Filo is a comprehensive, user-friendly, dual-currency financial management app that caters to the unique needs of migrant Filipinos.
See Prototype


This is a passion project that I also used as a school project.

Back in 2016, I was selected to represent my country at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Standford University. I was picked based on my business idea of helping migrant workers prepare for their homecoming. This project is a part of that idea.

My Tasks

User Research
User Survey
User Interviews
Info Architecture
UX/ UI Design
User Testing

My Tools

Material Design

My Tasks

User Research
User Survey
User Interviews
Info Architecture
UX/ UI Design
User Testing

My Tools

Material Design

The Challenge

Despite bringing in $32 billion worth of remittances in 2018 alone, 1 out of 10 Overseas Filipinos come home bankrupt.

It is a sad reality that affects the 9th largest immigrant population in the world. With the advancements in fintech & tech in general, I'm surprised that as of 2019 there is no app yet that is specifically designed to serve the 10 million Filipinos overseas.

This is my attempt at creating an app that can help them manage their personal finances.


Data Sources

Before I made my own survey and interviews, I initially used these 3 data sources to guide me on making my questionnaire.

  1. Government Agencies
  2. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
  3. Niche Groups (Facebook, Reddit & other online groups)
After a getting good grasp of the demography and other public data of my target market, I conducted my own survey mostly focused on specific questions that will filter the necessary info I need for the app design.


has the biggest population of permanent Filipino immigrants at 3.4 million

Middle East

has the highest concentration of temporary Filipino immigrants at 1 million


Of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are 25- 44 y/o


Major regions in the Philippines where most OFWs are originally from

Government & NGO Data

Here are some of the statistics from the Govt and NGOs who have been following the Overseas Filipino population for decades.

  • Philippine Statistics Authority
  • Commission on Filipinos Overseas
  • Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI)

Survey Results

My data showed that bulk of my potential users are:

  • Millenials & Gen X’ers
  • Open to using their smartphones for financial management
  • Own financial accounts in the Philippines & in their current country of residence


Use their smartphones to management their finances in some way


Have never used a comprehensive personal financial management app ever


Have savings/checking accounts in both the Philippines and their current country of residence


Are maintaining pension plans in the Philippines only

Top Financial Goals
  • Personal financial stability
  • Support parents and siblings needs
  • Provide for spouse and children
Top Financial Challenges
  • Lack of basic & advanced financial education
  • Lack of discipline to save
  • Mismanagement of time

I realized that though Overseas Filipinos have unique financial challenges, bulk of their top concerns boils down to the basic financial challenges of most people.

I also asked specific questions that gauge their usage and familiarity with financial management tools to see the following:

  1. Their openness to use modern technology in managing their finances
  2. What tools they are currently using and what they are using them for
  3. What features they would want from a financial app if they can design it themselves

Most frequently used financial mng't tool
  • Pen and paper
  • Currency converter
  • Online banking apps
Top usage for the current tools they have
  • Check bank accounts
  • Create budget
  • Track expenses
Top things they want in a financial mgt app
  • Income and expense tracker with receipt scanner
  • Auto budget creator
  • All-in-one real-time monitor for all their financial accounts
See Survey Results Details

User Personas


26, Middle East
Flight Attendant


38, North America
Nurse Supervisor

Their Goals:

  1. Automate income and expense tracking
  2. Monitor financial accounts
  3. Create a budget
Their Frustrations:

  1. Tedious tracking and manual computation
  2. Understanding financial terminologies
  3. Poor usability of available tools
See Persona Details

Competitive Analysis

Out of all the apps analyzed, Intuit’s Mint has the most number of features the users need. But it lacks some of the vital elements that are specific to the target audience:

  1. Financial literacy core
  2. Dual currency capability
  3. Recognition of most Philippine financial institutions

See Full Analysis See Competitive Analysis

Information Architecture

User Stories

To establish necessary features of the app, I created a list of user stories based on potential user tasks. These user stories were refined and prioritized to define a minimum viable product.

