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Rightsize

Supporting folks who need to adjust their home size through complex emotional and fiscal processses

Photo of Natalie LeRoy
23 20

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it support the dreams and obligations of those 50 and older?

My idea is for adults 50 and older who are looking to relocate or change their living situation to reflect their current life circumstances. Such a change or adjustment can support changing fiscal needs, time management and evolving social structures.
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Introduction:

Rightsizing is a platform that holistically guides a home-owner in balancing their lifestyle, income, and goals through profile building, AI financial planning, and reliable information.

User Research:

I interviewed nine people who are in the target audience of adults 50-70 going through the downsizing, relocation, or retirement process and are looking to change their lives dramatically. To wrap up other outlier questions about downsizing, I also conducted a survey with 21 people and used a card sorting interview regarding retirement priorities from an earlier project. 


The Rightsize Tea Party

Findings:

During midlife and post career major changes happen: career transitions, retirement, family shifting, and income changes. To adjust, many people reevaluate their possessions and lifestyle to maximize their funds. This process involves making crucial decisions that are financial as well as emotional over a long period of time. 

When equipped with the right tools and information, this process could be an exciting, energizing time in life. Currently, there are many articles about downsizing on reputable sites as well as financial planning tools, but no service combines them. 


Pain Points:

Transparency in Financial Planning:

Many people outsource their financial planning to great results, but many spoke candidly of the confusion, suspicion, lack of options, and need to switch planners. 

“We lost big, a whole year’s pay, before we figured out what was going on with our [financial planner].” - Colleen
“I go to all my sister’s meetings with her because she doesn't understand what they are saying to her.” - Marty
“This stuff goes right over my head.” - Jean

Lack of curated informational sources about finances and downsizing gathered in one place:

For users that wanted DIY financial planning and minimizing, they had to go to many different sources to get information about themselves, what to expect when downsizing, and tools for calculating personal finances alongside relocation services. Each financial institution has their own system.

"This is exactly what I'm going through, but I've only dealt with things through my financial planner!" - Colleen
"Sometimes I just have too many options and I need to narrow it down. " - Kurt

Solution:

Designing a platform that allows users to DIY and explore their financial, housing, and lifestyle options without the commitment of a professional service or buying into something. 

Compiling resources, educational courses and services within this platform that directly deal with re-sizing lifestyle after age 50. 


UX Research:

User Archetypes:

As the interviews progressed, it was clear there were two different types of users in this demographic. To help me simplify and clarify their roles I created Archetypes.

User Journey

I wrote out a customer journey map and Jaskeerat illustrated it to describe what actions and emotions the users described from their interviews and how Rightsize fit in their journey.



Affinity Mapping 

After the interviews, I started identifying trends, key things and assumptions within my research. 

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Design Principles:

To describe the emotional and design goals of my prototypes, I created design principles to help me design.

Opportunities

There were many paths to chase, but only a few could win! 


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Testing the Hypothesis

To test how this works, I created brief designs in Sketch and then in Invision to see how users responded. 

Version 1: 

Here is a very primitive version of the concept of downsizing and relocation (not done for openIDEO, but demonstrative of interaction information I had started with) This version was tested with 6 users. 

Here is the feedback

This version and later versions of this same concept helped me determine a user profile of two different types of user archetypes which I used to design my later openIDEO versions: The Dabbler and the Researcher

Version 2:

This version was created with the openIDEO challenge and tested with 4 users.

Here is the second incarnation of my app viewable on Invision 

Here is the feedback

Final Version

Here is the fourth Rightsize prototype viewable on Invision. These versions are combined because there were mostly changes to text.

Here is the feedback


Summary

There is an opening in the market of services that can help adults find the "right size" for their living situation. There are complex factors that help individuals determine where they should live that are both emotional and fiscal. The idea of the Rightsize service should include features that build a long-term relationship, guide the user and connect professional services to users that need them in order to support this journey.



Addendum Links:


Questions I asked on Quora:

    Why did you choose do downsize when you retired?

    What do I need to know before I retire?

    Would you consider retiring to a specialty community?

    How should one choose where to live after they retire?

    How did you choose your retirement community?

