Wallet Designs

My CS partner dropped out so I had some issues with data collection but I had casual conversations about wallet designs with my friends and figured out that majority of my classmates don’t carry a traditional wallet. There is a major interest in wallet designs that are more mobile – in the sense that they are easily carried and also that they usually have mobile phones attached to them. Therefore, I looked at ways to minimize the amount of space taken and maximize the space and ease of use offered by such phone cases.



Out of the three designs, I prototyped the last one because I liked the idea of a hook to attach your wallet onto your pants. Of course, I had to consider ways to make sure that the phone or the wallet would just slide down or drop so I incorporated magnets onto my sketches to hold the wallet.

This design has a hook that attaches to your clothes with a magnet and allows you to easily chose between cards by offering multiple accordion-like slots for cash and cards. Ideally, the phone slot would have a protective screen for extra protection, allowing the wallet to also used as a phone case. The screen of the phone is not concealed so that you can still see your notifications or respond to incoming calls.

Overall, my focus was to have a design that protects your phone, has multiple slots for cards and cash, that is compact, mobile and secure. There can even be a pin attached to the back to completely ensure the position of the phone and protect it from pickpocketing. It also solves the issue of woman pants not having pockets because the design would ideally work for any clothing by placing the pin on different places such as the collar of a dress or a chest pocket on a shirt.

Reading Response #1: January 26, Enjoying Experience

The “Making Sense of Experience” article paraphrases philosopher Bakhtin, saying, “experience… is incurably social, plural, and perspectival.” They discuss how this applies to loyalty on the internet to specific sites. Bakhtin somewhat addresses this as ‘perspectival’, and it might fit underneath the spatio-temporal thread, but more emphasis should also be placed on what I will call ‘comparative’. One might define personality as a collection of accrued experiences and thoughts. With a personal database of experience, better known as memories, a person will decide what to pursue based off of those previous experiences. In other words, each new experience is compared to previous ones. What is different? What is new? What is interesting? What is familiar? Did I like it or not last time? This aspect is rather obvious when creating new products; a user always brings their previous emotions to a new experience in accordance with a similar experience. Thus, while the article did mention this in its Appropriation section, it should have taken this more into account when discussing philosophy about experiences. For example, if I like using Facebook, starting to use Twitter would be related to enjoying Facebook, and then I investigate if Twitter has a novel functionality. If so, I might find it worth my time; if not, I would stick to Facebook. Thus, I am inherently comparing Twitter to Facebook in my experience of the two sites.


In “The Engineering of Experience” article, I greatly appreciate how the author talks in the concrete. If we look at the reading of articles as a human experience, one of the most exhausting and annoying ways to present information is to discuss the abstract… and then remain in the abstract. People like to sense what you are talking about; I want to be able to easily imagine and picture what you are discussing. Further, when I interface with someone’s writing, I want to be able to understand it without having to re-read it. I found the experience of reading this article much more pleasurable compared to the other because it was presented more concretely (with examples) and logically (with intuitive structure and descriptive headings). Most do not actually want to wade through ambiguous terms and convoluted sentences. I like how the author presents the user experience as a conversation, since the article itself comes across conversational as well. The author took the time to consider the user of his article.



Assignment 1 Readings


In response to Sengers assertion that Computer Science engineers are akin to Taylorism which reduces the “fun” of programming, I have to say that I personally enjoy programming but understand Sengers’ point of view. Also when Sengers provided the assertion that “Instead of representing complexity, trigger it in the mind of the user”, it really caused me to realize that an amazing , complex program with a non functioning user interaction, the program also becomes non functioning despite it’s high level code. I remember reading articles about mobile application designs where apps that would have a huge number of functionalities would cause frustration among it’s users since the users would have a difficult time finding the function they are looking for (due to the large list of functions and the limited space of displaying options).


During Wright’s definition of the “Four threads of experience”, it really connected with an article I read about the psychology behind programming certain types of mobile games where the goal is to get the user hooked and addicted to the gameplay. For example, the sensual thread references the design of the mobile game, where a pleasing color palate and animation may put the user at ease. The compositional thread could the be branching story line of the game that keeps the user wondering “what if I preform his action”. The emotional thread could be the joy and satisfaction the user receives when completing a difficult puzzle (where the puzzle may be impossible at first, but as time goes on, the solution unlocks. This causes the user to receives a certain amount of joy for the amount of time they invested in the puzzle).

Kylie’s & Vince’s Wallet Prototypes

Initial research into our target users indicated contrasting use cases. User #1 currently has a phone-wallet with a front-folding screen cover and an adhesively attached card holder on the back. User #1 expressed interest in maintaining additional screen protection with some sort of front-folding flap, keeping a wallet that doubles as a phone case, increased space for cards and cash, and having card storage encased rather than open. User #1 also suggested having a zipper-based approach to encasing the phone and extra storage.

