Budget Aid is a digital piggy bank that helps children learn how to budget and save money with goals.

 
 

 
 

Problem

Children lack proper knowledge and practice on money management and this creates a gap to their understanding and appreciation of the value of money.

Opportunity

How might we teach children to develop good money management habits so they could learn and better appreciate the value of money?

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CONTEX

This project explores money management for children, more specifically how they can develop the habit of budgeting and saving. By studying behavior change, interviewing parents and children, and developing various concepts, I designed a digital piggy bank that syncs with an iOS app for iPad and iPhone, that can be used by parents and children.

 

ROLES

UI / UX, User Research, Visual Design, Branding


DURATION

4 Weeks, Fall 2018


CLASS

Time Studio: Behavior — Haakon Faste

 
 
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Topic Exploration

Mind Map

When I was exploring potential topics to explore for my project, I began by looking at the bigger picture of what happens at home and things that relate to it directly or indirectly. This led me to explore money management for children and how it’s being taught at home.

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Research

I was able to reach out and do a phone interview with 2 parents and their children to find out how money management is being taught in their household. From the interviews, I was able to validate my hypothesis and develop key insights.

Insight #1 — I learned that there’s a correlation between children’s knowledge on financial management and how they perceive or value money.

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Insight #2 — I also learned that having a reward system is essential for children to develop motivation and patience when developing habits.

 
 
 

 
 

Problem & Opportunity

Developing The Hypothesis

I started the project with a hypothesis that “Children who are not taught proper money management habits tend to take things for granted and make poor financial decisions.” I developed this hypothesis from personal experience and observation, which I later on reframed when I validated it through primary and secondary research.

Problem

Children lack proper knowledge and practice on money management and this creates a gap to their understanding and appreciation of the value of money.


Opportunity

How might we teach children good money management habits so they could learn and appreciate the value of money?

 
 

 
 

People

I designed Budget Aid with two users in mind:

  1. For parents, who want to teach their children money management.

  2. For children, who can use it to develop better financial habits.

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Secondary User, Parent — Rose, Age 35   She is a single mom who works full time and budgets her money. She also wants to start teaching her daughter how to budget and save money.

Secondary User, Parent — Rose, Age 35

She is a single mom who works full time and budgets her money. She also wants to start teaching her daughter how to budget and save money.

Primary User, Child — Rachel, Age 6   She recently started getting an allowance for school. She also likes buying new toys.

Primary User, Child — Rachel, Age 6

She recently started getting an allowance for school. She also likes buying new toys.

 

Why Focus On Children Ages 5—10?

In order to develop good financial habits and decisions, it should be taught at a young age. With this in mind, I researched the different phases for children who are taught about financial decisions to learn when is the right time to teach them. The timeline I created informed my decision to focus on children ages 5-10. According to my research, this is when they start to go to school, learn basic Math, and receive allowance, which develops their skill to make their own decisions based on their wants and needs.

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Concept

Looking Into Existing Solutions

I looked into money management apps for children such as Bankaroo and Pennybox to learn how they use the system of reward to teach and encourage children to make better financial decisions daily. I also studied both apps interface to understand how they made it kid-friendly and engaging to use.


Concept Model

Based on my research, I created a concept model to determine how Budget Aid will work as a system. From my Market Analysis, I noticed that both apps almost functioned similarly, so I wanted to make it more unique by developing it a simple goal setting tool that children can use to save up for a specific item. It also incorporates a reward system which is a familiar behavorial framework for children when teaching anything that is intended to be habit forming. This reward system is also used in both Bankaroo and Pennybox.

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Concept Sketching

I developed 30 concept sketches. Due to time constraints, I mapped out all my concepts using the Impact Achievability Matrix to determine which ideas were viable to develop in a short period of time. From there, I was able to focus on 6 concepts to move forward it. I combined an aspect of each concept to create the final product.

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Brand

Mood Board

I gathered images that inspired me, which I used to develop a mood board for the packaging, product and experience.


Style Tile

I wanted the entire experience to be playful, clean and vivid so that it engages and motivates children to continue using it.

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Product

Designing The Unboxing Experience

I created a physical box for the digital piggy bank and a simple set-up guide to go with it.


Budget Aid comes with a digital piggy bank and a simple set-up guide.

A normal piggy bank that was bought online was used to show how Budget Aid works as a system with a digital and physical component to it.

A normal piggy bank that was bought online was used to show how Budget Aid works as a system with a digital and physical component to it.


Designing The Digital App

I designed a digital piggy bank that syncs with an iOS app for iPad and iPhone, that can be used by parents and children.


Designing For Behavior Change

I studied the Fogg Behavior Model by B.J. Fogg to determine what causes behavior change and discovered that three principle elements affect this: motivation, ability and prompts. With this, I created an axis to determine where Budget Aid can fall on the Motivation and Effort Scale based on children’s learning behavior.

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Defining Which Behavioral Aspect To Focus On

I settled on learning and goal setting for my behavioral focus. These two components defined the key features that I based the design for the digital app.

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Developing Patience

Developing patience creates room to make smarter financial decisions. The onboarding for the digital app lets children learn about the value of saving money and acquiring interest when they don’t spend for an entire week.

 
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Developing Goals

Developing goals creates room to have better money management habits. Setting a new goal to save up for an item allows children to plan ahead of time by knowing how much things cost and how long it takes to save for it.


Key Features

I created Budget Aid’s key features around the three principles of Fogg Behavior Model by B.J. Fogg: Motivation, Ability, and Prompt.

Motivation

Developing motivation through a reward system.

With a reward system, children can be motivated to spend less and save more, and develop better habits along the way.

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Ability

Tracking progress with a visual timeline.

With a visual timeline, children can track their progress and be more aware with how they are doing.

 
 

Prompts

Encouraging positive behavior through micro-interactions associated with reaching milestones.

With set milestones along their saving journey, children can be highly encouraged to achieve their goal.

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Demo Video

Story Board

I created a storyboard for my demo video to show how Budget Aid will be used in context.

How Does It Work?

 
 

 
 

Design Challenge

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Getting Stuck With Interfaces

The biggest challenge I faced was creating the UI for the app. I hit a lot of creative road blocks — such as how to present information and concepts in a way that children will understand and be engaged with. This was mainly due to the challenge of designing two different interfaces that had two different users. I had a lot of things to consider and it was overwhelming.

How I Approached It

I created a user flow that helped me dive in and understand the main features I wanted to focus on and how I want the system to work. This allowed me to take a step back from getting caught up in the details and instead focus on what’s important. I learned that image comparison was a good way to teach children about the concept of how much things costs in relation to another item they are more familiar with. I also made it simple and straightforward for parents to use the app by simply getting notifications and being able to track their child’s progress.

 
 

 
 

Insights

My biggest takeaway for this project is learning how to focus on the important things and how to work with what I had, especially with such a limited time constraint. It was a big project that involved a lot of things and I placed myself in a challenge of having to design for two users (children as my primary users and parents as my secondary users). I also learned how to properly manage my time well considering I was also juggling other projects for other classes while developing Budget Aid.