Educational online investment tool for millennials.
- Problem Millennials don't invest.
- Solution An education web application centered on value-based investing.
- My Skills/Roles User experience designer, User interface designer, Data visualization designer, User researcher, Prototyper
In the United States, there are 63 million millennials. They collectively sit on $1 trillion in extra spending money yet only one in three millennials invests. To begin, we interviewed random participants in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and circulated a survey to learn more about what drives millennials' perspectives on investing.
Overall millennials felt like there were more drawbacks to investing their money. There were several key takeaways we learned in our research:
- Investing is cost-prohibitive. Millennials identified personal debt, fees, and not having enough money to invest.
- Investing is greedy. Our participants thought there was a lack of transparency and that investing was for wealthy people. Investors don't care about people, they care about the bottom dollar.
- Investing is complicated. There is a lot of technical overhead to understand; millennials figured they would have time for it later.
Understanding the User
From our surveys and interviews, we discovered three potential audiences for the application and outlined them into the following archetypes:
- Cautious investor: this person is familiar with investments, and their parents have encouraged them to invest. They likely have a 401k set up through their employers. They have looked through their investment portfolio and have seen that they accidentally have invested in companies they don't support.
- Analytical investor: this person is financially prepared and has a 401k set up through their employers. They are more motivated than others and meticulously research as much as they can. They want more control of their finances and would use this product as a stepping-stone in their research process.
- Prospective investor: this person has newly started their career and uses online financial planning tools. They want to start investing but aren't sure if this is something they're going to do right away.
Customer Journey Map
Designing the Application
With a limited timeframe, we quickly moved into the prototyping stage. While solving the problem of investing being perceived as greedy was too ambitious for a weekend project, we decided to focus the interface on two areas:
- Value-based investing
Value-based investing is the idea that people invest in stocks or funds that directly support social or economic causes that they care about.
"I'm an environmentalist...
but 80% of my 401k is invested in coal and oil."
In addition to a focus on value-based investing, we incorporated an educational component. Many millennials we spoke to felt uncomfortable with even the most basic of investing principles including concepts and jargon. Bindle decided to focus on transparency as one of the hallmarks of the application and interfaces.
Wireframes & Prototyping
For the final presentation prototype of the onboarding process, we added color to the interface and roughly created the animations in Keynote:
The final step after entering your information and values is reviewing the recommended funds.
A snapshot of the recommended funds screen (click the image to see the full page).The recommended funds page includes several key features:
- Users can inspect the returns of the selected funds
- Users can read more about the funds and identify why these funds were recommended to them
- Users can share their recommended funds via Twitter or Facebook
- If users aren't satisfied with their recommendations, they can look for more funds
The majority of Bindle had been designed under the assumption that because of the stigma of greed millennials would be willing to sacrifice a lower return if it meant supporting causes they cared about. Well, this turned out to not be true. Millennials are no exception when it comes to the priority of investing, and that is to generate higher returns. While this knowledge doesn’t invalidate the design of Bindle, it does suggest that when moving forward, making money should be prioritized just as much as supporting causes one cares about.