Jan 2018 - March 2018
(7 weeks)


Sarah Outhwaite
Brian Nguyen

My Role

Interaction Design


Unity 3D
HTC Vive


Monitoring personal finance can be a challenge. From morning to night, financial transactions pervade every aspect of daily life. Although people form budget goals, they may struggle to construct mental models of these goals in their memory during daily decision points without pausing to check numbers and visual references.

Design Challenge

How might we help users internalize a memorable model of their personal finances and improve their spending habits?


Turrim is a VR app that provides a virtual time and space for personal finance management. Designed for Vive, Turrim is designed to be an occasional or weekly experience. Users enter an immersive, memorable space, gather information about their recent spending habits from linked bank accounts, and adjust future budgets with full-bodied interactions.

Embodied interactions increase memorability and cognition leading to
changes in behavior.

We considered a VR experience an appropriate compliment to the type of reflective habits that we aimed to build. The embodied nature of spatial interaction would both slow down the experience, and invest it with physical interaction. Additionally, VR engages people's spatial reasoning to support their budget modeling.

Key Interactions

Individual Budgets

Adjusting each individual budget is accomplished by grabbing the budget tower and adjusting the height.

Total Budget

Total budget is adjusted by using the Vive touchpad to either increase or decrease allowable spending for the weekly cycle. The black circle represents the allotted spending and the blue flame circle represents remaining money in one's account.


At the end of every weekly cycle, reward jewels are given that are placed into the space. When filtering to view one's budget over time, these rewards represent how well one abided to their budgets for that particular week.


We began ideation by sketching out the concept of the space and as well as the interactions that would take place in the tower.

TiltBrush Prototyping

After sketching, we prototyped the idea within Tilt Brush by Google. This was an effective way to give form to the budget towers and experience for ourselves the effectiveness of the three dimensional space.

Usability Testing

After building out our initial prototype, we tested with two participants for a full one week cycle of what using Turrim would be like. The first week consisted of entering the space and setting their budgets for the individual week. The prototype does not support linking to one's account in its current state, but we were focused on whether physical interactivity with their budget would affect their spending habits over the week.


Throughout the week, we asked the two participants to fill out a simple survey whenever they thought about Turrim in relation to their spending habits. We wanted to glean information on Turrim's effect on their spending behaviors or engagement with the knowledge of their own budget.

After completion of the week, we had the participant re-enter the space to receive the awards for the week. During this week, we wanted to observe whether or not the user understood the purpose of the rewards and how to interact with them within the space. After all rewards were placed in the space out of the towers, they would be able to set their budgets for the following week.