We made Big Ben to prepare future generations for the tough financial environment America has. Currently, 32% of Americans are registered as bankrupt and only 5% of American are millionaires! In other words, only 5% of Americans have achieved financial peace. Habits such as spending and debt put most Americans into bankruptcy and massive amounts of debt that takes years to pay off. We're lucky enough to be taught at a young age how to take advantage of our money and not let it control our future, so it was a shock to see that this knowledge was so limited throughout our peers. The purpose of Big Ben is to help our future generation develop good financial habits early on so that they know how to avoid developing bad habits later.
Looking at our competitors, we noticed that despite the fact that it was designed for kids, it didn’t really have a kid-friendly interface. All of us being kids, we knew the things that we enjoyed seeing in a website, such as bright and exciting colors, lots of games and different photos, funny videos, cool fonts, and challenges. Unfortunately, in existing financial platforms for kids, little to none of these expectations are met, which makes the experience an overall unpleasant one. We fear that this experience will lead our next generation to have a negative view on the world of finances. By creating our website, we wanted to reverse these views by providing young children with a positive look on finances at a young age, which will carry on a good impression of it as they mature into adults.
How we built it:
Before we start building the basis of our website, we designed the wireframes for each page. This step took us quite a lot of time, since we wanted to make sure that we would have no regrets with the layout of the website. Afterwards, we simply wrote code to replicate the look of the high fidelity wireframe. As we went along, we edited small bits and parts to make it look even better and run with a smoother user flow.
Challenges we ran into:
- Limiting Vocabulary: Since the website is mainly meant for young scholars, we had to adjust our language according to the vocabulary they understood. According to our research, the average age that Americans learn to read is ages 6-7. For our mission to be completed, we had to write according to this limiting range of terminology, which proved especially difficult since we were unable to fully explain the thoughts and ideas we wanted to portray. Eventually, we were able to find that perfect balance, but starting out was always difficult for each individual lesson.
- Change of Code Editors: For a majority of the project, we put our code into repl.it. However, as we were coding one day, repl.it suddenly crashed. Our team chose to switch what we had coded so far to something else more reliable. In the end, we went with GitHub, since it was deemed more trustworthy overall. After we overcame this difficulty, we kept moving forwards with our code and project idea, not wanting to waste any more time.
What we learned:
Each of us took away our own lesson, which all pointed back to teamwork and design. In terms of teamwork, we each learned how to balance out our different responsibilities. Because we used GitHub, no two people could work on the same page at the same time. This forced us to practice planning out our work and trusting others to successfully complete their tasks. As for design, we learned how to use new technologies to convey the meaning of our work, such as Adobe XD and creating high-fidelity wireframes.
What's next for Big Ben:
We have big goals for the future of our website.
- We plan to add an XP and level up system.
- There will be three main courses that will be included in the website; the Starter Course, the Intermediate Course, and the Advanced Course. The courses will be split into smaller lessons where you take the tests and read/watch videos of the curriculum.
- We want to create our own games that can be implemented into the lessons as a reward for gaining a certain amount of XP.
We will move forwards with it by following a series of steps to create our vision.
- We should research more deeply into the world of finances and how we can relate it to the different age groups.
- We have to make sure that we make the CSS even better to attract more attention and focus the reader's energy into what the main point of the page should be.
- Soon, we hope to create exciting games that apply the lessons that they learn throughout the course (example: lemonade stand by buying lemons and selling lemonade - save or spend?