Case Study

Dreams Academy

  • Dreams is an app that teaches about savings and economics for young adults that are intimidated by economics.

    It removes the pain of economics by removing the fear factor, simplifying the information, and giving helpful suggestions.

    My role was to manage the project (customer contact, present, time manage, report write, budget), interview, prototype, and design gamification and visuals.
    I collaborated with four other students.

"The amount of work this group has managed to pull off in three weeks is impressive, they poured so much energy and passion into this assignment!

We value the insights they gained, as well as their creative solution to our challenge. It is clear that they used a solid process for both insights generation and concept validation, which shines through in the quality of the proposed solution.

Well done!"

- Kathleen Asjes , Head of Research & Insights at Dreams

1. DEFINING THE PROBLEM

We started by interviewing the customer Dreams, to identify their target audience as well as creating a Business Model Canvas. During the project I held 2 creative pitches for the customer, which made sure we aligned with their needs.

The Brief

How can Dreams include a validated solution for education that increases financial wellbeing in their app?

Target Group

Young adults who need a push to start saving & learning, because they have no interest in economics.

Dreams Logo

To help you save, invest and pay off debt

MVP for the project

We created an MVP Canvas to understand the problem

Post-its of our assumptions

Green dots means that the assumptions are validated by interviews

Survey results about what app they have heard about: Avanza 90%, Dreams 17%, Fundler 16.7%.

One question in our survey about economics

An Empathy Map

Our empathy map created with insights from intervies

Competitor analysis table: description, cost, focus, target group, difficulty, and education.

I created a competitor research table

Competitor analysis chart, with Avanza, Dreams & Fundler. Avanza has the highest education value and cost value, and Dreams has the highest usability and saving focus.

Then I created the competitor analysis for relevant areas

2. RESEARCH

We divided and conquered the research in order to gain as much knowledge as possible. We mixed both quantitative and qualitative research, as well as using the customers existing feedback, and relevant books.

Survey

Quantitative research, where we asked roughly 50 people about their feelings and habits towards private finances & learning about economics. We based our interview questions on the insights & assumptions we gained from the survey.

Interviews & Empathizing

Qualitative research, where we interviewed 4 people in the target audience. From this, we validated or discarded assumptions.

Customer-Provided Feedback

Existing feedback, that Dreams had collected regarding their current Dreams Academy.

Note: No insights from Dreams are presented in this case study, only our research & insights.

Behavioral Science

Behavioral economics, to further gain insights into our customer Dreams' needs and values.

Gamification

We aimed to create a learning loop, with feedback that drives learning and skill-building.

We wanted to create internal triggers and intrinsic motivation to complete the courses and tasks. Our concepts are designed to relieve the pain associated with economics since it is a core motivation in human nature to avoid pain points.

Competitor Analysis

We identified the top two threats, and aimed to create a solution that would compete with those existing companies.

3. DESIGN SPRINT

To read the details of a Design Sprint I've facilitated, read the case study for WatchItGolf!

Lightning Demos & 4-Part-Sketching

Quick concept ideation & voting. We performed lightning demos where we focused on the most interesting parts of the competitors products.

After that, we created quick concept sketches in several steps, which ended with a concept gallery that we heatmap dot voted on.

Our concepts

Gamification: fun while learning, showing progress, interactive parts.

Visualization: small chunks of text, metaphors, graphs, illustrations, mascot, pop-ups.

Customization: setting difficulty level & interest, dynamic information, possibility to sign up for weekly tips.

Storyboard & Lo-Fi Prototype

Blueprint for the prototype. The storyboard, together with the top-voted concept sketches, was the base of the prototype, which I was in charge of.

Picture of three concepts and a wildcard idea

Our top voted concepts, and a wildcard: the tree/money visualisation

The user journey in app frames

We created the user journey inside the app

Picture of the first lo-fi prototype

And then based the lo-fi on the sketches of the frames

Picture of the test user demographic: 50% women, 50% men. Age Breakdown: 60% 25-27 years old, 40% 28-32 year olds. Key Characteristics: 90% no interest in economics, 80% needs help to start.

