Discovery – savings scheme

Discovery phase for a native mobile app for a savings scheme looking at nudging users to create healthy savings habits.


This was a 3-month discovery project looking at mobile phone users could be nudged using gamification to develop better saving habits over a number of years. Various teams collaborated in delivering this work  – mobile team, web team, communications and behavioural psychologists. My role was user experience design for the mobile team.


I was tasked with exploring how gamification and native app functionality on iOS and Android could be harnessed to nudge users to develop better habits through gamification and personalisation. It was felt that native mobile could help users more directly.


User testing of the web scheme had revealed that many users accessed the scheme on a mobile device. We would have to ensure that any native mobile development would align well the existing web journeys. We also worked with the branding an communications department to align our tone of voice, branding and development roadmap to their work which was also still in development. There was a third party with their own development team so we needed to work well with them to create API’s so that we could deliver functionality to the mobile app.


I began by working with the product owner and user researcher to understand how the scheme worked. I reviewed previous quantitative and qualitative research output into audience segmentation and took on board the user experience work on personas and journeys carried out by the web team. I carried out web research around gamification in the sector to discover how commercial mobile apps had done similar schemes.

Characters and scenarios

I quickly created a cast of characters that would be memorable and help the team to discuss, design and deliver solutions iteratively. The scheme spanned a few years and it was clear that many life events would occur for those users during this time. My characters were all related to each other in some way spanning generations and geographies. I created personas and timelined scenarios for them so that the teams could clearly see how different life events would need to be considered in any behavioural change design we would make.


After discussing findings with our user researcher, I began to sketch out profiles for how the different users might identify themselves in relation to the type of habit we were trying to develop. I took into account that over the years of the scheme their sense of identity around this would behaviour would evolve.

Game ideas

l explored some game ideas in the early stages. They hinged around different levels of engagement. Quick satisfaction, personalisation around goals and building a training programme that would help users develop over time. I sketched these out and kept them for later.


The work I carried out, lay the foundation for the next designer to pick up develop further. It helped the developers create dummy data and write user stories with the characters, timelines and scenarios that I had set up for the project.