My Very First 1,000,000 Downloads App - 
A cute and fun way of tracking your daily expense

Willy and Jason came to me, said they’d like to develop a product that address personal expense tracking problem in a different way, when Willy came to me, he even already structured the overall information architecture, I wasn’t surprise since he is the expert of finance, that’s a pretty detailed driven industry, and the team really took the advantage from his profession while developing the product.

Date: May 2013 - May 2014
Teammates: WIlly(Finace Expert)/ Jason(iOS Guru)/ Lenz Chou(UX Designer) 
Role: Lead UX Designer
App Sotre
Tags: #SideProject2013 #1,000,000+Downloads #BestNewApps #BestTaiwanApps #EditorChoiceOnAppstore


"It’s really hard to keep tracking your expense daily"

But why do we need to track our expense?

Oftentimes when talking about tracking expense,budget control, goal settings, or even they just want to know how much money left that they could spend in the future are the most common reasons.For those who just started their first job or anyone who cares about the savings, tracking daily expenses is the fundamental of the future plans, student loans, housing loans and finance investment are the most common use cases.

Target Audience

Stingy Shoppers (freshman,
female mainly)

70% College students need to pay for their loans right after graduating from schools in Taiwan, the average amounts of the loan is 9600 USD per-person, and the average salary of freshman is 830 USD monthly per-person(taxes are not included), sometimes female are even lower, due to the low pay and high consumption, we ended up decide to target them, because even one penny matters, so expense tracking is the must have need for sure. 


The Playful Fun Challenges

Gamification + Cuteness style

Gamification is the trigger - Jason is a game-maker and lover, he suggested we made the whole app as a game, user needs to beat the levels to get to next stage by achieving track their expense daily.

Cuteness, or you could say Kawaii design is the key to our TA’s hearts - The biggest challenge of this project to me wasn’t about understanding a game structure, it’s more about how I could design for our TA, the group strongly influenced by cuteness culture of east Asia deeply, you could easily told by some of the most popular product characters from “Hello Kitty”, to “Brown and Cony”from Line app. 

Why Cuteness Style?

This is the way we express our emotions here in east Asia!

While the memes were taking over all the IM apps in the States, all those cute stickers just about to rule the whole east Asia, even gifs and emojis are pretty popular in stead now in west, we east Asia still keep our love of cute stickers with sound and animated add-on.


The Solution

Input expense, Achieve challenges, Check report

I decided to make the whole game as the adventure of a theme park, from marry-go-round to roller coaster which represent the difficulty of each level, and a character is needed for adding more personality on the game, so I just randomly came out a bunny with a creepy smile to be the game companion while users are playing.All you have to do just play the game (it’s actually input your expense) with Monny daily, you could see how far you could achieve, and get reward(understanding your expense)!

We had a great success on App store, Monny has been ranked #1 of finance category in 15 countries, ranked #5 in 25 countries, ranked #10 in 35 countries, also, Monny has been featured by itunes 46 times, and reached 1,000,000 downloads after 3 months launch! 

Monny was very popular in China and Taiwan due to the cute design style which even been called as “小清新“(clean and simple in Mandarin), our TA appreciate the cute, neat and user friendly design, girls crazy about the cuteness and goal oriented challenges, that was truly a great hit!

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