Game of Life

Ritter designs smartphone application prototype focused on life events at Design Thinking Week

07/24/17

During Design Thinking Week, Sarah Ritter, assistant professor of engineering design, and her team one colleagues were challenged to design a new financial service for new banking customers of ING-DiBa AG, a direct bank based in Frankfurt, Germany. Ritter and her team began the design process by collecting inspirations related to banking, online banking and banking customers. The team implemented a brainstorming session to add personal insight and financial experience to the project.   

The team tried to pinpoint patterns in the collected information in order to cluster it into groups. This process identified four key concepts: trust is a critical component of banking, cultural influence impacts financial products, banking customers like to meet at eye-level and different life circumstances call for different banking solutions.

“Using a variety of different idea generation techniques – the entire team walking in a circle writing ideas on Post-it notes or playing a game of hot potato to rapidly produce ideas – enabled all teammates to engage in a very important step of the design process, while encouraging creativity and a broad range of concepts,” Ritter said. “After fully exploring the idea space, clustering them enabled our team to identify themes within our concepts that served as foci for the prototyping phase.” 

Ritter’s team used field interviews at S-Bahn station Friedrichstraße, Deutsche Bank Experience Center and the University of Potsdam to learn more about why people use online banking, life events that influence finances and whether or not people trust banks. An empathy prototype, a mobile whiteboard with colorful sticky notes, allowed interviewees to express their feelings about their favorite bank, online banking services, mobile banking, a personal finance advisor and their overall feeling of trust in their bank. Overall themes learned include people not liking how financial advisers treated them and the belief that banking on smartphones is insecure and untrustworthy.

The team dissected this interview information and concluded that people need to establish better lines of trust with their banks and in their own financial decisions. Because people often trust the opinions of other people, Ritter and her team believed the gamification of financial experiences via a social platform would provide banking customers with the experiences they sought.

A “game of life” playing field allowed users to track their progress through various life events in a fun and interactive smartphone application. Life events were broken into steps, with sizing of each step depending on its difficulty or the length of time needed to complete it. Each playing field also displayed small figures representing other users completing the same life event.

During prototype testing, users told Ritter’s team that a reward system would motivate them to continue progressing through the gaming app. The team suggested adding in-game rewards like virtual coins or real-life rewards such as vouchers or small gifts from partner companies to users when they complete major goals. 

 

Share this story:

facebook linked in twitter email

MEDIA CONTACT:

Samantha Chavanic

smh5218@engr.psu.edu

“Using a variety of different idea generation techniques – the entire team walking in a circle writing ideas on Post-it notes or playing a game of hot potato to rapidly produce ideas – enabled all teammates to engage in a very important step of the design process, while encouraging creativity and a broad range of concepts."

 
 

About

The School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs (SEDTAPP) delivers effective engineering education through active, collaborative, project-based, and professionally oriented classroom experiences. SEDTAPP offers a variety of programs that partner faculty, students, and industry in the study of real-life engineering problems. Our programs teach students to solve real-life problems with innovative solutions. 

School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs

213 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2952