Give small business owners a look at their broad financial picture on a mobile device.
The success of Geezeo’s personal finance management tool let stakeholders to want to apply those same principles to small business customers. Conversely, by adopting a mobile-first mentality, the company wanted to design TruBiz around a touch interface. The thought was, by designing first for the smartphone, all the extraneous elements would be stripped away and we’d automatically have a good foundation for a web version.
There’s a lot more that goes into creating a usable business product than personal. For one, the transactional ebbs and flows are much greater. A business might be paying a team of employees biweekly, but invoicing monthly. So, many times, substantial sums of money are tied up in accounts receivable. They’re there and yet they’re not. Secondly, the way businesses spend money is very different than with an individual. Businesses have budgets, but not in the same way a household has budgets, so we had to rethink how we approached certain words or conventions. This created a lot of unique challenges when approaching this application.
We quickly realized that in order to create a compelling business application, we weren’t going to be able to do it alone. We would need to integrate with other third-party applications like Xero, Quickbooks, Freshbooks etc. to functionally tie financials back to business. We also did a lot of research into understanding what a small business owner is looking for. And what we learned was eye opening: for a lot of them, they’re only looking week to week. Sometimes, making payroll is a scary proposition. This wasn’t a product for the Fortune 500 companies…it was for the self-employed entrepreneur or the “Mom and Pop” corner store. And the biggest question they wanted answered was “am I going to have enough money next week or next month to cover my expenses?” So we really focused on that component more than anything else, and spent a lot of time figuring out how to make a product that could deduce potential shortfalls accurately, and with enough forethought to be able to do something about it. We crafted some interesting visualizations to show those burn-down rates in ways the average business owner could understand. We also partnered with a third-party lending service that catered to small business so that, if the business really did have a shortfall, there was always that life raft at their disposal.
I was responsible for wireframing, visual design, prototyping and presenting this application.