After a total of about 5 months from discovery up to implementation, we finally finished the project. Phase 1 of the project is all about value proposition research and concept development. Then Phase 2, we focused more on the concept of prototyping and implementation. This article that you are about to read will be focused on Phase 2. So what is “Save Cash and Bank It” all about? Watch the video below:
Looking through how much a product has developed within a couple months amazed me. We just finished a good 3 months of 4 iterations. It was indeed an intense, long and dynamics project. As an intro, we designed a tangible product that wants to help out the micro segment in Indonesia in using their money wisely. As well as helping Bank BRI to increase their CASA (Current Accounts Saving Accounts). There is nothing fancy about the product, no mobile applications, no website or anything high technology. We just want to design something closed yet beneficial for their daily lives. We developed a tangible wallet with a lock mechanism to help people be more discipline to do savings and it can only be opened by the bank agents.
Some people were skeptical about the product and thinking that we were going backward, knowing that now we are living in a modern, high-technology society. Even one to two people from the micro-segment were skeptical or had no expectation about our product when we first introduced it. But as I said, we could see how much 3 months have changed, not only the evolution of the product itself but also people’s perspectives toward the product and also our own perspectives- the designers and the researchers.
At the beginning of the project, we were focusing so much on how to make “the perfect stimuli”. We had a list of design requirements and our main goal was to tick all the requirements. We juggled how to put all the information and details needed in this normal, medium size wallet. However, one thing that I learned from this process is to spend less time worrying about the design and just try it out to the customers. What is important is to show what we have and see what they say. Because no matter how perfect you think your prototype is, it is maybe not perfect for your customers.
Then, as we started going to the field, we found interesting insights about the importance of communicating tools and how we communicate. During iteration 1, we started with detailed, thorough instruction justifying how to use the product. We also gave financial literacy to this micro-segment. We hypothesized this kind of sharing session that educate them on how to use money wisely would be meaningful for them. Then we learned, they have that financial knowledge, but the situation and behavior itself that makes them limited to manage their money wisely. Instead, we should focus on how to convey a message that can be easily understood by them. Focus on what we want to tell them and what they need to know.
Then, in the next iteration, we simplified our wordings in our presentation as well as other communicating tools. We thought that the wordings had been simplified enough. Yes, it was better. But, it was not enough. We learned that what is simple for us may not be simple for them. How we use some words in our daily lives are different from how they use words in their daily lives. As we talked to them and spend from time to time in the field, we started to grasp what specific words they use to identify a situation. Other than the wordings, the illustration has to be very literal. Show them the exact situation and product. Illustration with a lot of cartoon-ish characters does not work. Present something that is easy to imagine, the real photographs works best. The key is to do not make them think. This is the beauty of iteration. Our definition and definition may be different. This is also when empathy comes in.
As a researcher that is new in this industry, I have heard a lot of people saying “empathy”. However, from this project, it was the time when I realized what empathy actually is. Every time I visited the field, it always gave me a new perspective. It always gave me the joy to be able to talk to the people. I visited their place, I had a glance at their habits, I saw how they communicate with each other. There were things that I knew I would not be able to know if I were not there.
Paying attention to small details may give a huge impact on how we introduce our product or concept. The biggest takeaway message after going back-and-forth to the field is immerse yourself in their environment, get to know them and know their habits.
We would like to give our gratitudes to the Bank BRI team for working collaboratively with us throughout the project!