that their efforts will pay off. Clean interfaces that enhance, rather than hinder, work is vital. Though reaching an intuitive design took several iterations, entrepreneurs can now efficiently bill, compile financials, and reduce repetitive tasks. By alleviating avoidable headaches, small businesses can redirect energy into accelerating growth.
I refined the app to address my own struggles as an entrepreneur. By intimately understanding users’ problems, I built an accounting assistant for simplicity and savings – one receipt, client, and tax season at a time.