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Designing a digital product to help low-income youth save | @BI Ventures | U.K.

Marta Milkowska

As a part of a Harvard team, I worked with the UK government to leverage behavioral science to create a savings digital product. Our challenge was: How might we leverage digital technology to to help young, low-income individuals in the UK increase their rainy day savings (emergency savings). According to projections, nearly three-quarters of U.K. households will experience a major unexpected expense this year. At the same time, more than half of U.K. adults have less than suggested emergency savings of £1,000. Low-income youth are especially vulnerable.  

Working with the BI Ventures, from the Behavioral Insights Team, our team worked in two phases. In the phase I, we conducted research including: interviews with subject matter experts and over 750 pages of articles, books, and other literature; and consequently used HCD tools to synthesize data and brainstorm early hypothesis. Phase II included field work in London. My task was to focused on ii) conducting field user research, i) bringing behavioral science insights to the product design (identifying behavioral problems and design solutions) , ii) rapidly-prototyping and user-testing early designs, and iii) recommend a final product design.  The photos showcase a user field testing phase, conduced in Broxton, London. We tested four behaviorally-informed prototypes with 50 low-income users.