HelloWallet helps our members change their daily financial routines and behaviors. We do this by setting up the necessary conditions for members to take action and save, if they choose to. It’s a five stage process.
Understand how we all make decisions
Our product design process is based in how people really act, instead of in an ideal version of how they might act. We’re steeped in the extensive literature on decision making and behavioral economics, and apply it to the obstacles that we all face in thinking about and managing money.
Gather knowledge about members and their specific needs and circumstances
Every person is different. We do extensive qualitative and quantitative research with our corporate clients and their employees (our potential members) to understand the particular financial challenges they confront in their daily lives. In addition, once people signup and become members, our products automatically tailor the experience and the guidance we offer to their needs.
Discover: Document and clarify the behavioral goals
Based on our members’ needs and our knowledge of how the mind works, we generate a plan of attack. We start with the issues members want to address (such as paying debts or understanding when to save for retirement), and our specific goals in addressing them. We generate dozens of ideas for product features, then winnow them down to the most promising few based on our internal analyses and user research.
Design: Build the product around those goals
The design process itself is where the magic happens. We build upon existing interaction design and UX best practices, and infuse them with behavioral considerations and research. First, we re-imagine and re-structure the behavior itself – trying to shift the burden of work from our members to our products, with intelligent automation and defaulting. Second, develop the overall flow of the product and the page-specific content and interactions, keeping in mind our cognitive biases and heuristics. Third, we design our initial communications and interactions with members to best prepare them to take the action through priming and supporting a sense of self-efficacy.
Refine: Benchmark impact, find bottlenecks, improve
While our design process is based on the best research out there, no product is ever perfect. And so we continuously test our products, with rigorous experimental designs and third-party academic experts. We study how our members use the application and where they struggle, both from a product design (usability) perspective, and in terms of our human psychology. We develop solutions, and test them in turn. In fact, every month, we deploy a revised version of our product, integrating the latest features and improvements.
This process is described in detail in our new book, Designing for Behavior Change.