Wally

Students often have many stressors in their lives; however, one usually stands out amongst the rest. Their budget. Students on a budget often find it hard to keep track of how much money they spend each month. In addition, many current budgeting tools don’t allow students to keep track of their budgets at the time of purchase. Our project explored how we might be able to help students on a budget track how they are spending money in ways that are less stressful and easy to avoid then current methods.   

Wally is a low-cost wallet that allows students to set up a budget, glance at their budget when making a buying decision, and provides haptic feedback regarding the balance of their budget right when they need it most. Wally comes in multiple colors and is easy to set up using an app to create budgets for different spending categories (e.g. food, transportation, etc.). Once the budget is set, students can slide their cards out of the wallet to see their balances. This makes it easy to decide if there is enough money for their next purchase or just to check to see their balances. Wally also gently vibrates to let students know when their balance is low. When needed, students can always go back on the app to review and adjust their budget. 

Wally was designed with careful consideration of students and their methods for budgeting. The team spent the initial part of the project exploring the physicality of current and historical budgeting techniques. Later, several iterations of bodystorming helped the group decide how it might feel to have real time budget information. Then once the concept became more clear, the team used low-fidelity prototypes and projection mapping to come up with the final interactions and user interface.