During my first semester of the Georgia Tech HCI program, I collaborated with my team and our industry sponsor, Fiserv, to research and design a mobile application to address wealth inequity for adults of low socioeconomic status.
The rampant wealth inequity experienced by adults of low socioeconomic status (SES) in the United States limits their financial opportunities throughout life. This presented the opportunity to engage in the process of research and design to understand and provide for the financial assets and needs of this vulnerable population.
Seeing Green is a mobile savings visualization platform that addresses wealth inequity experienced by adults of low SES in the United States. It accomplishes this by promoting long-term financial goals, encouraging beneficial savings habits, and rewarding savings progress with positive encouragement and data visualizations.
Throughout the US, adults of low socioeconomic status earn less income and experience financial volatility with their wages. Many are inhibited from financial knowledge, which further limits the ability to increase wealth. These circumstances leave people in a cycle of financial instability that perpetuates wealth inequity as it decreases overall opportunity. Due to these unjust circumstances, my team and I were passionate about using this opportunity to gain deeper understanding of the wealth inequity of low SES adults to provide more financial opportunity and wealth equity.
Understand features and trends of leading financial applications to develop next stages of design and research
Analysis of 4 prominent financial apps selected based on advisement received from team members at Fiserv
Homogeneity in current financial applications creates the opportunity to develop a solution to addresses people of low SES
Understand how people navigate alternative financial services and potential difficulties they encounter in this process
Hierarchical analysis of payday loans and check cashing by interviewing employees at businesses that conduct these services
Confusingly predatory nature of alternative financial services further wealth inequities faced by people from low SES backgrounds
Gain in-depth insight into the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences related to financial services amongst our target population
3 semi-structured remote interviews with adults of low SES recruited based on their responses to postings on Craigslist
Specific attitudes and beliefs about financial services and insight into the financial experiences of their day-to-day lives
After concluding research practices, I led aggregating information and findings from each research method. Through this aggregation process, we distilled overall research findings into these essential points.
Adults of low SES want financial services to be convenient
Adults of low SES have limited investments, but want to invest
Adults of low SES want accessible financial knowledge
Lack of Trust
Adults of low SES are not trusting of financial institutions
Adults of low SES utilize mobile devices for financial activities
Quality of Life
Adults of low SES save for the future to increase quality of life
Adults of low SES are self-aware of their financial understanding
Adults of low SES desire transparency in financial services
To initiate design process, I next led translating research findings into actionable design requirements. These were the guiding factors through the conception, development, and evaluation of the solution.
Simple to use to not be obtrusive in daily financial practices
Provide encouragement as users strive to achieve financial goals
Help achieve stability and growth to achieve financial goals
Mobile-based to integrate with current financial interactions
Respect abilities and knowledge to not be condescending
Support pursuits to meet financial goals, even during difficulties
Transparent in operations to establish trust in daily usage
Utilize visualizations to convey information to clearly understand
Following the establishment of design requirements, I facilitated brainstorming in which each member shared ideas, which were expanded upon by other members. Through this ideation process, we refined our initial ideas into 8 concepts.
Mobile financial service with direct interaction to assist users
Service that provides an encrypted token to increase financial security
Role-playing game that simulates investments using real-world data
Service to help difficult financial histories get back on track
Service that securely stores money without opening a bank account
Application that teaches terms to improve financial knowledge
Application that encourages savings through visualizations
Application that puts minds at ease from financial worries
After assessing and selecting a design concept, I next establishing the user flow. The user flow was essential to developing the wireframes, design system, and prototype.
Once the user flow was established, I facilitated cooperative development of low-fidelity wireframes that execute the flow. These wireframes served as the basis for developing the operational prototype.
Upon completing wireframing the central user flow, I guided establishing a design system to apply to the wireframes to increase the fidelity of the prototype.
Following the development of our design system, I applied the established guidelines to our wireframes and assigned prototype interactions to develop a mid-to-high fidelity prototype to demonstrated core functionality.
Seeing Green provides visualizations that evolve as users save to reach financial goals. These visualizations offer representation of what users strive towards to supporting their motivation.
Seeing Green encourages saving to achieve financial goals. Respectful and affirming language inspires achieving goals while reducing stress and disenchantment with finances.
Seeing Green tracks savings history to show progress towards financial goals. By understanding savings history, users gain foresight for future financial behaviors and goals.
I am proud to have contributed to this solution my teammates in conjunction with Fiserv. It was quite difficult to research and design a solution for a vulnerable and underrepresented community, but the work was fulfilling as it has the potential to enact meaningful change. This project provided a sense of purpose understanding and designing a solution that is vital to the wellbeing of our society.
By promoting long-term financial goals, encouraging savings habits, and rewarding progress with positive encouragement and data visualization, Seeing Green establishes financial stability for those who have been disenfranchised. The establishment of financial stability amongst adults of low socioeconomic status is a vital step towards rectifying wealth inequity and creating financial opportunities for all.