Gamify Finances to Encourage Positive Beahviors
Providing easy to understand & fun feedback (like Apple Watch's Activity app) towards good financial goals will encourage better choices.
Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?
This idea benefits individuals by implicitly teaching them how to make smart financial choices, and the reward is that they will be making smarter choices, paying off debt and increasing savings. It's targeted at people ages 18-40 who interact with at least some of their finances electronically, as there's a potential social component (see the power of communities question).
How is your idea specifically using the power of communities to improve financial opportunities and resources?
Many of us are both competitive by nature and seek the approval of others. Providing simple feedback and progress indicators, towards general goals (having enough savings) and specific ones (saving towards a trip) gives us a shareable indicator (whether by showing someone or by sharing on social) of how we're doing. We can compete with ourselves (how we did before) or others (I reached my goal faster/achieved more badges) and get support from those we share our goals/progress with.
What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?
A very simple app/website to test how well this works would be a savings goal tracker with a leaderboard. You list your goal (e.g., trip to Hawaii) and update the app with how far along you are. Rather than showing how far people are towards their goals, the leaderboard shows a momentum view: who's most continuously making the best progress towards their goal (plus % of goal achieved). This could aggregate across goals, too, so that you're higher up on the leaderboard for using it more.
What skills, input or guidance might you be seeking from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?
Poke holes in this, let me know if there's anything like it, give thoughts about what a momentum view might be like, and if people like this, maybe there's a designer, Android dev, and web dev (I can probably handle the iOS side myself, time-permitting) who'd like to build it with me.
Apple Watch's Activity app was my inspiration. Imagine something like this with specific goals, savings, debt, etc. indicated and badges when you achieve awesome results ("I paid off my student loans!" "No credit card debt for 1 year!")