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Napkin Finance- everything you want to know about money in 30 seconds or less (6.8.15 Update: More student sketches and our findings)

Napkin Finance is a visual, engaging, and fun guide to learning about money and finance.

Photo of Tina Hay
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Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

Our mission is to help millennials and young adults make smart money decisions. We have developed Napkin Finance as a quick and easy resource on everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less. It teaches readers how to take ownership of their personal finances and understand the power and impact behind making informed money decisions. Our platform helps organizations and financial institutions create a lifetime of financial well-being for their members and customers.

How is your idea specifically using the power of communities to improve financial opportunities and resources?

Learning about finance can be intimidating and oftentimes overwhelming. The opportunity to create a lifetime of financial success is limited by the lack of access and skills. We partner with organizations that are working with young adults that may never otherwise have access to financial education. Napkin Finance has become a community of ideas and concepts that empowers readers to fully understand the complexity of personal finance.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The Napkin Finance platform is simple and easy to understand, administer, and distribute. It can be tested in schools and with organizations that are working with young adults. We hope to evaluate the effectiveness of our finance literacy program on different age groups and skill sets. We are also working on a more interactive napkin with videos and "clickable" images.

What skills, input or guidance might you be seeking from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

We are working with specialists and experts in various fields to develop our curriculum and content. From the OpenIDEO community, we would love feedback on the design, clarity, and usefulness of our current program. We would also welcome suggestions for additional topics and categories and how to make the platform more engaging.

This idea emerged from:

  • An organization

Update #14: Our team is meeting with the Rise Foundation to talk about possibilities of working with the Common Cents and Save Up Program which are the financial literacy and well being initiatives. We are hoping to work with their members and provide our Napkins for better understanding of various financial topics.


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Update #13: Our team member, Soni Aggarwal helped coordinate several sessions where students created their own napkins.  This has given us the best possible feedback we could ask for. It has confirmed our thesis that a visual breakdown of complex financial topics is the simplest way to understand what they mean.


The user-generated napkins were incredibly impressive not only in their creative graphics and notes but also the way they helped classmates understand the concepts.

This was the final exam for the class "Business, Finance, and Marketing Essentials".

Here is a breakdown of the session goals and findings:

· The goal of this activity was to introduce Napkin Finance in a real life classroom environment and gather feedback from students about the effectiveness of Napkin Finance, all while viewing their interpretations of financial terms.

· The students ranged from 15 to 17 years old. Students worked in groups of three, each creating their own napkin but able to confer with each other. Each student created three napkins in the span of 45 minutes. When they finished, they saw the actual CardBlanc Napkin Finance napkins.

· The teacher was amazed by how easy to read Napkin Finance was compared to some of his textbooks. He plans to use the napkin sketching activity as future assessments.

· Since the activity was being used for a final, students were not allowed to pick their own topics. Instead, the topics were put into a hat and students randomly selected three. These topics included some from Napkin Finance, but there were also additional ones such as “Fixing Your Credit” and “Time Management”.

· The students liked how the napkins included diagrams, sketches, and examples instead of just content – it made the material easier to understand.

· Since these students are pretty young, they felt that some of the topics (Mortgages, Stocks, Bonds, etc.) were not something that they could relate to and did not apply to them. They wanted to know more about the FAFSA and the cost of living.

“Napkin Finance gave me a great opportunity to learn more about finance, and I am so glad that I now have this new resource that I can refer to in the future.” - Vinay Kasat, student 


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Update #12: Getting feedback and finding ways to improve on our process and service has been the most exciting part of our prototyping. We have now worked with numerous students ranging in age from 14 through college and beyond. 

Learnings: Overall, we have been very surprised to learn that there is a lack of financial education and basic money management in schools. Here is a quote from our Team Member, Jonathon Feavel, 

"I've learned from our user testing that many parents shield their children from the reality of managing finances until late high school or college at the earliest while many are exposed only upon graduating college.  Many believe teachers and parents realize that we need to financially empower our youth and many like having something that puts a "face to the name" of sorts in that there are not very many visual references out there for learning finance.  Having the progressive finance tax, even the videos helps walk through the basic concept so you can perceive it in real time."

Update #11: Following is our Story Board led by our team member, Jonathon Feavel. We created this with help from the Amplify Prototype Challenge Prototyping Tips video from Raphael at Ideo. We continue to build on it and work on how we can best continue to prototype the napkins with students and young adults. 

