Innovating for an Aging Audience: How Do You Add Value?

At core of human-centered design is innovation inspired by people. This method and process is successful because it taps into creative capabilities we all have that usually get overlooked by traditional problem-solving practices. It is a process that helps teams transform difficult challenges into desirable solutions because it’s empathetic, collaborative, optimistic and experimental. As we progressed through the MasterCard Labs LaunchPad project, our team of developers, designers, experts on aging and business stakeholders moved beyond pure ideation to consider what value our ideas would bring to the aging population. On day three the LaunchPad team focused on extraordinary user experience, which has become the highest priority at both CO-OP Financial Services and MasterCard. Experience is big part of the culture. One important step toward creating an inspiring user experience was the creation of a storyboard that depicted the different steps various members would go through when using a new financial app designed for their specific needs. customer-experience-storyboard-1 One role we wanted to explore further was that of the caregiver. Being a caregiver to a loved one is an undeniably tough job, one that many of us have already taken on or will take on in the future. Anyone who has been in that role can share stories about how emotionally overwhelming it is, how easily one gets overwhelmed with the amount of information needed to be an effective advocate, researcher and loved one. One area that often gets overlooked is learning when and how to help loved ones with their finances, and helping aging adults understand what may happen to their finances as their need for care progress. The goal was to create a solution that would satisfy the needs of elderly adults and their potential caregivers at the same time. We knew we needed a few key features:
  • various access and authorization levels
  • shared views, and
  • dashboard with immediate insights.
customer-experience-storyboard-2 You can build the best product in the world, but if nobody ever heard about it, you would have built it for nobody. The team created billboard designs to ensure the public would notice the new app/web service. billboard-design-1 Over time, the team landed on Oasis as the name for the solution. Oasis connected with everybody because it described in a metaphorical way a refuge or relief from something difficult or unpleasant. And, let’s face it, most digital financial solutions can be unpleasant and difficult for the elderly – as is the difficult predicament of managing an elderly person’s finances on their behalf. billboard-design-2 After discussing preferred web solutions/apps as a team and talking about using some of the features we liked best in the Oasis solution (“stealing with pride”), it was time to develop the first sketches of the user face, focusing on the value proposition. solution-sketches To focus the group’s thinking and ensure that members would understand quickly the benefits of the digital solution, the team created a value proposition landing page. value-proposition-landing-page The team started this journey with one premise: Innovation isn’t about technology. In fact, innovation is about value. When designing Oasis, the goal was to give members something valuable that they could seamlessly integrate into their daily lives – and to get enough users to adopt it so that a credit union would get value in return. Mobile and connected experiences create opportunities to bring new value to situations where traditional solutions fall short. All of this thinking went onto a single canvas: lean-canvas In our next post, we will discuss insights from real customers from the target audience and we will introduce the prototype. In the meantime, contribute your own ideas on serving the financial needs of an aging population by joining the 2016 THINK Prize Challenge. Through our renewed partnership with OpenIDEO’s global community, we welcome your participation. Share your experiences and collaborate to create solutions that are smart, simple, secure, and tailored to older adults. CO-OP will award the 2016 THINK Prize to one or more top ideas resulting from this process. Please join now and compete for the $10,000 THINK Prize.