In contrast, User #2 uses a thin, doubled-sided wallet pouch separate from the phone case. User #2 highly prefers the wallet separate from the phone case for a variety of reasons. User #2 expressed similar interests in increased storage, such as room for cash. User #2 also expressed mild interest also in incorporating some way to store keys.

Compiling the two users into a single list of requirements, we concluded our wallet needs:

  1. Adaptability: The phone-wallet should be able to convert between a wallet, a phone case, and a hybrid of both. The user should be able to choose the functionality of the product. To satisfy both use cases, this feature is of utmost importance.
  2. Storage: The phone-wallet should have above-average storage options. This will be able to accommodate cash in addition to multiple cards.
  3. Concealment: The phone-wallet should avoid having sensitive information and cash visible to others when closed.

Here is a compilation of brainstormed sketches coupled with chosen designs highlighted in blue:

Kylie & Vince Wallet Designs

Sketch Compilation

Prototype #1: Zipper Clutch

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In the sketch compilation, its sketches are the second from the top on the left, and the second from the top on the right. While not implemented in the prototype, a zipper would encompass the entire perimeter of the phone, excluding the hinge. The left flap provides storage for multiple cards or folded cash, in addition to a pocket underneath the phone sleeve. The phone sleeve is made of clear plastic. If the user wishes to not use the plastic sleeve for a phone, it is also a great option for additional storage, such as a pre-existing card holder, but especially for identification such as a driver’s license. Finally, the zipper provides the concealment, but in a rush, the user could also place items freely in the middle of the wallet-case and zip it up. This case is more geared towards User #1, but also fully satisfies the functionality for User #2.

Prototype #2: Slide & Snap

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In the sketch compilation, its sketches are located on the upper right and upper left. The defining feature of this design is that the phone case is a shell with rails on the left to attach a detachable left cover with card slots. This allows the user to detach the wallet functionality from the phone case functionality at will. Attachment/Detachment would be a similar process to a Joy-Con for the Nintendo Switch console. The left cover also has a pocket on the outer edge, with a zipper to provide concealment and additional storage for cash or keys (seen in the second picture).

Prototype #3: Accordion

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In the sketch compilation, this is the bottom-most sketch. The modular, detachable approach introduced in the Slide & Snap inspired us to take a similar approach, but with attention the back of the phone. There will be a shell phone case similarly to Slide & Snap, but rails or a cutout slot will be on the back (as seen in picture 2). The wallet portion will be an accordion folder with partitions on the inside. The prototype uses a top flap instead of a clasp (originally shown in the sketch) to close and open the accordion. This will help avoid accidental openings of the accordion, and it also conceals. The accordion is great for storage because it expands with more insertions. Plus, it can expand to hold cash or keys. Note that the accordion is not hinged on the bottom, but rather has an adjusting bottom edge (as seen in picture 4). Since it is detachable, the wallet functionality can be separated from the phone case. The attachment mechanism could also have the accordion double as a belt-attachable wallet. Screen protection could be addressed with raised case edges, or another attachment as a left flap.
Future Iteration:

We believe there is promise in the modular detachments, which allows adaptability to a wide variety of users. Thus, future investigations will most likely look at different combinations of Prototypes #2 & #3 and additional permutations.

Reading Responses

The Engineering of Experience:

I thought this article was interesting, pointing out how jobs and now our personal lives have become so structured and streamlined.  This focus on efficiency and “time is money” has squeezed out simple pleasures and much of the joy of some activities.  I think as far as jobs go, the careers that have so optimized (factory work/skilled labor) are eventually, unfortunately going to be taken over by AI and robotics.  This will leave jobs that need personal interaction.  I think this gives a big opportunity for designers to design the experiences around these positions, designing how these employees will navigate systems within the workplace and how they can more enjoy their work.


Making Sense of Experience:

This article discussed the relationship between an experience and the user’s “dialogue”.  I think this dialogue between the product/experience and a user’s thoughts is what design tries to address.  When designing an experience, we should determine what that internal dialogue will be (through user testing, research, etc. ) and then try to design the experience to match that.  This will allow the user to easily navigate an experience, making it feel natural.

First reading

After reading the two articles one concept I am questioning is monotony. It is interesting to consider when designing experiences because both articles talk about improving lifestyles, and a large portion of developing a successful life style is generating a routine. The first article talks about improving the efficiency of the workplace. When people have a new experience there will probably be a learning curve that for a while, will make someone less efficient than they already were. This connects to the idea of Taylorism because sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks so what logically should be more efficient, actually incorporating it into an existing workflow might just cause problems without proper training.

