FACC INTERVIEW: FINNISH SPENT APP TESTS ITS UX IN NEW YORK – “THE CITY HAS BECOME THE CENTER OF FINTECH”
Spent is an app that manages both personal and business spending of its users. By using the free app, one can track their purchases, manage their expenses and earn rewards. Spent is developed in Oulu, Finland and will be launched in the U.S. this summer. Spent has its headquarters in New York City. “New York has become the center of fintech”, Erno Tauriainen, the founder of Spent, explains. “In addition, the competition to find the best talents is extremely tough in San Francisco, for instance. In New York we can recruit great team members more easily.” Spent wants to take over the U.S. instead of Finland since the volume is much higher in America. “We want to disrupt the business model of expense management by bringing in a free app”, Tauriainen says. “All our main partners also operate in NYC.” Spent is currently testing the app and its user experience (UX) in New York with potential users. FACC talked to two of Spent’s UX developers, Suvi Alatalo and Jieshu Hu, to find out how user experience testing in NYC works:
What happens in the UX testing sessions? "We have people from different backgrounds come in, test the app and give feedback. We monitor how they use the application, and a moderator chats with the tester to hear comments. It is fruitful to see how different people use the app because they all have different approaches to expense management."
Why test it in New York?"There are so many potential customers here. New Yorkers are also quite willing to give their honest opinion. They might be more honest compared to other U.S. cities."
You have tested Spent in Finland too. Does the Finnish feedback differ from the American comments? "This app is meant for the U.S. market, and European test users have a different approach to expense management. Finnish people want to first have the report, whereas Americans just constantly file expenses on an ongoing basis."
What happens after the testing? "We have a list of things to do based on the feedback. There weren’t any big surprises, mostly visual stuff."
Are New Yorkers concerned about privacy when giving their credit card details? "It depends on the person but generally Americans seem to be less concerned about privacy than Finns are."
What advice would you give to UX developers who are building an app for the U.S. market? "Understand the cultural aspects that affect your app users’ way of thinking. Do the usability testing early on in the product development process. You should do a round of tests already in the developing stage and then keep constantly testing to keep yourself on the right track. The cost of adjusting the app will be much smaller that way." Read more about Spent and apply for their open job positions here.
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