May 222013
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I wasn’t always like this. I was a prudent spender—“Ha!” says my wife, peering over my shoulder—until the day I was seduced (now she’s holding her breath) by a new iPhone app. The irony? The app is an expense tracker… but its interface is so drop-dead gorgeous (luckily my wife has returned to her book) that I can’t resist buying something just to have an excuse to interact with it.

Here is what I like about the app, called Next:

  1. It only costs $1.99 (already entered that expense!).
  2. The design is devilishly simple—just an array of icons.
    Click on the one that resembles your expense—a cup of coffee
    (my Achilles’ heel)—and enter the amount spent.
  3. The analytics are also simple. One swipe to the right reveals your total expense by category for the week, month or year. One swipe to the left reveals the details of each expense by day.

next-app3That’s it. Dead simple. And, wow, so effective.

In fact, I have begun to quiz my wife and kids every night about their
day-to-day expenses, just so I can return time and time again to this app.
I think they may be calling me names behind my back:
“Meet my dad, Mr. Scrooge.”

Sigh, the power of good design.

Now to apply the same design thinking to the main university website… ah, now there’s a worthy challenge!

  7 Responses to “Confessions of a shopaholic!”

  1. Got any digital addictions to share? Any love at first pixel stories? Join the conversation here.

  2. Ram,
    I need this app. Thanks for the recommendation. Question – can you enter negative amounts, like if you bike to work today and don’t spend money on BART or the bus?

    • Not yet, though I am sure they are working on new functionality like every other lean startup 😉 .
      Saw the new look Cal Central this morning. Love the direction you’re moving in.

  3. As an alternative to your NEXT phone App, I found a book that makes you think about what you buy by writing it down and sketching it ! “What Did I Buy Today” by Kate Bingaman-Burt,

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