The second article talks about loyalty and how people build an emotional attachment to their experience and fall come to expect some specific result from that experience. While some users are excited by change and want an experience that is enriching and always transforming, other people might be uncomfortable or almost frustrated if something seems too complicated. As a designer, I am curious about the process of creating a disruptive idea with potential to improve the life of the user but how do you successfully transition them into trusting your experience. How does one decide how obvious to be, because what may seem easy to the creator can be highly complicated to a user and it is important to find the line between creating a subtle, open-ended narrative and just leaving the stranded and not even giving your product a chance.

It’s important that there is some discovery the user does on their own so that they feel a sense of accomplishment and a stronger emotional attachment, but it can’t be too complicated where the user becomes lost or frustrated. I guess that’s why when you create an experience, it can be hard to predict how people will react and so when you are designing, you have to take what is logical and compare it with user testing to see how a real person is going to act based on emotions.

Reading Week 1

The most intriguing part of the first article was the discussion about how our pleasures have been majorly separated from our task in means of maximizing efficiency. It made me question why we seek comfort in our extracurricular activities and whether or not efficiency would be affected in a positive way if people associated tasks with pleasure. Also, the discussion about complexity of humans and AI’s place in experiences was interesting in terms of understanding the challenges of converting data input of computers into emotional outcome of humans. It made me realize how a value of an experience depends on meaning and think of ways to enhance the meaning in order to make an experience valuable.
The second article pointed out the components that made an experience valuable which I think was an excellent, more detailed continuation of the article previously discussed. Both articles made me question the ways of engineering an experience, using the threads listed, in order to create something valuable and pleasurable.


Wallet Concepts

Jad Sidi, Nathan Eggleston:

Initial Ideation Sketches: Concepts explore different ways to organize a physical wallet, as well as ways to change how payment is made.

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Concept 1: Four sided, square chip card–allows one card to be 4 methods of payment


Concept 2: Sensor embedded within wallet allows card reader to detect different cards “loaded” into wallet.  Payment method is selected on card reader.


Concept 3:  Circular disc consolidates 6+ cards into a single object.  User spins through to select chip, which is then put into machine.



Week 1 Reading Response


The article seemed to demonstrate that focusing more on efficiency can worsen one’s user experience. I agree that it does seem to be the case for most situations. However, I think that it is still possible to achieve a balance of the two because sometimes it can be beneficial to be efficient or to have a better user experience. It would depend on the use case scenario of one’s needs. Interdisciplinary cooperation between two distinct fields should help bridge together efficiency along with user experience.


The article presented a framework composed of multiple threads that provides some use to analysis of design. I think that one problem with this approach of analysis is that it hard to have a finite framework as other components could easily be added or considered as well. The benefit to the approach of having the framework is that there is terminology that help describe user experience. When analyzing a user’s experience going through an online shopping website, I found it interesting that the user was able to describe his experience and be placed within threads.


Sengers and Blythe Readings

Sengers–“The Engineering of Experience”

I found the explanation of the transition of casual work/home balance to distinct work/home separation, in order to increase efficiency in that work, to be quite interesting, but I do have a hesitation: Although I agree partially that there is something lost by adopting “Taylorism” in its purest form, the author doesn’t really provide a sufficient argument as to why increasing efficiency in the workplace or at home with “fun” is inherently wrong.  The author claims that, “as a culture we need to consider systems that take a more integrative approach to experience,” but does not even try to prove why this assertion is true.  On one hand, I agree that it can be nice to be more relaxed about the boundaries of work/play, allowing for more neutral experiences, but on the other, I love the aspect of separation that allows me to clock out at the end of a work day and not have to be thinking about work when I am home with my family or hanging out with friends.  I love this quote: “Human behaviour is rich, complex, messy, and hard to organize into rules and formal models.”  But I think the author may be ignoring the fact that some people enjoy striving for efficiency and organizing their lives with “to-do lists” and “schedules.”

Blythe–“Making Sense of Experience”

I enjoyed reading this excerpt, but I will say it was a bit of an exhaustive “experience” (pun intended) navigating through the highly-specific philosophical or etymological discussion.  I think that I agree with most of what the author is asserting, but there was one thing that I was not to sure about.  Perhaps I misunderstood something, but it seems to be a contradiction when, at the beginning of the paper, it is suggested that “experience” should not be confused with subjective perceptions, but later, several examples of subjective aspects of experience are provided (The sensual thread, the emotional thread, making sense in experience, interpreting, etc.)  The author even states at one point, “People do not simply engage in experiences as ready-made, they actively construct them through a process of sense making.”  In other words, the experience is subjective to how people make sense of them.  Experience may contain other aspects that are objective, but it definitely contains lots of subjectivity.

Sidenote–I thought this quote was particularly interesting: “we cannot design an experience. But with a sensitive and skilled way of understanding our users, we can design for experience.”  This is probably a good observation to keep in mind while studying “User-Experience Design” as a class.