Problem Space

People of a society manage a lot of responsibilities and have taken to using various plastic cards to help support their identification, monetary transaction, and membership to a myriad of services. They carry a lot of cards in with them like debit, credit, business card, membership card, student id, employee id, grocery store card. The use of cards has escalated to a broad extent that people have adapted from using their wallets or handbags to using card holders, to manage their multiple cards. In whatever manner, locating and using a card from a group of others can be slow, cumbersome, and annoying to an individual.

With the aim of creating a solution for this problem, we set out to gather information about how people use and manage their cards to suggest a prototype design that would help people easily use their card information in their day-to-day lives.

My Role

I worked as product designer for smartcard prototype and mobile application. My main focus of work was on application experience that people will have, to improve it I created low-fidelity prototype which I tested with people and based on the feedback, worked on the hi-fidelity interactive prototype.

Primary Research

We conducted a survey related to the different cards people carry with them and got different figures than what we had expected.

Some insights

Almost 75% people carry more than 3 cards in their wallet.

Almost 51% people carry 3 or more than 3 payment cards with them.

45% people are worried about security of their card.


For supporting different types of cards, our card was required to have few features like re-programmable swiping strip

  • Re-programmable magnetic strip: Which could add information about different magnetic chips like credit, debit, access card, etc. We also verified the technical feasibility for that.

  • Standard Chip: There are payment card readers who only support chip, we took care that our card user should not face any inconvince because of it.

  • Interface: Interface on card was necessary so that user could select a particular card.

Brainstorming and Idea Generation

Due to the disparity in the infrastructure between technologically advanced countries to that of others in hardware to communicate data from the smartphone(NFC, wifi, Bluetooth, etc), ideation revolved around a stand-alone device that could be pervasively used. Concepting was further narrowed down to items that were readily found in wallets or handbags as people were habituated to holding their cards.


We created storyboards to check different use cases and to clarify the context of our card usage. Storyboards also helped us in envisioning the real-life environment of our usage of cards and through which we could explore the benefits and limitations came with it. The storyboard was created with the theme of saving time, managing multiple cards and using the same card for identification and transaction.

Low-Fidelity Application Screens

We created an low-fi screens for our application which would help people add their different cards into their one card.

Hi-Fidelity Application Screens

I chose android's material design as a framework to leverage the already placed UX efforts that Google has invested in it, and it is simply amazing. The reason behind choosing green as the primary color was it reflects renewal, abundance a new beginning and growth. These were the qualities our product is built upon, it reduces plastic usage, it is a new beginning towards growth for every user who will use it.

The screens include features like adding a new card, changing the application pin, checking all payment history and card specific payment history, etc.

Making the card prototype.

Most important aspect of our project was the smart card, which was going to be used by the people everyday. We wanted people to actually use the prototype and we evaluated their experiences and made changes based on the feedback we got. This is how we reached to make the physical prototype.

Card Interface.

As many cards were combined into the one card, an interface to interact which card to choose was obvious. Our first thought that we would provide a list of cards in a single row, but our initial via user testing we got to know that if the user puts a number of cards into the OneCard, it'd cause the problem for users to scroll through the endless loop of the cards. So we categorized the cards based on it's type, like credit, debit, and others.

User Testing

User testing was conducted with 5 participants who regularly use credit cards and other membership cards. The test was carried out in the participant’s home using a physical prototype. The study was executed using the ‘wizard of oz technique’ to simulate the interaction within the prototype. During the test, participants were instructed by a facilitator to perform a task while an observer noted down the user’s reactions and behavior. Users were briefed about the purpose of the study and were told the following; they were expected to complete the tasks.

  • “Assume you are at shopping mall with smart card. Your task is to pay the bill for a pair of shirt you bought using the chase credit card”
  • “Assume you are entering in the gym. Your task is to scan your gym membership card using this smart card.”
  • “Assume you are at the ATM machine. Your task is to withdraw cash using the PNC debit card.”

User Feedback
  • Participants believed that the e-ink display is touch sensitive and were trying to interact with it instead of touch sensor.
  • Participants raised concerns over the security of their fingerprint incase card is stolen or lost.
  • Participants liked the idea of having one card that could handle all their requirements.
  • Participants expected card to have longer battery life and durability and did not mind spending extra money for the card
  • Participants liked that the card functioned as an independent device without the need of a smartphone.

Final App Design and Card demo

Below you can see the interactive prototype for the application of OneCard app where people can add new cards, see their payment history, etc

Other Case Studies