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UX Design & research

Revamping Splitwise to make it easier to understand and enjoyable to use through understanding relationships and behavior in virtual space.

User research | User centered design | User Experience design | UX research | Virtual social behavior  


Project Duration

4 weeks


Prof. S Guruprasad | Dr. Mihir Bhole


Bhawna Tak | Miti Makwana

Understanding Splitwise application which makes life easier
Revealing behaviors triggered in virtual platform.
Devising UX strategy to address the deviant behaviors and meet the core purpose of the Application.
Inspect interactions, Aesthetic value, Heuristic evaluation using research tools like netnography, interviews
Scope of the project

Detailed research/ study & Analysis of Splitwise in the context of virtual behavioral pattens and UX issues to understand deviant behavior in virtual platform by understanding different types of relationships and giving improvised UX solutions for meaningful experience.

This study is to understand the psychological aspects of how an interface evokes certain behaviors.
Design methodology
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Individual View.png

Problem Area Identification

There is no integrated payment inside the App hence when user forgets to settle up It keeps showing the amount.

Language within the product is very formal and language is not inclusive to everyone

Asking for money back is frustrating and embarrassing at the same time. Splitwise does not solve that issue and doesn't align with the goal of making life easier.

There is no voice over for people with different ability.

User adds the expenses but forgets to pay. Although it lessens the cognitive load, procrastinating on paying back is seen.

Filters are not understandable.
Current design
Reimagined design


Clear visibility

About Splitwise

Splitwise makes life easier

Splitwise is a Providence, RI-based company that makes it easy to split bills with friends and family.


It's mission is to make shared living and travel easier by providing neutral advice, fair judgement, and simplified expense sharing through web-based toolscalculators
Focus on fairness
Most people want to be fair to each other, but sometimes they forget, or can’t decide on what fair is. 
Core Intent



Jonathan Bittner

CEO / Cofounder

Research Tools


Company Growth (employees)

100+ currencies

20M $ latest funding by 2021

10+ languages

Remote Interviews
Auto ethnography
Competitor study
Heuristic evalution
Instagram poll - To understand the feeling of the user while asking for money back and to know the purpose of using the app. 
Recording their experiences and feeling through unstructured interview questions.
Reading the user's reviews on the app store/play store to get more data about the user's experience.
Systematically analyzing personal experiences in order to have a clear idea about user's experience. 
To recognize how we can enhance our own product experience and find out the gap through comparative study.
its purpose is to detect usability issues that may occur when users interact with a product, and identify ways to resolve them.



Missing communication in the app for the settle amount

Language is not understood by everyone

Search button doesn't serve the purpose

Too text heavy

Random and repetative icons for groups

UI is boring 

Auto ethnographic research
Remote In- depth Interview
data gathering
about the app
User reviews 
  • AI is boring 

  • Go dutch is taking over splitwise 

  • Lacks payment integration

  • Language is not user friendly 

Instagram poll
  • Splitting money is made easy

  • calculations are easy 

  • too text heavy

  • People has hesitant behavior while asking for money

  • People find the app essential and doesn't come in a way of other activity inside the phone 

  • There is no way to record self-transaction

  • People don't use the reminder feature of the app

  • Poeple felt that UI is very boring and text heavy 

Heuristic evaluation
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.42.19 PM.jpeg
User owes to whom is not clearly shown
Language is very confusing (owe/own) 
Visibility of system status

The system should always show the status of an on-going operation to the users until it is done.​
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.52 PM (3).jpeg
There is a button for user to click but it is not communicated properly.
User Control and freedom

User needs complete control and freedom over the entire system. ​​​
Search icon which is usually used for finding the friend or group here it shows the Splitwise pro.
Match Between System and Real World

matching the icons/illustrations system with the real world. 
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.51 PM (1).jpeg
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.50 PM (1).jpeg
Lack of consistency in icons shown. There is a icon for Lunch but no icon for food although both are from same category.
Consistency and Standard

Don't let the users be confused by adding a different kind of experiences on different task flows.
No suggestions given before settling up or adding the expenses and not even asked about the currency.
Error Prevention

Users are humans. Humans tend to do mistakes. So we should always keep an eye to avoid those possible mistakes by giving appropriate suggestions and notifications when needed.
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.52 PM (3).jpeg

Flexibility and efficiency of use
The design should be easier to use for all the user groups. Even though we have only one set of a user group, then there would be novice users and experienced ones. We need to satisfy both those categories. We cannot stick to expert users, because all of them were beginners once.

WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.53 PM.jpeg
Language is not easily understood by every user. Also there is no voice over integrated so people with different abilities can also participate to use the app.
WhatsApp Image 2024-02-23 at 2.58.52 PM (1).jpeg
User has to recall and open the app to remind others rather than app itself send the reminder to both the owner and borrower.
Recognition Rather than recall

Try to minimize the use of the user’s memory. Suggest them the options that they might need. Or remind them to complete a certain task that needs to be done soon. Don't let the users think too much or recall her/his memory to complete tasks.
This app is very text heavy and gives unwanted data which are not even easily understood.

Aesthetic and Minimalist design

Aesthetic and Minimalist design is not about adding white space. Its all about giving relevant data and removing all the unwanted things. Grab users attention towards the action need to be done there. Or give exact data that they want to see. Don't put irrelevant data and elements to confuse the users.

Evaluation of user experience : 


The product is not easy to use or equitable for most of the users. The Idea and purpose does delight the users but purpose is not entirely served. Partially it solves the problem of splitting the bill but doesn't touch the feeling of the user while asking for money back.

data analysis

Data analysis and insights:

Settle up conversation
Individual calculator
There should be one transactional thread if partial payment is done

Integrated money transactional app.
Reward system should be there 
Interactive Icons make users come back 
split logo_edited.png
Avoiding awkward conversation about money
There is no option for no contact/no use.

Pain point:

If user make cash payment he forgets to settle up in the app.

Every time one needs to change the currency.

App doesn't allow sorting bills based on time zone or category hence user has to scroll through the entire list.
Reminder about bills are hidden.

Language is very formal to understand

Camera, Calendar, and notes button are not usually used and the purpose of the app is transparency so if the user do not upload the bill there can be consequences of loosing trust between two people.

When user click on the search button it shows Splitwise pro and it becomes frustrating for users.

the app is text heavy. So instead of decreasing the cognitive load it is pressurizing the user.








The primary emotional response that the user usually has is a feeling of frustration, deception. The user had a certain expectation from the app, though when it doesn't work according that expectation, a negative emotional reaction emerges. User quickly assume the App/People to be an unfair one. Whereas, all that the company is trying to do is drive revenue by making the most of the peak time. 

Empathy Mapping

to gain a deeper insight into their customers. 
Empathy Mapping_edited.png

Identified Intended and Deviant behaviors

Deviant behavior occurs when user is not able to perform as he was expected to perform.
Taking Splitwise as an example, It was made to make user's life easier but instead user ended up feeling frustrated , betrayed , dumb..
Intended & Deviant_edited.png

Behavioral  Insights

Generalized trust /Illusion of control

People trust once the amount is added on splitwise that they will get the fair payment back.

Priming effect

More than expense tracking when poeple think about splitwise , the platform is to get money or give money which means it is associated only with pain/pleasure.

Cognitive load 


Tracking expenses in the app reduces the cognitive load but it is too text heavy to easily use the product.

Loss aversion

People tend to feel scared to open the app because of so many unsettled payments and feel like he is going to loose all the money.

Mere exposer effect

Once people get used to the app even through many hurdles they stick to the app and don't try new apps.

Actor observer bias

People judge others when people forget to pay the amount but when they delay their payment they give reasons that they were not aware about the expenses. 

Our UX approach

We have created our response based on CUE-ACTION-REWARD ( CAR) model. This is a framework for inducing user habits that drives continuous engagement and retention. Cues prompt habitual behaviors, routines are the actions themselves, and rewards reinforce these behaviors, forming automatic, repeatable habits.
Clear communicative Icons
Calculator for adding expenses
Auto reminder and reminder in your language
Payment integration 
Reward integration like discount coupons , scratch card etc..
Aesthetics - communicative Icons, terms like owe/own replaced by give and take, colors etc..

User Flow


Information Architecture


High Fidelity wireframes

Individual View.png
Transactions - Filters.png
Group View.png
Create Group.png
Group View.png
Screenshot 2022-08-02 024222_edited.png

Metallic blue was chosen to show the trust, faith , sensitivity to the users. 

FONT- Inter fonts 

because it has clear readability and higher x height so easier to differentiate between uppercase and lowercase.

Fonts and color
( hover)


Through our solutions we have tried to resolve existing behaviour issues and made intregated mechanism from adding expenses to paying and settling expenses. Based on Kano model we have chosen features which would be simplifying  basic needs, satisfactory and delightful.

In next upgrade we suggest to enabled alexa & siri intergration, voice integration, adding regional language,accessibility feature for specially abled people.

Design solution

Through the solution we tried to resolve existing behavioral issues made integrated mechanism from adding auto reminders to making more simplified language to make it more user centric. We targeted to achieve basic needs , delightful experience and satisfaction without facing any awkward situations. 
In next upgrade we suggest to unable voice integration, Alexa/siri Integration , Adding more languages to make the app more inclusive.
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