Prepared by: Adam Moqrane and Nourhan Shaaban. Presentation slides here


Question: How might we get young people (18-29) to develop basic financial literacy (personal finance) to make more empowered financial decisions? 

Interview Synthesis

We conducted 8 in-depth interviews! Our interviewees’ experience ranged across levels, from novices to experts. We noticed that: 

  • Half of interviewees rated themselves less than 5/10 in how confident they feel in navigating finances
  • Fear and confusion are barriers to learning and investing
  • The majority were eager to build a stronger foundation or to progress in their understanding, and were not sure where to start
  • A segment of interviewees felt that they were not sure how to evaluate where they are relative to others
  • Social support – including discussions with friends or an external validator – is important in influencing user’s decisions

User Personas

We divided the users we interviewed into 5 personas from beginner to expert. It was clear to us that, while our product could be used by all, it primarily targets novices – moderate levels. 

What other options exist?

To gain better financial literacy, users rely on different methods. Some users mentioned reading books or taking a course (such as Udemy 101) to build a foundation in personal finance and investing. Others said they learned as they go by using investing or budgeting apps such as Mint or Robinhood. The former group complained that they lacked the “hands-on” experience, and the later group was not sure if they had the foundations. There was a general agreement that there is a need for a better and more engaging learning platform. 

Our solution: FinLit

  • Users get to select their language and region, as our solution is highly customizable
  • We begin by asking users about their financial goals, and how confident they feel 
  • Users can customize their personal avatar 
  • Users have different options to learn and engage: 1). They can take engaging short courses on different topics, 2). They can read real time news where they can highlight and learn any new word they do not know, 3). Users are part of different communities and can ask questions to friends and circles of trust.
  • Users have a personalized dashboard with their badges and can advance to new levels. 


As we were designing FinLit, we were inspired by awesome products such as Duolingo and by theories we discussed in class, specifically the three elements needed for new behaviors posited by Fogg: motivation, ability and trigger. 

  • Motivation: FinLit’sinteractive nature serves as a motivator for users to continue to revisit the app – as they read daily news, get badges, and engage with members. Badges and the presence of friends can activate motivaiton. 
  • Ability: Rather than reading taking a long and hard class, users can take easy quizzes for their level, and highlight new words. Our design, compared to the alternatives that exist, vastly reduces the brain cycles needed.