FINTOR: smart mentorship
USER-CENTERED RESEARCH & EVALUATION

Fintor is the outcome of a user-centered research project aimed at better understanding how young adults find financial support during the home buying process, and what resources they may lean on when planning or making financial decisions. Through both evaluative and generative research methods, our team narrowed down the problem scope to specifically assist young adults with existing financial debt. The project followed the Analysis-Synthesis Bridge framework to evaluate the current "model" of what exists, and ideate a preferred state for the target end-user. 

introduction
PROJECT SCOPE, TEAM & ROLES

TEAM

 

Sachi Shah, Product Designer

Maya Albayrak, Data Scientist

Mashia Mazumder, Program Manager

Scarlett Shi, User Researcher

duration /

9 weeks

February - May 2021

TOOLS /

Figma

Canva

Zoom

Miro

Google Suite

METHODS /

Stakeholder Analysis

Customer Journey Mapping

Contextual Interviews

Think-Aloud Protocol

Speed Dating

Affinity Diagramming

Experience Prototyping

Screen Shot 2021-05-12 at 4.46.32 PM.png

my roles /

  • Lead Design initiatives including slide deck design, team branding, wire-framing and low-fidelity prototyping

  • Adapted Design Thinking processes like dot-voting and Crazy 8's to help narrow down problem scope

  • Assumed some Product Manager roles like facilitating group meetings with agendas and creating a "definition of done"

  • Time-boxed meetings to 30-40 minutes to optimize efficiency and collaboration

CONTEXT
GOALS, INSIGHTS & METHODS

Research Question 

 

How might we empower young adults with existing financial commitments (i.e debt) to feel confident in future financial planning involving home ownership?

PROJECT GOALS 

 

  • Understand what resources young adults use for budgeting, and how young adults manage debt and structure financial planning.

  • Understand how confident young adults feel about planning their financial futures. 

  • Understand what the most daunting part of saving for a home might be.

  • Understand what the hindrances are from enabling young adults to purchase a home in 5-10 years.

RESEARCH PROCESS 

We narrowed down the problem scope of home buying for young adults, the associated challenges, and potential solutions through both generative and evaluative research methods.

Frame 1 (1).png

Img 1. Stakeholder Map - Exploring the various influencers for young adults when home-buying

Frame 1 (1).png

Img 2. Customer Journey Map - Exploring the various influencers for young adults when home-buying

UCRE Team B3 - Frame 4.jpg

Img 3. Affinity Clustering - Categorized our research notes by similarities and uncovered overlapping insights / broader themes for exploration.

UCRE Team B3 - Storyboards.jpg

Img 4. Storyboarding & Speed Dating - Presented several problems and future states to participants to gain insights on which scenario has the most opportunity to pursue. 

Img 5. Scenario & Solution - Used dot-voting and former research insights to hone in on this specific storyboard to prototype a solution for.

INSIGHTS & EVIDENCE
TAKEAWAYS & QUOTES FROM PARTICIPANTS 

“I like to track my spending with an app my friends recommended to me.”

Young adults value familiarity, privacy, and the opinions of the people they trust.

“I am nervous about signing up for a 15 or 30-year loan, so I think I would opt to rent instead of buying a home.”

Young adult participants were inclined to project their immediate socio-economic situations to make decisions and were apprehensive to imagine their long-term goal

“Investing is something I've been meaning to do and I have some savings I want to put into the stock market.”

"I am currently paying off my car and I am about to start paying off my student loans, so having a plan of how to do that is going to be really important for me”

Young adults understand the importance of investing even if they don't do it themselves

Existing financial commitments are a big motivator for young adults to start financial planning

SOLUTION
LOW-FIDELITY PROTOTYPE & FUTURE STATE

OPPORTUNITY 

We assessed an opportunity to increase young adults confidence in home-ownership by initiating their journey at an earlier stage. We aimed to leverage insights such as young adults preference to trust known connections for financial insights, and their hinderances like an inclination to use their current financial situation to make long-term decisions as opportunities to design a solution.

Solution 

Our solution enables young adults to think more long-term about their actions by creating a relationship-based financial mentorship tool.

Our solution matches young adults with financial experts by screening for similarity in financial history. Users can specify which criteria they want to learn more about - from the home buying process to investment advice - and increase their levels of confidence about homeownership despite pre-existing financial commitments.

Img. 6: Low-Fidelity Prototype Screens - Designed on Figma.