Remember the $5 bills you got from your grandmother on your birthday? You probably socked them away to save for that skateboard or Malibu Barbie you always wanted. Well, that concept has grown up in a big way: SmartyPig is a bank, an internet company, and a social networking site all in one.
SmartyPig provides consumers with a socially and financially rewarding way to save. It’s the first savings application that lets people make accounts “public,” enabling friends and family to encourage each other to reach their savings goals. The company offers a competitive interest rate and incentive boosts of up to 5% from top retailers. If you want to save for that mammoth 60" LCD TV, simply set up an account on the site, input your savings goal, make your account public, and add friends.
SmartyPig chose Happy Cog to design its online user experience.
New, yet familiar
Despite offering powerful 21st century features, the site had to be as easy to understand as a traditional bank account savings book—and a lot more fun to use. The interface had to be intuitive enough for young people learning to save, while offering features rich enough to interest old hands familiar with intimidating corporate banking sites.
Armed with security matrix spreadsheets, process documentation, and a multitude of banking rules and regulations, Happy Cog created an intuitive architecture and friendly design that played nicely with the strict guidelines associated with transferring cash, preventing identity theft, and safeguarding funds.
Lightening it up
As creative director Jason Santa Maria has written on his site, we never shy away from using illustration to make complex technology more warm and approachable. For SmartyPig, we commissioned illustrator Kevin Cornell (who also creates the unique illustrations for each issue of our A List Apart Magazine) to create playful and engaging user avatars for SmartyPig users.
Nothing takes the dullness out of banking like awesome avatars by illustrator-in-residence Kevin Cornell.
Throughout the design and development process, Happy Cog worked closely with SmartyPig visionaries to ensure that the site experience not only cultivated and delivered the SmartyPig brand promise, but did so in full support of the values we hold dear: great, appropriate design and transparent site architecture. The site is accessible across platforms and devices. It’s easy to understand while bringing powerful functionality that is new to the market. And it’s fun! (Sign up for an account and see.)
- Business Record: Smarty guys: The brains behind SmartyPig
- Future Tense: Saving money the Web 2.0 way
- The Wall Street Journal: Online savings Meets Social Networking
- Webware: SmartyPig: Piggybank 2.0
- Download Squad: SmartyPig: Online bank account design to help/make you save
- Mashable: SmartyPig is One Smart (Social) Savings Plan
- NetBanker: Social Networking Meets Savings Accounts: SmartyPig Launches this Week
- The Star Press: New online company promotes savings
Information architecture, graphic design, user interface design, CSS/XHTML template development. Launched 10 March 2008.