Generation Money Case Study

Role: sole UX/UI Designer, Information Designer, Data Analyst // Duration: 4 months // Tools: Invision, Adobe CC // Skills: Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Print Design, Prototyping, Wireframing, Data Visualization

According to a 2018 online survey, 39% of Americans have never tried investing with 32% of them stating that it was due to the convenience that came with having their money in cash, 28% confessing their ignorance towards investing, and another 28% feeling unsure about the risks that came with it. What most young professionals do not take into account is the risk that comes with making the decision to not invest, essentially losing against the market’s inflation. Based on NerdWallet’s calculations, every $10 000 kept as emergency funds instead of used in investments amounts to roughly $44 000 lost in funds. With only 24% of millennials demonstrating basic financial literacy, it is not difficult to see how over 40% of Americans would have less than $10 000 saved for their retirement, as 20% of Americans not saving any amount of their annual income.

Only about 49% of Canadians reported to having a budget. 6% of those who don’t, report feeling overwhelmed with managing money

Government of Canada

This project was built from its initial study of savings and investment options for young professionals, into a narrative of financial literacy and the observation of economic change over generations.

The website and pamphlet spread has a recurring theme utilizing a 50/20/30 budget rule that splits your annual income into three main categories; living essentials (50%), future savings (20%), and lifestyle expenses (30%).

The project is based on five current generations (silents, boomers, gen x, millennials, and gen z), with an introduction to how long they have until the average age of retirement at 65 years. Lifespan varies greatly depending on overall health and wellness, financial stability, and lifestyle, making it difficult to accurately calculate.

The pamphlet spread showcases a breakdown of two designer occupations based on their averaged annual income using the established budget rule, including a comparison of financial potential between long term savings options such the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), and investments based on an average annual return of 6%. The inside fold describes the characteristics of each generation and the relation to their financial breakdown and a suggested budget using the 20/30/50 budget rule.

Key Takeaways

From this project, I came to understand the importance of having each financial story be catered to an individual’s lifestyle spending and saving habits. It was a difficult task to generalize financial literacy within each generation and to have accurate data on the cause and effects of their financial history. Correlating estimated savings and investment earnings was another challenge in itself, as it derives from every individual’s character, lifetime events, and the current economy of their country. All these factors had to be generalized and made into a comprehensive story.

Next Steps

Looking forward to the next steps of this project, I would want to incorporate ways to input a user’s individualized financial and lifestyle information. This provides context and a more engaging interest when learning about improving financial literacy. Users can see comparative details that align with their generational group to find problem points earlier and take preventative measures.

A product designer from Toronto dedicated to user experience. katng.io

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