Methods & tools
user research and analysis / UI design & prototyping
With a brief set by design agency Nile, my team was tasked with focusing on what the future of finance would look like in Northern Ireland in 10 years time.
o understand what the future would look like the team started by exploring what the current trends in the finance system are, these included;
Buy now pay later finance
These showed a clear transition into a digital way of banking. Exploring factors that influenced the financial system, it was clear that the technological advancements in banking was the most influential.
Working from our insights we created a 20 year timeline to examine how finance and digital products had evolved from 10 years in the past to the present, and based on these trends how they might evolved over the next 10 years.
before conducting interviews, as a team we discussed what issues we thought existed with the current banking system. We could then use these pain points as a baseline comparison to our user interviews.
Based on these we explored some conceptual solutions.
Reviewing with the team
As we presented our findings to the Nile team we were encouraged to reframe our thinking of the problem, rather than thinking what the future might be like it was important to ask the right questions of the problem such as ‘what is daily future life like?’ While taking into consideration wider global issues that can effect the financial systems here
Examining emerging trends in finance I looked at how the future of credit is changing in the system today. Key insights showed that after the financial crash consumer bowering was at an all time low. This gave way to the rise of companies like Klarna with a buy now, pay later business model.
Dators four futures
Working from our research to date we used dators four futures to help us predict the most likely outcome of future financial trends. Using this framework we now had a clear focus on the direct of the service we aimed to design.
As a team of 3 we each went off to conduct 3 interviews for a total of 9. We then reviewed the interviews to gather key findings. These included….
lack of financial advise from education system
lack of incentives to keep money in the bank / stay with a bank (no rewards)
card readers make it difficult to use online banking
more push to online banking by 2030 / money to be kept in assets to save rather than sit in the bank / more flexibility with own money
Moving on from desk research we began collect qualitative and quantitative data from from interviews and surveys. Once our data was gathered we started categorising and organising our findings into an affinity map, this help us better understand our findings.
We also created a stakeholder map to identify what demographics we would be creating the service for, and what groups would be most affected by a digitised future. Our findings concluded that this would be those without access to digital currency or smart technology.
Based on our data we could make a reasonable assumption that this would be people in the 50 plus demographic. This would be the focus of our service.
While brainstorming we thought about taking a new approach to consumer banking. Traditional financial institutions were focused on gaining individual users, however we consider that you can create a more interactive and integrated form of banking by making the focus about the whole family. This in turn would also mean that the financial service would gain a wider user base over a shorter period of time. Once a family all became users of the platform, over generations the service would be able to retain these users plus any new members of the family, creating a self-retaining ecosystem of users.
We believed this would help us solve a number of issues raised during our research. Firstly, new younger users would gain financial advice and experience by being part of the service from a young age, and as such would be able to learn how to manage and save money through a parental controlled account. This way parents can see how they spend their money and help to teach when they make mistakes. likewise the grandparents will also be able to help teach their grandkids.
Secondly, grandparents who do not, or are not familiar with digital finance, are given an incentive to join the service and learn how to access and use it. In this way we are targeting those who are research has shown are most likely to be left behind in a financial transformation world. Additional features in the app that could be later explore are the likes of finance games that grandparents and grandkids can play together, bonding while learning different skills from each other.
With a concept together we created user personas of a parent and grandparent, to help us better understand our users.
User jounery map
We wanted to show a parents and grandparents interaction through the service. The parents would open their own account, and then one for their child, and invite the grandparent to be apart of the family tree. Giving them options to deposit money into the child’s account.
While service and UX design encompass the same skill set, I felt the approach was more challenging, primarily because of the future aspects of the brief. It can be difficult enough to predict the outcome of a sports event, let alone a countries financial system. I believe this project has definitely improved and enhanced my skill set, by forcing me to take new approaches to the design process, such as trend timelines, journey mapping and affinity mapping.
It gave me some interesting data insights into how different groups of people manage finance, and a greater knowledge of the growing trends in finance, which will also be helpful for outside my career.
while the journey was enjoyable, It also presented some difficult challenges, the most obvious of course predicting habits and trends. Also trying to consider all the steps of a customer journey through a product, I felt it was very easy to overlook steps and in the future will have to pay closer attention to the process.