Digital gift giving as a greener alternative
Holiday gift giving is rife with waste. When people receive something unwanted, the result is a cluttered house or a thrown away, unrecyclable item.
Digital gift giving can help alleviate some of the environmental impact caused by giving physical gifts. With the rise of instant money transferring, sending money as a gift—be it cash, gift card, or even crypto—can be a great alternative.
Cash App offers a variety of options when sending money—as cash, digital gift card, crypto or stock. The many merchants already available on Cash App makes it a suitable money transfer app to explore ways people can utilize it to reduce waste when giving gifts.
People don't like giving gift cards, because it's impersonal, yet they love receiving them
To find out people's gift giving habits, needs and pain points, I conducted 3 user discovery interviews and a survey that collected responses from 30 participants.
An interesting finding from the research is that people generally avoid giving gift cards, the reason being they are "impersonal", and yet they love receiving them because they are "useful".
Other findings include preference over experience-based gifts, and that the surprise element was cited as the best part of receiving a gift.
How might we encourage more users to send gift cards through the app?
During my initial research for this project in late November 2022, the only way for a user to know Cash App had digital gift cards was if they click on the transaction screen which you would get to only when you were about to pay someone. Giving gift cards as an option wasn't visible on any of the main pages.
Therefore, my initial challenge included how to make giving gift cards a more prominent feature on the app. However, a few weeks later in late December, sending digital gift card was promoted and brought to the top of one of the main pages.
Assuming that this was a result of Cash App trying to encourage more users to send gift cards, it would mean that I was on the right track in choosing to expand this feature and that this aligns with the business goal.
Gift people what they really want with a personal touch
The goal was to expand on the current digital gift card feature by allowing users to add a personalized e-card along with the gift card, retain the surprise element for the recipient by having them unwrap a gift, and help them remember what their friends like by saving their favorite brands to wishlists.
By increasing gift card transactions, Cash App will be able to convert more users into using Cash Card because that's how you use the gift cards received on the app. Cash Card users are more likely to be active users due to the discounts and the fact that most major features requiring users to have a virtual Cash Card number.
Integrating a new e-card feature into the existing gift card sending and receiving flows
The goal was to integrate new features seamlessly into the existing flows and design patterns.
These new features include:
1. A new gift card category, "Experience", the most desirable kind of gifts according my research.
2. A "Create Your Own" option for users to send cash—for any purpose—as a gift card.
3. Personalized E-card feature letting users add a personal touch with a photo or a short video.
4. Keeping a list of your friends' favorite brands.
5. Gift "unwrapping"
Moderated usability tests with 5 participants
1. Participants were able to complete the tasks of choosing the "any concert" gift card and send to someone (a name was given) and added a custom e-card.
2. Participants were able to receive and "unwrap" a gift card.
3. Unwrapping of gifts and personalization of the e-card were the most desirable feature.
1. The new "Add E-card" feature placed below the original "For" caused confusion over what users should write under "For".
2. Users hesitated to choose the "Any concert" gift card if they saw Ticketmaster first.
3. A "wishlist" placed in a friend's profile was misunderstood as a list maintained by the friend rather than the user themselves, despite the help text "Only Visible To You".