Sussed (adj.): shrewd and well informed.
or in Kiwi slang translation — all good.
New Zealand has one of the highest youth bank account ownership rates, at 90% — but globally, only 1 in 3 teens are financially literate.
Bridging the gap
In New Zealand, there are some financial literacy providers for schools, preparing the coming generation with this essential life skill.
But there’s no such thing for young adults aged 15-24, who are transitioning into independency.
I sparked up one-on-one, open discussions with 40 young adults — students, tradies, and young professionals, about money matters.
I aimed to understand how young Kiwis manage their money, where they learn about money, and where their pet peeves and slippery slopes are.
I learnt that none knew Sorted, a financial literacy guide from the government, even existed. I realised that people didn’t want to study money — so why not create something that guides them as they go about their day-to-day business?
I created personas based on the interviews I had, and initially, I tried to create a single, cohesive user journey map.
I quickly realised that there was a wide variety of needs and priorities, as I also had an additional insights from 20 aspiring first home owners and passionate parents.
As the journey map expanded, and the IA became more complex, progressive disclosure became a core part of the design — I didn’t want to overwhelm the users.
I wanted people to feel comfortable with their finances.
‘This is what we’ve got, how can we make this work’
But does it work?
Other than user testing, observing & discussing how the app worked for them and how it could be better, I also really wanted this to be a viable product.
I spent a lot of time researching into how sussed can give a live snapshot to a user’s finances.
Based on what exists in New Zealand, it was based on importing a .csv file, but users don’t have the time or patience to realistically do that.
I discovered the concept of open banking — essentially, using open APIs to enable third party developers to build apps & services (sussed) around financial institutions (banks et al).
The open APIs and legislation for open banking doesn’t exist yet in New Zealand — but it’s in the works, and that’s hope!
In the US, UK, and Europe, open banking services like Venmo and Revolut allow people to transfer money without opening an account to a bank.
Behind the UI — Iterations
This was my first time jumping into UI & digital product design — I actually moved from Product Design to Communication Design for my final semester studio paper at AUT.
I learnt an incredible amount — things like:
Design systems for margins, icons, and typography
Atomic & agile design
Open ended user interviewing
Digital product user testing
How to use prototyping software like Sketch & Principle
IA & Wireframing
Material Design (big shout out to material.io)
I had incredibly supportive colleagues and mentors — if you’re reading this, thank you so much!
So, what now?
I really want to make this a reality, so I’m currently working on researching more into what people need when it comes to sussing their finances, and creating a working prototype with real data.