Our test user demographic for both test sessions

Picture of trends, sorted into positive, negative, and neutral.

Positive, negative, and neutral trends from test sessions

"It was an eye-opener to gain insights on my expenses through the game!"

"Nice! Now I know what funds are! I'm even interested in learning more about it."

"The tree was a helpful and positive visualization!"

"[Reads a quote] 'Don't put all your eggs in the same basket', haha I love it!"

"Easy to understand and well explained"

Feedback from test users


4. LO-FI USER TESTING

We tested on 5 target audience users, who were potential new customers.

Tested Concepts
  • Onboarding with customization & suggestions
  • Learning with storytelling & pictures
  • Game with personal info
  • Visualization of funds
  • Dynamic budget tool
Remote testing

Since we couldn't be in the same room as the users, we had to make the prototype clickable & understandable through online meetings. This forced us to incorporate mid-fi or even hi-fi elements, which removed some of the profits gained from lo-fi prototypes.

Results

What worked:

  • The game was an engaging and positive experience
  • The flow of the app was good
  • The way we presented information was easy to understand and relate to

What did not work:

  • The growing tree-visualization was confusing
  • Most users did not want to sign up to weekly tips
  • The mascot was not noticeable
  • It was a bother to use the budget tool
5. ITERATION SPRINT

During the iteration sprint we incorporated and adapted solutions from the testing, and further validated or discarded our concepts.

Hi-Fi Prototype & User Testing

I continued to work on the prototype, with insights we gained from the user testing in mind. I was very excited to use Figma's beta for interactive components & variants!

We tested on 3 target audience test users, potential new customers.

Result

What worked:

  • The way we presented information in chunks
  • The visual aid such as interactive graphs and illustration
  • The storytelling aid such as metaphors and proverbs
  • Showing the users how much time was left in the task was important
  • The progress bar was motivating
  • The game was engaging and useful to the users

What did not work:

  • We discarded the idea of presenting a growing tree together with the interactive graph - they worked much better when separated
  • We didn't get enough feedback on the mascot or the customization, due to technical limitations, to be able to validate the concepts
Presentation & Report

I created the structure of the report, proofread and edited it, finalized the budget, and then I presented to the customer.

5 hi-fi prototype frames: reading about funds

Concept: info in chunks, visual navigation, illustrations, metaphors & proverbs, clear headlines, suggestions on how to continue

6 hi-fi prototype frames: playing a game about costs

Concept: informative, non-judging, no-losers game with insights into the users private finances

"Fun to play a game to learn"

"The tone of language was great"

"I didn't feel threatened by the app"

"Clearly presented information"

Feedback from test users


"It [the report] is highly informative in terms of the depth of information and professionally edited. A joy to receive!"

"It is highly noticeable that your group enjoyed working together and had a strong project lead."

"A wonderful concept, really strong process, great work!"

"You did a really good job in connecting Dreams & learnings and to use illustrations to bring home the message."

"The idea of the memory game connected to the budget was a really neat idea, that’s something I'd like to try as well."

Feedback from customer

6. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

The presentation was a success and we got very positive comments from the customer, who said that they were very impressed with the concepts and overall work.

We had planned to show the prototype and concepts in a live walkthrough, so we were happy to hear the request to see more of the concepts! That also started a conversation about our recommendations and it was great to be able to discuss with them.

7. KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Iterate on the interviews
  • Remote testing of lo-fi concepts is hard
  • Add a second iteration
  • Define the research objectives more
  • More time on the concepts during presentations

We realized that we wanted to have a second round of interviews so that we could iterate on the questions and gain even more information and insights.

It would also be great with a second iteration sprint to validate the concepts even further. It's something we will bring with us to the next project!

Lightbulb
Prototype
Team
  • Amanda Alling Andrén (project Manager)
  • Marko Ilic (facilitator 1)
  • Beatrice Ferrera (sprint host, interviewer)
  • Lina Elggren (interviewer)
  • Elliot Dobetzky (facilitator 2)
Back to projects