We started from Ideo to Hypotheses to our Assumptions on our users followed by a plan of action for prototyping.


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Update #10: We have a new User Experience map created with the help of our teammate Soni Aggarwal. (See attachment) 

Sarah is a student heading to college. The Student Loan Napkin helps her understand her options in paying for tuition.

Update #9: Our prototyping session with our first set of students was a great way for us to document and observe how the napkins add value. The best learning tool seemed to be their own napkin designs and sketches. We will be posting the feedback and user experience shortly.

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Update #8: Our team has put together a User Experience Map to outline and aid in our prototyping. With the help of +Acumen, we created a visual journey of our user experience and how the napkins can add value.



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Update #7: One of the most requested and popular topics for our members has been "How to Budget"? We are very excited to share the latest video here. It is a work in progress and we would love any suggestions and feedback.


Update #6: The physical napkins have arrived! We will be documenting the feedback as we distribute to students.


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Update #5: Thank you to our team for their continued feedback and contributions. Priyanka Botni has helped with our plans for prototyping and building a User Experience Map.  We have have several of our team members helping prototype the napkins in classrooms.  One of them is Soni Aggarwal and one of the teachers she is working with loved the idea of Napkin Finance so much that he wants to use the sketching activity as the final for his class.  The class is "Business, Finance, and Marketing Essentials". We are very excited to document the experience and see how the students interact with the napkins. 

Update #4: We have created a new video called "What are Interest Rates"? Would love feedback from the community. The video was created after finding ways to focus on the most important and visual aspects of the topic.


Update #3: We now have physical napkins that we will be passing out in classes. Check out the various designs below. We are also having students create "mini-napkins" by sketching out topics that are relevant to them. 

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Update #2: We hare working on the evolution of the napkin- from idea, to content, to sketch. Our topic is "What is Bitcoin"? Any input from the community is welcome.

Update #1: We have an AMAZING! team in place and have had great feedback and suggestions. Since entering the Refinement phase, we have been very focused on selecting/brainstorming/designing and implementing the top ideas:

1. Create a video of the napkins to make them more interactive

2. Printing and distributing physical napkins in classrooms to get feedback and input.

3. Show the evolution of the content from idea to sketch to help visualize the process.

We have a video we have created (please see attached) that brings to life our first napkin: What is a Tax? Would love any and all feedback!


WHAT IS NAPKIN FINANCE?

Financial Empowerment from a Napkin

Napkin Finance: Providing Access to Impactful and Smart Money Decisions

http://www.mycardblanc.com/napkinfinance

Learning about finance can be intimidating and oftentimes overwhelming. Although there may be an abundance of financial capital, there is an absence of intellectual capital, especially when it comes to young adults and millennials. The opportunity to create a lifetime of financial well-being is limited by the lack of access and skills.

Our mission is to give members the resources needed to make smart money decisions. We have developed Napkin Finance, www.mycardblanc.com/napkinfinance, as a quick and easy resource on everything you need to know about money in 30 seconds or less.

Napkin Finance empowers users to manage their money and understand basic financial concepts in a simple, engaging and visual way. Most importantly, it teaches readers how to take ownership of their financial decisions and understand the power and impact behind making informed money decisions.

Topics include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Gold
  • Buy or Lease a car
  • Interest Rate
  • Risk vs. Reward
  • Budget
  • Saving
  • Interest
  • Opportunity Cost
  • Compound Interest
  • Mortgages
  • Student Loans
  • Investing
  • Banking
  • Building Credit
  • Credit Cards
  • Debt
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Philanthropy
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© 2015 CardBlanc

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Hi Tina, I really like the idea and all the visuals. I can see how Napkin finances can be a powerful tool for students and teachers, but also for parents. I really like your prototypes and the fact that students had to design their own napkins. Great job!

Photo of Tina Hay
Team

Hi Anne-thank you for the note! We have had great feedback from parents. The interesting thing is that all ages are finding value in the napkins. Would love your thoughts on new napkin topics or concepts.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Great to hear that you received positive feedback from parents as well. I am curious if any topics or concepts that were not covered emerged from your live prototypes in classroom.

Photo of Tina Hay
Team

Hi Anne, it was interesting to see what topics resonated and were the most impactful for the students. The requests for new topics went from the more complex concepts like Mutual Funds, ETF's and Options for the older groups, and basics like different types of banks, the stock market, and starting a start-up for the younger crowd. It has been great for us to collect ideas for upcoming napkins.

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