"I want to help people save money."
We were given the broad scope of designing a nudge that causes behavior change. I decided to look at the issue of spending and saving money, so I started with this statement.
When I first began looking at the issue of saving money I started with this assumption, that it is the user’s fault that they spend too much and save too little. That it was a failing of control.
With that in mind I decided to look at restricting the user’s behavior with devices. I approached the project in two ways initially, to save money and to spend less.
So I turned my attention to spending less money, I started with experience prototypes, specifically looking at wallets.
I thought if I could create a disruptive wallet then I could disrupt the process of spending money.
Essentially a “good” wallet is one that makes it easy to spend money, easy to take out your cards and find what you need quickly and easily.
So I decided to try making some “bad” wallets, pictured here. The first was the Zip-Lock wallet, where I put my wallet inside four zip-lock bags. So whenever I went to purchase something I would have to unlock four bags just to buy something.
I also tried a slightly softer nudge wallet with elastic placed into it, to make it just slightly more difficult to open the wallet.
My final experience prototype was one I nicknamed the “worst” wallet, since it was entirely taped up and completely useless for spending money.
I used each of those wallets for at least a day, and it turns out that they were all pretty terrible.
They were all restrictive and annoying, but most importantly they didn’t change my behavior. They were so frustrating to use i just stopped using them. I didn’t put the wallet back in the zip bags and I pulled off the elastic from the second one.
The only wallet that did change my behavior was the “worst” one, but it changed my behavior too much. I couldn’t get the bus or buy lunch because I didn’t have the means to open it.
I still felt there was room to work on the spending part of this nudge so I decided to stop these experience prototypes and do some research into the buying process.
This has just been a short taster of the beginning of my process on the project, if you'd like to read more you can download my final report to right.