Explore and understand the emotional relationship to finance to create a solution that will help users overcome emotional barriers to confidently handling personal finance
Goal: Develop a framework of what personal factors impact financial habits and attitudes
Low Conscientiousness, high Extroversion, high Neuroticism, high Openness, high Agreeableness, and external locus of control make someone predisposed to more negative financial attitudes and behaviours
Surveys were distributed with 4 sections, assessing financial habits and competency, personality traits, executive function, and locus of control.
KPIs for financial competency: Budget (& why), emergency fund, prioritizing savings, % of income save per month
What is the relationship between emotions and finances?
What motivations does my primary persona have around personal finance?
What process has my primary persona tried and failed at using?
What parts of the process are the most negative? (triggers)
Understand the motivations, behaviours, pain points, and emotional response to personal finance for my primary persona
6 interviews were conducted with participants who fit into the primary persona category based on the survey. Questions centered around past experiences with financial tools, emotions they experience when thinking about or handling finance, and their motivators.
💡 Outcome; Personas
After the data was analyzed, the primary persona was divided into two and narrowed, based on the key differentiating factors of keeping a budget in their head and spending as little as possible, having some positive motivators and having a weaker tie between finance, emotion and self-worth.
Further understand primary persona's experience using financial tools, pain points, or triggers
To further my understanding of my primary persona’s experience with financial tools, I ran a diary study in which my primary persona used a financial tool (Mint by Intuit) for the first time ever for 6 days and documented their experience.
They filled out a pre and post test survey and a daily log which tracked their emotional response to using the app, based on emotions that had reported previously experiencing with finances.
💡 Outcome; Slow Progress
Overall, using a budgeting tool made slow positive progress for the participant but certain aspects of the process triggered negative emotions.
The problem I need to target is helping users overcome the emotional barriers that stop them from developing good financial habits, not literacy barriers or barriers in the actual process of handling finances
The window of tolerance is so small for many users that they freeze or avoid finances. They often feel guilt, shame, anxious or overwhelmed when thinking about finances, but if they can actually take action and get on track, these feelings will subside.
In my test, I asked the participant to create a budget. In reality, they likely never would have until they reached a destructive breaking point
My primary persona has only negative motivators associated with their finances which contributes to avoidance behaviour and a lack of objective decision making
Ideation and development will take place beginning in January 2021
Design a solution that allows users who experience emotional barriers to finance develop positive financial habits, mind-sets and motivators so that eventually they will not need my app or a budgeting app, but rather they will spend and save intuitively.
The goal of my solution is to open the window of tolerance and be a stepping stone to using a more robust financial app, and then to be used in conjunction with those apps with the end goal of the user practicing intuitive spending.
By outlining a research plan and time line I was able to adapt methods and timelines in response to findings and desired outcomes. This allowed me to narrow in on my problem area throughout the process
I feel that my initial survey was an effective recruitment plan for further research, however, I did not use a large enough sample to begin with, leaving me with only one participant suitable for a diary study.
This project began with me exploring personal finance and identifying a gap that had no logic explanation. The gap was present due to phycological reasons and empathy was needed to understand why it existed. This taught me the importance of using both strategic, logical thinking and empathy in researc hand design.