@Zhenshuo Fang 2019

Sensei Payment app

Bank of America x CMU | Pittsburg, PA




Research lead, Designer


Eng, PM, Design




Sensei is a mobile app that helps visually impaired and all users shop and pay with gesture and voice control. As the user research lead and designer of this project, I led the research on user shopping & payment behavior; Designed, developed & tested a gesture-based mobile app with a universal payment experience that is effective, easy and accessible to visually impaired users. And generated documentation and filled a patent on gesture-based payment UI.

Research and Field Study

To kick-off the project, our team researched on innovative payment systems in the market, and performed field studies focus on different payment scenarios for visually impaired (including grocery shopping, retail store shopping, visiting a bank, etc) to inform design directions for a universal payment solution. We recruited 23 users in total and conducted contextual inquiries, user interviews, guerilla-style CI’s, and fly-on-the-wall studies. We synthesized our research findings into three themes: Identity, Simplicity and Control. At the end of the research phase, we delivered a research findings report and a website that captured the research insights, further design directions and the iteration process.

Design and Rapid Prototyping

Based on the key research findings, we identified four directions for future development: Redefining Authorization, Restructuring the Shopping Process, Assisting the Mobility of the Visually Impaired, and Portable Banking. Using Brainstorming, Bodystorming, Personas and different design methods, we generated more than 100 design ideas and synthesized them into design concepts. We then built prototypes in different fidelity to quickly test each concept with users using wizard of Oz, participatory design and Think aloud testing.

Develop, Test and Iterate 

After 5 rounds of concept validation, we choose to further develop on the idea of a gesture based mobile app, Sensei, that focus on the authentication phase of payment process. The primary features of Sensei app includes: remote connection, real-time audio feedback, motion gestures, Sensei Buddy for authentication and a unified interface for both sighted and visually impaired users.

For more detail, take a look at the detailed design document and a video demo of the final prototype:

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google