Downsizing without Pain : AARP

Babyboomer Today

Discovering who you are : AARP

Life Reimagined 


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

I want to create one to three design iterations of the Rightsize to get a working UX concept design of Rightsize and review it with several interviewees to discuss the key functions of Rightsize. An example of an experiment would entail the basic low-fi designs of a personal map with data visualization being shown to a user and reviewing how they understand the concept of Rightsize in relationship to the design.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I would like guidance in fleshing out the tools and resources necessary to complete this. I would love help testing the UX and volunteers for remote testing.

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm a UX designer with a background of over 5 years in branding design and public art. Since I became an an artist, it's been my mission to describe how good decisions get made; with every project I get closer!

Please check all that apply:

  • I'm not currently involved in a credit union, but am curious to learn more!

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

How would you describe this idea while in an elevator with someone?

Through a web and mobile platform, Rightsize helps users develop their ideas about retirement, housing and lifestyle and transition them into reality. Users are able to build a fiscal profile and check in with a self-guided map, get relevant information from the news and other users, as well as connect to resources and services.

How might your idea be transferable to a large number of people?

I believe that this idea could be built up by a community over time to expand beyond the staff of Rightsize contributing information to support a question and answer forum.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

I have been interviewing users and getting feedback from people who are in the midst of this process. I have been measuring the impact of the idea based on their reactions and suggestions.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

I want to evolve my idea further and keep identifying where I can trim things and sharpen up other services. I believe there is always more testing to be done. Specifically, I would like to try out developing a web version of the site since I began designing Mobile first. I would also like to run my business plan past a few more SME in credit unions and digital marketing and programming as well. I would also like to develop a personal assessment to go through for testing.

23 comments

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Photo of Morocco travel
Team

Thank you for posting an excellent idea. I look forward to seeing how it develops.
https://moroccotravelagency.net/marrakech-tours/
https://moroccotravelagency.net

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Natalie!

Thank you for posting an excellent idea. I look forward to seeing how it develops. 

Have you seen Andrea Zelenak idea Preserving & Selling Memories ? I think there might be a tie-in and potential room for collaboration?

Spam
Photo of stephen
Team

Here describe about the business based informations.this article include business based full informations clearly.i got a more useful information to this article.thanks for including this post. http://collegesniper.com/course/diploma

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Photo of Lillian J Warner
Team

I really love this idea! I read through it a few weeks ago and it's really stuck with me since then. Looking forward to seeing how this takes shape. I also like the graphic you made!

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Thanks Lillian! Hoping to get even further through more research and prototyping! Maybe visit back in a few months :)

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Congratulations Natalie! I think the idea has lots of potential for users. Good luck developing it further!

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Photo of Delisa Dyess
Team

Congratulations Natalie! I really like your idea.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Natalie,

I am unable to view the Original Rightsize Proposal. Is there any chance you could upload it as a pdf?

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Definitely. Hold on a second.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

I can see it now. Thank you! It is great to see the wireframes and the user journey and how a user would navigate Rightsize.

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Awesome, I'll have my third up today as well based on user feedback.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Excellent - I can't wait to see it.

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Natalie!

Would your idea also include people who are considering selling their home to buy a smaller home which they then rent out?

I know a few people who do this. They live in the UK half the year and half the year somewhere else e.g. Turkey, India etc. and rent out their apartment while they are away.

This is quite lucrative because living costs are lower else where but they have security of property in the UK and the chance to come back and pick up where they left off.

Is this common in the US? I have met quite a few US retires in Baja California and the rest of Mexico.

Could there be an option to include the option of downsizing to property that is easy to sublet?

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Hi Kate-
Yes, I would like to consider presenting the half year sublet as an option in Rightsize. I'm not sure that the program should expand to cover that service however; I wanted Rightsize to be focused more on tools to get someone to consider that option. What do you think?

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Natalie,

I would suggest keeping things as simple and straightforward as possible. So, your suggestion would make more sense. :-)

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Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Natalie! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 12/21" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Natalie!

I look forward to seeing how this idea develops in the refinement phase.

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel
Team

Hi Natalie.  Great research and idea!  The quotes really help to paint a picture of what your interviewees are thinking about and feeling around this issue.  I am curious to learn more about the research group.  Were they all between the ages of 50 - 65?  What type of employment do they have?  Was the group mixed socioeconomically?  Are they looking to downsize and move to "retirement communities" in other states, or just looking to downsize and move nearby.  

Other services that might be helpful to folk to include in "the connection" part of your service could be providers who assist in selling possessions, and services that come to one's home to buy possessions.  
Jim Johnson posted a comment on Kate's Thoughtstarter Idea that you built on here.  He suggests a service that can lease possessions that folk can't take when downsizing but might not yet want to sell.  This can help financially - earn some money and not have to pay to store them.

