Student work for a currency conversion Android app
Currency is a mobile app designed to simplify the process of currency conversion for travelers. This application was built with convenience of different kinds of travelers in mind; from the vacationer to the business person. Currency was built to help fill the gap in conversion applications in Android's current marketplace.
Research & Opportunity Space
The research timeline of this project was extremely limited to one week. Because of this my research was kept to competitive and holistic analysis of existing currency applications as well as short interviews.
Keyboard was always on screen or on a separate screen altogether
Finding exchange stations was a hassle
Having to convert the same amount consistently
Cluttered interface leading to confusion
Organizing receipts for reimbursement of work expenses
While limited, this research proved to be fruitful and helped shape and define the scope and goals of Currency.
The Work Traveler
Those traveling for work and in need of a tool to keep track of transactions for later reimbursement.
Someone who wants to track receipts and purchases to keep their spending in check while enjoying their trip.
A person in need of information about the nearby exchange stations and directions to the desired location.
Flow 1: Calculating an Exchange
Addressing one of the major pain points, I immediately began to think how to handle the keyboard. On one hand, having the keyboard out of the way gave the screen room to breathe, but made typing a chore and disconnected the number input from the results. On the other hand, having the keyboard always present created a hectic screen with too many elements competing for attention. This made me think "why not both?", and began the idea of the swipe up keyboard from the earliest wireframes.
Wireframe Draft 1
Wireframe Draft 2
As fidelity began to increase the shape of the keyboard was rounded out to better indicate the potential interaction.
Flow 2: Recording Purchases
Recording previous purchases for later access has been part of Currency's design from the beginning. In early iterations this began as a swipe-able side menu function. However lack of affordances and potential growth of the feature lead to eventually expanding it into a full page of its own.
Features in the final flow include:
Recording purchases and receipts
Accessing previous exchange rates
Forwarding individual or grouped transaction records
Flow 3: Finding an Exchange Station
Out of my three main flows, finding an exchange station changed the least. This was a fairly straight forward flow and was almost outsourced to other apps such as google maps. However, the function ultimately stayed in-house after the introduction of exchange station rates and information being added to the search process.
As an application that handles money matters I felt that keeping in line with Android's general material design guidelines would create a sense of comfortability via familiarity. Because of this, I chose to treat each element as its own object on the z-axis when deciding what motion and micro animations to assign. Additionally, shadows played a significant role in the final design to balance the neutral background and the card display.
Keeping in line with this design choice, I chose Roboto for the body type. Raleway's circular typeforms created strong but friendly headings to help the user navigate throughout the application. A subtle blue gradient throughout Currency reinforces the idea of comfortability and trust.
Overall this exercise proved to be an informative process on Android design as well as micro-interaction animation. If I had more time I would have loved to expand my research timeline and really understand what travelers find valuable in currency applications. The exchange finder could be explored further and I would like to flesh out the receipt forwarding process a little more. In the end, I am happy with Currency's design and plan to use what I have learned from this project in the future.