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I'm a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. I love design, thinking about hard problems, and improving life for those who have it roughest. I'm currently working on Agora, an online townhall platform to better connect politicians in the U.S. with their constituents.
Hey Jes, this is awesome! I love the way you clearly break down what SWEP accomplishes well, and how that might be relevant to financial literacy and planning! I really like the idea of tailoring each visualization to the audience consuming it - I feel like this is so important to maximizing a design's salience and persuasiveness. It would be awesome to see a product with different complexities and simple settings for more complex and less complex data visualizations, so the user could tailor the app to their own needs.
This was super interesting Jared, thank you for sharing! After reading through the research papers mentioned in the blog post, it seems like Lauren Willis is mostly talking about middle class Americans understanding complex financial products more clearly. If you follow one of her links to http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1098270, the author writes
"For consumers in middle and lower income groups, counseling was associated with a reduction in debt between 2% and 12%, although at higher incomes, counseling associated with an increase in debt"
So while Willis seems to be very confident of her arguments concerning Americans, and especially middle and upper class Americans, it might be worthwhile to consider section 3 (Empirical Evidence of the Importance of Financial Literacy) of https://www.globalbrigades.org/media/Financial_Literacy.pdf for a more global discussion of this issue. Note that this was just some quick research, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about the big picture here!