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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After the interviews, I started identifying trends, key things and assumptions within my research.
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!
Testing the Hypothesis
To test how this works, I created brief designs in Sketch and then in Invision to see how users responded.
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.
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
This version was created with the openIDEO challenge and tested with 4 users.
Here is the fourth Rightsize prototype viewable on Invision. These versions are combined because there were mostly changes to text.
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.