Cowrywise’s Product Designer On The Secrets To Designing for Ease and Delight

Feyisayo Sonubi is a final year computer science student at the University of Lagos. He started out writing software but discovered he was spending more time designing than actually writing code. He then began designing software products as a freelancer in his 2nd year of university and is now a Product Designer at Cowrywise. The Resource had a chat with Feyisayo on his process designing Cowrywise to delight users.

Cowrywise is a financial technology application that enables automated, periodic savings for its users. It also allows fixed deposits and one-time savings options. The company charges no fees for withdrawal at any time while providing interest(or no interest) depending on the user’s decision.

What was the inspiration behind the landing page for Cowrywise?

One of Cowrywise’s early iterations for the landing page

Feyisayo had designed about 5 versions of Cowrywise’s homepage. All of those pages were beautifully designed but didn’t translate into value for users. “We kept changing it cause we realized that it wasn’t selling the product”. In the current iteration, the page includes screenshots of the application and more call to action buttons.

The current iteration of Cowrywise’s landing page

How was the dashboard organised to view savings and get them to save?

An initial version of the Cowrywise dashboard. Registers users get to view the dashboard upon login

Designing for mobile phones and desktop computers require separate thought processes. Feyisayo had to ensure the design could be similar to mobile phone users and still worked as promised. “It had to be super fast because Nigerians don’t have time”. He created the illustrations for the icons and implemented SVG icons to minimise data usage. The dashboard reflects the interest on money saved over time. Feyisayo says it helps new users trust the service as they can see their money grow day after day.

Cowrywise’s current Dashboard

The Save Now icon is apt because it’s a thunderbolt but the New Plan has a flying plane, why did you use the plane instead of a more generic icon?

“I wanted it to be unique”. Feyisayo says the + icon is the generic icon for adding new items within software applications. He noted the reason this idea exists is that users have been rewarded with their intention when they click the icon. He did try the + sign but it didn’t seem to blend with the rest of the website. “So I thought of the plane; Bootstrap yourself into a new plan. It is different and exciting”.

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What was the idea behind multiple plans? And how you moved the idea to integrate with the user flow?

 

Within Cowrywise, users can create multiple, periodic savings plans. Feyisayo says this feature was created because, in reality, people save for different items and intend to achieve them at different dates. “You might want to save for a camera or for school or anything. The multiple plans feature gives a sense of purpose.”
“We created an onboarding process that we took seriously. We didn’t just want users to create an account and then ask for their card details immediately after”.

Did you do any research on fintech apps before designing?

“Nigerian banks have the worst apps. I felt a bit insulted when I used some of the apps. They just don’t understand the concept of user interface and experience.” Feyisayo believes products should be designed for ease and should delight their users. Cowrywise is extremely easy to use. It also makes a mundane act – saving money, fun. “I looked at a lot of applications overseas.
Acorn, Capital, Plum and others. The inspiration behind how the transaction part of the site looks like is from PayPal”

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Can you walk us through how you’ve optimised the onboarding process?

 

“You create an account, we help you to set up a plan. If you leave, you can pick up from where you left off.” Cowrywise includes email triggers that are sent when a user hasn’t finished creating a savings plan or hasn’t saved. This helps increase the retention rate of first-time users.

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What’s the reason behind this process?

“We realised that people would create accounts and they just leave. Wherever you stop, you can pick up from where you left off so you don’t have to create an account again.” The application was designed so users can continue right where they left off without having to create a new account or log in again.


The on-boarding process for new users itself is quite interesting. “ We don’t just show you a big form to fill. We wanted to have a step by step process. So you tell us your name and the kind of plan you want and we’d have enough info about the plan to show you”. Feyisayo has found it important to create favourable user experiences and remove friction from all processes. “Don’t stress the users out, if anything is going to help people out, just do it. There was too much going on in the initial design of the user onboarding so we took all unnecessary elements out”

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Why did you go for sliders as opposed to a drop-down menu when creating a new savings plan?

 

An old iteration of the new savings feature which includes the slider

While creating subsequent savings plans in Cowrywise, users are required to move a slider to decide their savings goal and the duration. “There’s something cool about watching money move. You can feel fly and move the slider to a million. It’ll inspire you.”

Cowrywise has an interesting feature called “zero interest savings” Why would anyone want zero interest savings?

The company had interest from Muslim users who hadn’t deposited money because they were looking for a zero-interest solution. “We decided to build something like that for them. Rasak(Cowrywise’s co-founder) told us that we had to implement it because it was a feature users kept asking for”.

In what ways have you made Cowrywise the fastest way to save compared to any other savings platform?

There are currently a couple of websites and applications for saving money in Nigeria. Some products are provided by banks while others are by technology startups. “I would say the speed of saving and the multiple plan options make it truly unique”.

As user experience design evolves in Nigeria, we hope to see and experience more beautiful and seamless apps like Cowrywise.

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Categories Design

Binjo is Marketing and Communications Lead at Devcenter. He cannot be reached on Slack during the weekend