We’ve all been there at one point in our lives, where we desire to take charge of our finances. That feeling of being in charge is something we all crave, but sadly not many of us have had the luxury of this. How about we have a hold on them. Introducing the Sub-Buddy-Subscription Management app.
Some background story and Research.


Studies show that subscription-based business models have seen exponential growth over the last decade. A subscriber commits to repeatedly pay for a good or service for a fixed or indefinite timeline, has been caused by the shift from the one-time selling of physical products to selling digital services on a subscription basis. While this may be good for the business and sales executives,
users, on the other hand, are overwhelmed by this constant stream of deductions from their bank accounts due to the number of subscriptions they have and sometimes they may not need some of these subscriptions again.

Research Goal

The goal of this study is to find out ways users currently manage their subscriptions, understand how they would want to manage their subscriptions, find out unfortunate situations that may have happened to them when managing subscriptions and would they be interested in using a digital subscription manager.
User Research
“It’s hard to keep track of all the products and services that we have subscribed to every month. All we see is money deducting from our accounts, sometimes from services that we don’t need anymore. How can you design a product which helps manage subscriptions?”
How do people record their subscriptions and what traditional methods have they adopted in the past?
In order to understand these challenges, I conducted an online survey with 43 results. These were the results;
  • 65% (28 persons) were male while the rest 35% (15 persons) were female.
  • 95% were 18 to 30 years old.
  • 81% of the topmost subscription bills were data and App subscriptions.
  • 70% (32 persons) don’t have a record of their subscriptions.
  • Only 5% (2 persons) write their current subscriptions down in a logbook.
  • 45% (19 persons) have received unexpected deductions from their bank accounts due to automatic subscription renewals.
  • 100% are smartphone savvy.
  • 91% are interested in a subscription management app.

And more research...

In order to get some qualitative responses, I interviewed a few persons and asked them the following questions
  • Are there any services you’ve subscribed to, if yes, please give some examples?
  • How do you record your subscription payments?
  • Have you ever received some unexpected deduction from your account from subscription auto-renewal?
  • What are the challenges you’ve faced with keeping track of your subscription payments?
From these questions I got some really interesting responses:
  • “When I plan my finances, I want to be able to see all the services I have subscribed to in order to plan budgets for what’s a priority and what’s not …”
  • “…I have a lot of subscriptions, but sometimes when I am broke, I need to know what renewals need to be paid and the ones I don’t need. I want to plan better…”

Competitive Analysis:

: from the survey analysis many participants were interested in a subscription management app which was exciting because the aim of the study was to Design one. With this in mind, I had to look into the market and check out existing solutions. I looked into the current app solutions used today, especially in the Nigerian Market) for managing subscriptions and expenses.
Below are some app examples:

REACH — Exclusively on Android.

Reach app is an automatic expense tracking, income, saving and budget manager.
Also used by a number of persons for tracking subscriptions.
  • Free app. Most features are free as well.
  • Gives a birds-eye view of all financial activities.
  • Android only
  • A lot of features are shown at once to users. Could be quite overwhelming at first.
  • No payment notification

App Store — Subscription Manager (iOS):

  • Native solution
  • Only lets you manage subscriptions bought via the app store.
Interestingly, I also found some reviews of these apps, that users were most pained about.
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Google play store review
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Google play store review
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Google play store review

User Persona

Based on the generative user research I gathered, I created two user personas that capture the essence of my target users. Meet Jonathan and Grace.
The purpose of creating a user persona is to compare and contrast the two main features of the subscription process: the subscription and payment reminders.
The two personas are individually situated in contrasting environments. Jonathan’s case will demonstrate a subscriber who needs to manage all subscriptions, and Grace’s case will be displaying the situation of reminding a subscriber of their payment renewals.
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user persona
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user persona

Finding Solutions

After brainstorming, researching and interviewing. I began to understand what problems people have, what I will be designing for and who I will be designing for.
I categorised them according to the most pressing pain points to the least and highlighted possible solutions.
These findings have helped me re-shape the direction of developing a subscription manager mobile app. These are the new adjustments as follows:
  1. Reminders
Send notifications about subscription renewals.
In order to plan appropriately, users could receive notifications about their subscription before it auto-renews that way they plan appropriately ahead of time.
The mobile app would notify users about their subscription before it renews. Using post notifications, SMSs, and emails. (all choices are dependent on the user preferences)
2. Simple e-records
Manage subscriptions with a simple interface.
One of the pains recorded by the interviewed participants was the complex nature of most subscription management apps.
“Most digital solutions look like accounting software, I don’t understand that”
To solve this my mobile app solution would have a simple yet intuitive interface that would manage users’ subscriptions (after they allow the app to read their bank account summary) and also input them manually.
3. Subscription payment statements (logs)
View past subscription payments and dates.
People need to be able to see a history of all their subscription payments to solve this. The mobile app will give a detailed yet easy to understand summary of subscription details, dates of payment and next repayment dates.

Introducing — Sub Buddy

Recall: The goal of the study was to find out how users currently manage their subscriptions, After getting insights and drawing conclusions, I could see that they were interested in a subscription management app. With that, I started designing!
: “Sub Buddy”
I choose the Sub Buddy as the Apps name to depict a close and friendly subscription manager.


I created a simple architecture that will portray more details of the user’s journey upon 5 main stages: Onboarding, Home, Subscriptions, Analytics and New Subscription. While building the architecture, I took into consideration all the research I have gathered, including user personas, flows etc.
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Sub Buddy Arcihtecture
Low-fi wireframes design ideas
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Final designs!

You get onboarded through some introductory screens then proceed to sign up.
high fidelity design
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One of the main aims of the app is to display analytics for payments and app time usage.
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You don’t have to be afraid of forgetting your payment dates.
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lock screen notifications for Sub buddy
Style Guide
Overall while designing Sub-Buddy, I’ve used a style guide for an effective working process and consistent context of the brand story. These components could be consistently developed and will produce another significant one that fits for a better user experience.
Style guide for Sub Buddy
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Although I have worked on a couple of UI designs before, Sub Buddy is the first personal project in the form of case studies to design and prototype in logical steps.
My overall experience throughout the whole process was really interesting, from researching the market to understanding user needs and matching them with design solutions. I found out that a lot of people are looking for a better way to manage their subscriptions and I could see that there was and still is a high demand for solutions.
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Thank you.

If you've scrolled this far, thank you for taking the time to read about my design decisions and solutions in response. If you'd like to talk more about the project, or just chat, please reach out!

Contact me 👉🏻