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Product Design


Payoff debt faster, without thinking about it

Georgia fintech startup, Qoins, approached us with a seemingly simple task to redesign their onboarding experience. After the app download, users would shortly abandon the sign up process. Originally thought the sign up process to be too long, we were in for a much bigger issue than a long onboarding experience.

Finances can be tricky. There's lots of hoops to jump through, red tape, and laws that work against you. If you combine all that with a mountain of debt on top of that, it's enough for anyone to be overwhelmed.

Ooins is an app created to passively round up to the next dollar amount any time you swipe your card. The savings are set aside monthly so you can pay off your debt quicker. By paying more than the monthly minimum, users are able to decrease their debt in 2-7 years sooner.

TLDR: We were tasked with shortening the onboarding experience for new users but the problem wasn't the length of the sign up process. With an increasing number of data breaches and user data being sold, trust played a huge part in user's desire to continue to sign up. A new product they never heard of having their most protected financial data? Fahgettaboudit! We found people wanted to trust Qoins could help alleviate their debts, but a lack of access to information held users back from completing the sign up process.

2 ½ weeks
Tools Used
Sketch, Invision

The Ugly Truth: The average American has debt totaling between $67,000 - $134,000. Americans have paid $3.8 trillion worth of interest alone, that comes out to be about $15,000 per adult. Stress, fear, panic, anger, depression, and sometimes suicide often stream from having debt. But there can be a sense of relief, freedom, and accomplishment from paying off debt. That's where Qoins can help.

How Qoins Works & Discovery

When Qoins approached us, we were initially tasked with condensing the onboarding process. Qoins wanted to convert new users but found many people would abandon during the sign up process. Stakeholders felt the process was too long and people were abandoning due to the length of the task.

Qoins considers successful sign ups based on users entering and verifying personal information, debt lender, and a funding source.


Our #fail survey responses
Fail Surveys and Reviews

Qoins gave us access to 50 new users. We sent out surveys asking demographic information for persona development, the onboarding process, and how it could be improved... and no one responded.

Until we were able to get some user data we turned to the Google Play store, App Store, and Facebook to analyze reviews. Out of 1,200 reviews someone must have said something about the onboarding process, right? Wrong, not one single review mentioned the lengthy process. Majority of reviews praised Qoins and raved about how they became debt free. Of the negative reviews, all were regarding technical bugs that Qoins fixes regularly. WTF alright, so far, nothing had worked. Cool. Great. Now what?

While re-evaluating our methodologies, we realized we were chasing users who successfully converted. We did not need to pursue Qoins users, we needed to talk to potential, new users. What is causing new downloaders to abandon the sign up process?

Competitive Audit

We took a step back from our failed research attempts to focus on what successful competitors were doing.

Comparing Qoins competitors showed us that all other services had a clear sign up on the first page. Once signed up, the users can then explore the platform and find out more information about their product before entering personal information.

Testing Qoins

Paper Prototyping Like It's 1999

We needed to take a step back and test the app itself to see where people were dropping off. We tested the real app with real people but no one wanted to continue after seeing they needed to enter in their Social Security Number (SSN).

People kept expressing how they didn't want to give personal information to a company they've never heard of. Still trying to get users to complete the onboarding process, we cut out paper prototypes and has users test the rest of the app.

Mapping Our Findings

We created an affinity map to find trends in the data

  • 75% of users did not want to enter in personal information
  • 50% of testers skipped the tutorial at the beginning of the onboarding process
  • 75% of users wanted access to more information on what they were signing up for
  • 88% of people said they were confused using the app
  • But, only 25% of users had an issue with the length of the onboarding process

The old flow consisted of 22 screens plus 4-5 more depending on their bank API.

Persona Development
  • While usability testing, we conducted user surveys to gain a better understanding of potential Qoins users, their needs, fears, and finances.
  • We were able to gather data about potential users:
  • 2+ types of debt
  • Making minimum monthly payments
  • Frustrated with how long it takes
  • Frustrated how much interest is charged
  • Fearful they will never be able to financially recover from this

Redesigning for Trust

How Do You Design for Something Intangible?

Users not wanting to continue through the app was the problem. We were reaching for something tangible, the onboarding process, rather than what was right in front of us in the whole time. It was brought up in every usability test, but we didn't connect the dots. Users did not trust Qoins. No one knew who Qoins was, what Qoins was doing with their information, what "Smart Savings" was, or why they needed to enter in certain information.

In 2019, a collection of 2.7 billion identity records, consisting of 774 million unique email addresses and 21 million unique passwords, was posted on the online for sale. Data breaches and cyber attacks have many skeptics on guard, especially when dealing with finances and PII. Users want to feel safe. They want their information to be secure and protected.

  • Copywriting
         ◦ Since trust was a big issue we wanted to create phrasing that made the user understand Qoins and feel safe while using the product.
  • Moving the Home Screen
         ◦ After users entered in their lender information, they were sent to the home screen. No one realized they were supposed to connect their funding source.     
  • Condensing the Process
         ◦ Qoins tasked us with condensing the screens during the sign up process. We found a few to be unnecessary.
  • Optional Tutorials
         ◦ Half of the users skip the tutorial screen and found it unnecessary. Since people are visual, Qoins wanted to implement a demo video.
  • Access to More Information
         ◦ Many already feel overwhelmed when dealing with finances and debt. Testers were confused when confronted with some of Qoins' terms and lingo. Users also were concerned when putting in their personal information.
  • Progress Tracker
         ◦  People need to know where they are in the process. Many testers had no idea how long the process was and what it all entailed.
Left to right: Qoins original flow at 22 screens showing what we changed, New condensed flow at 14 screens


Since the iterations, testers were much more satisfied during the process. There was a shift in attitude from prior testing. Users enjoyed having access to information for whatever questions they might have had. Even though most testers did not click the help buttons, they were pleased there was an option. There was less confusion and more trust around the brand.

Left to right: We added a "Sign Up" call-to-action button on the tutorial pages. (Right) We added a progress bar so users know where they are in the process and how much more they have left. We changed the copy on the page and used simpler language.
Left to right: Added icon buttons so users can access more information if they are confused. (Right) We changed the copy to explain the date picked and how to change it since it was confusing to most testers.

Moving Forward

After presenting our findings, we consulted with Qoins to share ways they could design for trust. Though we did help condense the onboarding experience, there is a lot more room for improvement. Many users were trapped in the sign on process. When closing the app and reopening, you were prompted with the same screen in the middle of the sign up with no way to go back or explore the app. Many people wanted to see what Qoins was about before jumping to commitment.

Qoins needs a better way to spread their message. Moving forward, we suggested reorganizing their app so people could explore the product before entering personal information. People like to feel in control of their finances but the onboarding took some of that away. We also recommended shifting their focus on changing the copy to be more accessible so everyone can understand their finances without technical talk and confusing phrasing.

Finances are confusing and that's why so many are drowning in debt. Qoins can help!


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