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Many university students have trouble managing their living expenses. They have some bad consumption behavior. And they have limited ability to make consumption plan which is harmful to their further development.



2018.9-2018.10  (4 weeks)



Acumer gives users consumption guidance and analysis in order to help user develop rational consumption habits. Physical interaction which imitates piggy bank prevents users from impulsive consumption. 

Final Deliverable is an Alpha Prototypes on the mobile phone. Seven college students participated in the usability testing, five of them were satisfied with the product and assume it might work in the future.

Personal project


​Pen and Paper (ideation)

Sketch (visual design)

InVision (testing)

Flinto (animation)

My role

​Conducted all the design process because this is my personal project.


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Project Context

The tendency of mobile payments among college students.

With the development of Internet banking, electronic payment and electronic money, China has entered the era of non-cash payment.  Last year, the national payment volume was 1130 trillion yuan, and more than 60% of the national payment (700 trillion yuan) was the electronic payment completed by the large-scale payment system.


The appearance of the mobile payment methods such as Alipay has brought great changes to the consumption habits of young people. People use their phones to purchase instead of money.  Its convenience stimulates students to spend more money without consideration.

College students lack awareness of rational consumption.


Concerns have been raised about campus loans after reports revealed that some online loan sharks are demanding college students to provide nude photographs of themselves as collateral to borrow money.

Although electronic payment brings lots of convenience in students’ lives, it actually brings potential troubles to students. Its convenience stimulates students to spend more money without consideration. And is hard for them to form a rational consumption custom, especially for the freshman. Desires of material and wrong consumption habits bring potential risks.

(Online news report)



​The target users will be young college students. So I conducted both qualitative and quantitative research to help me better understand the users.

Online Survey

In order to figure out how to help university students manage money, I did an online survey about their daily consumption customs. 105 university students from Guangzhou finished this survey. 


From the feedbacks of the online survey, I figured out some general facts about the consumption behaviors among college students.

  • Consumption level has a great correlation with the region where students are located in.

  • Most of the students had impulsive consumption experience, and more than half believe mobile payment stimulated their consumption.


I interviewed 6 students in the university. By asking them questions around daily consumption plan, self-evaluation, feeling about mobile payments, and bookkeeping, I pointed out some key-worlds they mentioned. 


Through qualitative and quantitative analysis, I started to conduct deeper target user analysis.


These are two typical user portraits. This app should be more adaptive to different kinds of user in different situations.


​Five Why

Five why method reveals the roots of the problems, let me discover the deeper reasons.

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Summary of pain points:

• Lack of consumption guidance

• Daily bookkeeping is troublesome

• Spent money without awareness


Affinity Clustering

Affinity Clustering is a good tool to identify issues and insights. Based on those insights, I came up with more design opportunities.


How to interact in the real world?

It is a problem that has confused me for a long time. I analyzed the sensory stimulation when people pay with cash which includes visual, auditory and sensation.

Piggybank inspires me to find the best interaction method.

Children use piggybank to store their pocket money. They always shake it to evaluate how much money inside it. Louder sounds mean more money.



User needs to shake their mobile phone before payment.

Physical interactions can remedy the lack of feedback from electronic consumption. Being aware of money is losing which can prompt users more cautious when consuming.

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How does the system work?




Medium-fidelity Wireframes


Adaptive consumption plan

  • When a user creates an account, it is necessary to fill in the information about the location and personal consumption habits.

  • The system will generate a rational consumption plan for  user based on the local consumption level and the user's personal situation.


Sum &Categories

The current planning page shows the total balance for the month, the disposable balance for each portion, and the amount of change in the month's expenses.

Data visualization

Allow users to intuitively see the current disposable living expenses and avoid overspending.


  • The gold coin represents how much balance is left. 

  • Imitate the coin slot of the piggy bank.


Self-reflection & Proposal

  • By comparing the current month's expenses with the previous month's expenses, the system points out the changes in consumer behavior.

  • The user will obtain a rational score by comparing the actual expenses and the targets.

  • The user will receive analysis such as suggestions and insights about this month’s expenses.

​My situation in the community

  • The leaderboard shows the top consumers in the community with high rational values. Other users can choose to chat and learn from them.

  • The brightest point represents the place that has been consumed today.

  • The normal distribution curve shows a user’s rational level in the community.


Learn from peers

  • Every use owns a personal AI assistant. User can chat with a certain person or his assistant to acquire information. 

  • There is topic guidance in the chat interface to help strangers find common topics as soon as possible and promote communication between the two parties.

Toast in the APP

Use different color toast to inform user information in different important aspects.


Beta Prototype



The payment operation needs to be completed as soon as possible when queuing. Adding extra operations during payment will increase the user's burden, so I will adjust this interaction process.


When the user needs to update the consumption record, he can shake the phone and feel how much balance is left in the current month. It is no longer necessary to shake the phone during the payment process which simplifies the payment process.

​Usability Testing

I used the think-aloud method to reveal what people are thinking about. I instructed them to conduct each task one at a time while asking them to think-cloud. I listened to them talking and took notes.


Five university students finished the usability testing. They tried every functions in Acumer and gave me feedbacks. 

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