Studies have shown that financial literacy is the lowest among Gen Z^1, and within this group financial literacy tends to be lowest among those who have never attended college, which could be the reason why almost 40% of them are feeling anxious and stressed about money^2. Overall, 59% of Americans with annual incomes below $50,000 reported serious financial problems in the past few months^3, and it has been reported that only 3.9% of students from low-income schools were required to take a personal finance class^4.
Because of this, we wanted to complete an application that could help younger Gen Z:ers from low-income households in developing their knowledge about personal finances. This would help create a stable ground for them in regards to knowing how to make the best financial decisions for them when they move forward in life.
SimplyMoney is meant to be able to be used anywhere, including in schools where teachers can motivate their students to learn more about personal finance.
What it does
SimplyMoney educates the user about personal finances in several categories, and does it by starting with the most basic knowledge that is then built on. The information is president in short videos, which can make it easier for the user to take in the information and not be overwhelmed. When the video is finished, they are presented with a short quiz on the topic of the video, and when they answer correctly they can go on to the next video.
To motivate the users even more, there is also a possibility to gain different rewards as they continue on their adventure.
How we built it
The mockups were created in Figma. The website was built with html, and css using Replit as to be able to collaborate.
Challenges we ran into
The main challenge was the completion of a full application in 24 hours. This affected the scope of the project, and a lot of the ideas we had we had to put towards a future iteration. Especially since on Sunday morning we realized that the person in our team who was most experienced in writing code, and who took on the biggest part of the project, hadn't done anything at all. So Johanna and Rosario had to take over the work and try to finish it up quickly in a way that worked and looked "good enough".
(Rosario) I have not created a website before and have never attended a hackathon. It was a challenge having to pick up how to use css and html to create a website.
(Johanna) I agree with Rosario. This was my second hackathon, but for the first one I didn't write any code. So it was a challenge having to pick up how to use css and html to create a website.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
As a UX designer and researcher, I (Johanna) am very proud of the amount of code that I wrote, and the fact that it actually worked! And overall the fact that we managed to get a solid conceptual product developed in just 24 hours, I am extremely proud of us.
(Sonia) As someone trying to transition into field of UX, this project was such a joy and gave me a feel of what it would be like to work on actual team. I am so proud of what my team accomplished. The tool we came up with would benefit people in need. I love the idea of being able to give back to the community. I (Rosario) am very proud that I contributed to this project despite having no experience before creating a website.
What we learned
Overall we have learned to work together as a team since each of us had different backgrounds and experiences. As a team we were able to come up with a solution to financial literacy.
(Johanna) I have learned a lot about front-end development since this is the first major project that I have been a part of as far as writing code. This will definitely help me in my future as a UX designer, since I have started getting an understanding of how much is required in developing just a simple website.
(Sonia) I learned how to listen more and to appreciate other ideas. Sometimes we can get excited and have so many ideas we want to see come to light but it was not a personal project but a team project. This was my takeaway from this project.
What's next for SimplyMoney
From a UX perspective, we would want to do usability studies with the target users which would influence future iterations.
Overall we would like to add more content to the application, as well as making it more responsive so it can also be used on smartphones and tablets. This would make it so more people would be able to use it, since we argue that this can benefit more people in developing their financial literacy.