See Full User Stories
As a new user I want to ...
  • Know more about Filo
  • Create an account with email or Facebook
  • Feel secure about using the service
  • Set my currencies
  • Add or link my financial accounts
  • Create a budget
As a returning user I want to ...
  • Sign in via passcode
  • Monitor my financial accounts
  • Monitor my income and expense
  • See the status of my budget
  • Receive alerts on my due dates
See Full User Stories

User Flows

This visualizes the steps a user takes to accomplish each user story. The process began with sketching out multiple iterations of the ff:

  1. Sign In/Up
  2. Add Currencies
  3. Add Bank
  4. Add Transaction
  5. Create Budget
  6. See Alerts
  7. Update Profile and Settings
  8. Get Help

See Full Chart


After sketching a few quick iterations, I finalized the wireframes in Figma. They were used to create a clickable prototype in Invision for user testing.

See Wireframe Prototype

Wireframe Test Results

User testing was conducted remotely using Maze, Messenger & Skype. The feedback from users indicated I need to rethink some of the user flows mainly the

  • Add Cash Account
  • Add Transaction
  • Know How to Budget

Wireframe Redesign

Two screens that got changed based on users’ feedback.

Add Accounts
The addition of the line indicators helps guide the user on where to start.

The line indicators, the labels and the examples given guides the user on where to start and what to write.

The floating button allows the budget screen to have the same app bar as the rest of the screens.


Brand Name & Logo

The name Filo is a play of the predominant letters of the 2 phrases- Financial Literacy & Overseas Filipinos.

For the logo, I want the brand name be reflected on the logo itself thus the letters “Fi”. I also thought of an object that Filipinos associate money with. Bamboo came to mind.

Because I’ve been fascinated with negative space logos ever since I learned about the infamous arrow in the FedEx logo, I decided to challenge myself to create one for this project.

See Full Documentation


Green for money & growth.
Aqua/ Blue for fluidity & security.
Brown for simplicity & practicality.


Since this design is made for Android, I decided to mostly follow Google's Material Design guidelines- from choosing Roboto for its typeface, to its font, size, and case.

Lato, on the other hand, was chosen for the logo and headings due to its semi-rounded details that gives a feeling of warmth, while its strong structure provides stability and seriousness which is apt for the purpose of the app.

Visual Design


  1. Feedback from wireframe prototype test
  2. Branding
  3. Material Design
  4. Behavioral Economics
Using these 4, the mockups in Figma and the clickable prototype came about.

See Mockups

Preference Tests

For refinement, I used UsabilityHub, Messenger, Slack and Reddit to perform preference tests.

During the course of testing, I realized that different groups are better for different types of testing.

  • Users for Usability
  • Designers for Aesthetics
This experience gave me a better sense on how product development happens in the real world. It gave me a greater understanding on the importance of listening to all project stakeholders not only in the beginning but throughout the process of the development. Actively asking for constant feedback at each step of the process made the users feel more valued, and make the design more effective as well.

After a round of testing, I was able to identify areas of improvement and integrate them into the final prototype.

See Test Results

Testing & Conclusion

Final Test Results

For the final test, I did another set of user tests via in-person setup, and remotely via Zoom and Skype. Most of the previous flaws had been fixed but some remain to be up for redesign.

See Final Prototype

Key Takeaways

Because this is the very first project that I had to make from scratch, I learned so much from it. I made a full documentation of everything I learned from each step of the design process. What worked? What didn't? What were my doubts? What surprised me the most? What would have I done differently? All of these were discussed in detail. For TL;DR version, here are my top takeaways:

  1. Anticipate delays.
  2. Research can be a rabbit hole.
  3. Quality questions = Quality answers.
  4. Better to master one tool at a time.
  5. UX Design is so much more than what is on the screen

See All Lessons Learned See All Lessons Learned

Wanna see my other work?

See Home Health