I look forward to seeing Rightsize develop!

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Photo of Jim Johnson
Team

Bettina,
Thank you for the introduction!
Natalie, Greetings!
As I've mentioned in one of my other posts, I'm a participant in the challenge...and a participant in "downsizing". We sold our house in July and are trying to figure out if we want to move from where we are or stay. I like your term, "Rightsizing" than "Downsizing." It's not about going downhill or being down, it's more about appropriate resources, actions, and overhead. Not going down, but getting them right. Your research is pretty thorough and you've identified many of the issues facing those in this situation.
One of the biggest shifts is going from "what I have to do" to "what I want to do."
When raising a family, most people have to focus on the former, not the latter.
Of course, there's also "what can I afford."
There are those that say the concept of "retirement" is not healthy and/or appropriate.
The author Tim Feriss disavows retirement, as does the designer, Stefan Sagmeister. Instead of working 45 years to take time off, Stephan takes a year off every seven years.  So maybe the first opportunity is how we define Rightsizing. 
Here are other opportunities:
+ Healthcare - Premiums when you transition to self-employment or contract work are horrendous. 
+ New skills training - All of a sudden, there is plenty of time and fewer obligations. At Ohio State University, anyone over 60 can audit courses.....for free. Let's lower the age to encourage Rightsizing skills. Many people at this age group have the experience and maturity to start a business. However, there are few startup programs that are focused on this age group. Perhaps a partnership with the tech savvy and life savvy?
+ Valuation of wisdom - How do we leverage the life wisdom of people who have been there and done that. What worked and what would they have done differently? Life Lessons should be captured. I think this could relate to the other challenge regarding Higher Education. We stumbled into decisions about college for our kids with very little guidance. Now we know. 
+ Which takes me to another topic- Rightsizing Awareness - Many of the decisions facing those over 50 are based on actions taken when people are in their 40s. Example: What are the financial implications of decisions when your child is young? 
+ Contribution vs compensation. I'm sure there are organizations that address this issue, but giving back becomes more important than getting. What professions provide the opportunity to participate in low income, high impact jobs? What about Teach America for experienced adults?
+ Ongoing financial obligations - Many in this age group have to take care of two generations, their parents and their children. We know about the increase in college graduates living with their parents. There is also the issue of an increasing life-span, and having to take care of parents in their 80s and 90s. What financial programs can  help with deal with both issues? 

This is more of a mind dump than a statistical study. Let me know if you want any more feedback. Thanks for having this forum.  More later. Jim
 

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Hi Bettina!
To answer your questions:
The interviewees were between the ages of 50 - 80.
Everyone ranged from employed to semi-retired, to retired with varying states of income.
The group was had a socio economic range from an income of $25,000 or less to over 1m per year?
Interviewees were looking to both downsize and move to "retirement communities" in other states and just looking to downsize and move nearby.

I would like to develop the initial idea before integrating other services so I can get my part right :) However, it will hopefully be part of the suggestion and addendum section in my report. It would be phenomonally cool to get some of these services up and running and integrated, thanks for the thought!

Thanks for sharing, hope to hear more from you later.

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Hi Jim! Thanks for all the wonderful information! I'm glad someone who has also recently had this experience related and weighed in.

I especially love your other opportunities section. In my initial plan, I wanted to focus mostly on the topic of downsizing, relocating, and emotional transitions. I see now that rounding out the scope of support to include the topics you mentioned below is a way to make sure that all financial considerations are being shown.

I highlighted the topics below that I feel will lend themselves best to my proposed idea.

+ Ongoing financial obligations - Many in this age group have to take care of two generations, their parents and their children. We know about the increase in college graduates living with their parents. There is also the issue of an increasing life-span, and having to take care of parents in their 80s and 90s. What financial programs can help with deal with both issues?
+ Which takes me to another topic- Rightsizing Awareness - Many of the decisions facing those over 50 are based on actions taken when people are in their 40s. Example: What are the financial implications of decisions when your child is young?

I will work on integrating those :)

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Photo of Joanna Spoth
Team

Hi Natalie! Love your idea. Excited to see you incorporate the feedback below!

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Photo of Natalie LeRoy
Team

Thanks Joanna! Thanks for helping me get the right materials up and online.