Applying a user-centred approach to a Starling Kite problem

Starling Bank card

My children (aged 13 and 9) have had the new kids Starling Kite card for the last month.

The Starling Kite card allows you to allocate money into your child’s own ’space’ within your account. They are then sent a debit card that they can use to withdraw cash from a cash machine or pay in a shop with contactless or chip and pin. Starling’s idea behind Kite is to make children more responsible with their money and help them build good spending habits. 

The children really enjoy using it. I think this comes mainly from a feeling grown up and not having to worry about bringing cash. In a pandemic world, where cash is less accepted, it is a perfect solution for them. Despite the good start, we have come across a big problem.

I decided to use this problem as a little user research challenge to see how if my children also found it a problem and, if so, how they wanted to solve to the problem. I decided to get them to take part in a mini user interview. Here’s how it went:

Interview script
Interview script

The only way my children know the balance of their card is by asking me. I can view their balances in the Starling Bank app. Sometimes I text it to them just so they know for sure when going out but keeping this up to date is a little frustrating for me. From these interviews, I can conclude that both children also find this problem. 

Together we set about creating a basic sketched wireframe based on the children’s needs and the current ‘adult’ Starling app. This is what we came up with:


We came up with three screens which displayed the information that the children thought was important. Their current Starling balance is the main feature that both children need. This is prominently displayed on the first and second screen.

A display of how much they had spent that week is also displayed on the first and second screen with the second going into more details. We discussed this at length. The current Starling app shows me how much I have spent each day however, the children’s spending is less frequent. We decided that a display of their weekly spend was more useful to them.

The third screen has a list of transactions so the children can see, with a quick scroll, where they have spent their money and where and when money was added to their account.

Maybe Starling could look into this further…I’d be happy to help!