Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Testing Unsplurge for iPhone – the community of savvy savers

I’d read about this app on Techcrunch and decided to run a user test.


The screen is simple and offers you either Facebook or E-mail. I act cautious in connecting my Facebook to different apps, so I went with the old school email option.

For some reason, instead of taking me directly to email form the app showed me 3 explanation screens. Guys, I have already read your description at AppStore, why would I need this during the registration time ? Plus I felt dumb, because I did not know what is BFF.

Next screen is first name and last name. I wonder why the gender is also here, but no big worries about that. After the registration it asks me about push notifications, which honestly speaking I am quite tired of.  But I agree, as they are probable important part of staying in the community and coming back once in a while. 

Core features
I create my first saving goal, which is $500 promo budget for the book marketing campaign. I like the you can easily attach own photo, the process goes smooth. 

But after the goal created, the app demands to pick 3 people to support me. I am afraid to ask those people for support, as I don’t know any of them. I realize that it might have been a good idea to register with the Facebook, maybe some of my friends are already here.
Finally, I selected Jill W., who is saving for PR Fees. I guess it’s the closest to Marketing budget. Ups, it won’t let me go until I select at least 3 people. So I pick randomly 2 more and now I suppose I am fully supported.

I decided to invite at least one person I know from the Facebook to support me as well, and it’s really easy to do it from the Unsplurge.

Next, I am testing Save. I ate my lunch at home today, so it's a saving of at least $10. The app requires a category each time I record the saving. I wonder how that correlates with my saving account. I assume when I am saving for the goal, that means I am putting money aside either to savings account or to piggybank. So the app balance should equal my real money balance. 
It’s quite clear, if I saved $10 for lunch, but tomorrow I am gonna spend them on something else, how is that treated by Unsplurge?

While the social element of app is strong, I wonder about two things (playing venture capitalist now):
  •  It’s a tremendously hard job to build a niche community with so many social networks around. (and where is Unsplurge for Android to double the size of community ?
  • I don’t feel like tracking savings both in my home money software and in Unsplurge, it’s feels too much of an effort. Likes from people whom I don’t know is questionable motivation in a long term. Not all of my savings goals I am willing to make public.  
Maybe Unsplurge founders should look into something like group saving or charity campaigns? 
Well, anyway I admit good job done by iOS developers on UI/UX, so let’s give them some Support. Download Unsplurge from iTunes , save some money and make your own judgements.

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