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

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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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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


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


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.


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


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.


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

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