Transforming Simplifi by Quicken Into the Wirecutter
“Best Budgeting App”
Simplifi by Quicken has a straightforward mission: to help users easily track, update, and forecast their personal finances. Connecting to credit cards and bank accounts, Simplifi guides users to understand their spending by making it easy to create a budget and stick to it.
But to deliver on that ambitious mission, Simplifi needed to, well, simplify.
When the Simplifi team came to us, their existing app was complicated and lacked consistency.
Users, already daunted by budgeting, were getting lost in experiences that were more complicated than they needed to be. A limited color palette made presenting complex information difficult to understand. Icons were inconcistent and somewhat “off the shelf.” Overall, the existing design did not communicate Simplifi’s core message – that staying on top of your finances can be fun and easy.
We were excited to work with Simplifi on this project, because creating well-crafted user experiences with elegant design is fundamental to what Allovus does.
As we do with every project, we kicked off our engagement with Simplifi by diving into the existing product. For Simplifi, we examined specific areas that experience has taught us would be key to success: ease of use, consistency, written communication, and navigational complexity.
Our team worked closely with the Simplifi team to identify areas for improvement, which charted the course for our creative collaboration. This included a brand color makeover, streamlining workflows, and updating icons and illustrations.
We began our typical workflow process with sketches and simple wireframes. Our sketches depict key elements, motion for animations or transitions, and how the content is organized. This was a fast and efficient way of sharing ideas and charting new paths. Wireframe explorations followed to solidify design patterns.
Once approved, we created tighter layouts for critical review and optimization.
Then, Simplifi’s development team took these approved layouts directly into production. This agile design methodology allowed us to reduce time to delivery, while also providing developers with everything they needed to implement each new feature or workflow.
BRIGHT AND ENERGETIC
Our initial explorations into the existing brand color palette revealed an interesting stumbling block; the original colors couldn’t accommodate the types of data visualizations Simplifi needed to depict within the application.
The colors used within Simplifi carry significant importance beyond brand recognition. Our initial explorations helped us determine which colors worked well together, while maintaining distinct separation when used alongside one another in charts and graphs.
A SPLASH OF JOY
Keeping in mind that Simplifi’s mission incorporates fun and ease-of-use, we made sure the tone, messaging, and visuals all worked toward that goal. User research confirmed what we already suspected—people perceive financial information as boring and dry. We wanted the supplementary visuals to have a simple, lively, and organic presence.
When the New York Times Wirecutter review site selected their “Best Budgeting App” for 2021, Simplifi by Quicken was their top pick. The Wirecutter team noted that their “…favorite feature is the personalized spending plan, which gives you an up-to-the-minute dollar figure of what you have left to spend for the rest of the month after accounting for your bills and savings goals.”
“Best Budgeting App”
AN ONGOING RELATIONSHIP
As creative partners, we enjoy an ongoing relationship with Simplifi. Our Studio team collaborates with their designers to produce updated visuals and data displays, audit their ongoing work for simplicity and consistency, and provide workflow ideation for new areas within their application.
A sure measure of this partnership’s success? Wirecutter’s
Want to learn more about how we can simplify your design challenges? Connect with us and let’s get started.
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