creating the christmas club product and brand



  • my role

    designer and first hire
  • team

    michael machuca / project owner
  • timeframe

    january 2022 — june 2022
  • deliverables

    0 to 1: iOS app product design, brand design and logo, landing page design + development
  • impact

    app developed
    release on the app store in december 2022
  • goal

    as a user that doesn't usually love budgeting, i can easily manage my money and feel comfortable financially.


onboarding overview

christmas club is an app that visualizes a bank account without ever actually physically moving money around.

in order to clarify the app won't touch their money but still have them link a bank account using Plaid, we made the onboarding experience very robust.

i can really empathize with the fact that choosing to link a bank account to literally anything on the internet is a big deal for almost everyone.

(in technical terms: this specific onboarding is a funnel with a lot of steps requiring high user effort, and thus there is a big risk of potential drop-off.)

because of that, it was important to me to design an experience that left the user feeling:

1. calm, relaxed, and happy but also
2. confident that they have all the knowledge and information they need.


onboarding user flow

functionally, the flow new users must complete is:
  1. (start) select "get started" ->
  2. enter email and password ->
  3. verify email ->
  4. link bank with Plaid ->
  5. choose a pay date (finish)
1. select "get started"
2. enter email & password
3. verify email
4. link bank with Plaid
5. choose a pay date

after step 5, the user is totally set up in the app. there are two more informational screens, but no more user input is required.
info screen
info modal, done w/ onboarding


app core experience


app core experience

main features: savings visualizer (above), bank account balance display (center), bank account transactions display (below).

i really love how good information design of existing functionalities can empower someone and deliver huge amounts of value. because of that, i loved how the purpose of this app wasn't to deliver a new credit card or reward system, it's to create a new way of displaying the bank account information somebody already has.


christmas club logo & app icon

this was a really enjoyable logo and branding project. my product lead and i were discussing that our target user is people that are generally lighthearted and carefree (hence why they might not love tasks like budgeting.)

as a result, i wanted to design a visual identity that conjures feelings of simplicity, innocence, optimism, and wholesomeness.


visual identity thought process & inspiration

starting with the theme around christmas, i was looking for historical visual inspiration that kind of captured that pure, childlike feeling of joy around the holidays.

i happened upon norman rockwell's famous collection of covers for the saturday evening post — specifically, the ones he did around christmas. i thought his work perfectly captured the nostalgic vibe i wanted to go for, so i created the logo aiming to conjure a modern version of the bookman type style in "saturday evening post."


landing page

i designed and developed the landing page myself in webflow — i also had a really good time doing this.

i did the "to" and "from" to conjure up the feeling of sending gifts to people around the holidays, and i did the static background as a nod to the static of a mid-20th century (norman rockwell era) television that might be in the center of a family home playing christmas movies.

ironically, i'm actually personally someone that isn't super into the holidays... like, i like them, but you won't see me decorating 5 months early. but in this project, i really did enjoy trying to capture a nostalgic holiday feeling in a brand and product.