A Billfold with a Twist – Matthew Wong and Zac Fischel


A Billfold with a Twist


Our target user is college aged man who leads a busy lifestyle. Although he prefers to use cards of all different kinds, he does occasionally carry a small amount of cash. When storing cards, he prefers them to be cleanly organized and easily accessible. Because his ID provides access to the local public transport, it needs to be easy and quick to flip out and show. All of these need to be packed in a slim but capable package that won’t come undone or unorganized during his busy lifestyle.

Let’s call him Dirk.



Really liked subtle details like moving the slide/opening

Fan feature would have to be really durable

I would agree that moving the slide is a good idea.  It was a feature that we realized was needed very late in our design process, but it was very obvious as we tried to use our wallet.   I also think that the slot design lends itself very well to fanning a deck of cards, an experience that many users are already familiar with.

Furthermore, it’s true that the fan would have to be durable.  We would probably use some kind of brass bushing in a final design so that it could slide easily, but still be attached.  Of course, if we actually built this wallet to be sold, we would have to do more research into the design of this feature.  Another idea could be to use metal snap buttons to keep everything together.


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.

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.



Wallet Prototypes – Sarah Tram

Last Friday, after interviewing two classmates about their ideal wallets, a few key points stuck out to me. I kept these important key points listed below when prototyping a mesh of my interviewees’ ideal wallets.

  • Must have a clear pocket for easy access to photo ID and/or Hokie passport (mainly for riding the bus)
  • Needs to be as compact as possible, and not too big.
  • Needs around 3 to 5 slots for cards, a maybe a small space for a few bills, as cash is sometimes carried around.

With these main focal points in mind, I began designing and exploring options.


Option #1:

Both interviewees spoke about how they always have their phone and wallet on them all the time, whether it be placed in their jean pockets or purse. However, one interviewee said they generally like their phones to be as slim as possible, and because of that, doesn’t necessarily like phone wallets.

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The idea behind prototype #1 is to have both the phone and wallet connected, in a more elegant manner than just having an adhesive back to hold cards. The wallet is magnetically attached to the back of the phone/phone case and can be removed easily, and flips open to reveal 5 card slots and a small back pocket to reveal a slot of folded up bills. The flap wallet is held together with a small magnetic latch in on the side. The front of the wallet offers a protective plastic to display Hokie passports and/or ID’s. The front plastic wallet is able to store two cards, specifically meant to store both important ID’s.

Option #2

Here in this prototype, I explored the option of combing just the wallet and keys, as one interviewee spoke about how important it was to have her keys and have it be detachable.











This prototype has slots for 5 different cards and on the front features another clear plastic slot for two ID’s (hokie passport and ID). On the right side of the card holder/wallet is a spring loaded switch, which when pressed displays a certain card placed in that slot (similar to how it is show in the first photo). Right below the switch is a detachable key chain holder piece, where keys can be attached to and easily reached. On the back is a small pocket for any small bills the user may have.

Option #3

This option explores having the most versatility as a wallet by itself, while out having a phone or key attached.

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In this prototype, the Hokie P and ID is displayed on the front of the wallet with a plastic covering for clear and easy view. The wallet itself folds out to display a three tri-fold wallet layout. The first layers are inserted with 4 card slots. The last layer is a slot folded small bills. The last layer/fold can be detattached to provide a more customizable experience for the users, in case they just need certain parts of their wallet but do not want to carry around such a large wallet. The size and an easily compact wallet was the main focus of this last prototype.

Wallet Prototyping–Andrew and Hithesh


For this assignment, we met up in Burchard hall to build some quick prototypes to help generate/analyze ideas.

For this design, we wanted to have something to accommodate people who like to pay with cash and change, as opposed to using a credit or debit card. The front of wallet contains a transparent sleeve to hold an ID so that users do not need to open their wallet when they need to show their ID. The back of the wallet has four elastic pouches to hold quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. The idea of having the pouches be elastic would allow for the wallet to still be slim despite having the coins on the outside of the wallet. The elastic pouches would be tight enough so that the coins would not fall out if the wallet was held upside down. However, it wouldn’t be so tight that the user would have trouble trying to get a coin out.


The idea of this wallet is for it to be integrated with a smartphone to make it more dynamic and convenient for the user. The user can use an app within the phone to choose between any type of credit, debit, or gift card that he or she wants to use. The physical card attachment to the back of the phone would represent the selected card from the app. The attachment would use NFC technology to wirelessly pay and RFID for Chip payments. A barcode will also be displayed on the card attachment for when RFID or NFC technology may not be available at a consumer location, so the user can use a barcode scanner. The card-like extension would slide out easily when the user slides a smooth mechanism on the back of the phone.


The design of this wallet allows it to be sleek and thin, since there are no folding parts. The front of the wallet contains a transparent screen so that the user’s ID can easily be shown to others when needed. There is also a zippered pouch on the front so that the user may store any change if they need to, but it is compact when not in use. The back has numerous compartments for any cards that the user needs to carry. Since the wallet is longer and thinner, cash bills don’t need to be folded, but can be placed in unaltered. By not folding the dollar bills, the thickness of a wallet is greatly reduced.

Blog Post 1

I found it interesting in the first reading by Sengers that she believes because engineers follow a Taylor-like way of solving problems, they are not having fun with the work that they do.  I don’t completely agree that engineers follow that mindset all the time, but from a personal perspective, when I do follow that strategy, I enjoy it.  I like following a routine of doing certain procedures to follow a problem.  In the other text by Blythe, I do like how he mentions how people should design to appeal to the different senses of experience.  I think what Blythe mentions is important to take into consideration when designing a system.