down with about
families in their
homes to probe their
and attitudes toward
of independence, versus scaring people
about how bad off they’ll be if they
don’t save X amount of dollars now.”
FROM PICTURES TO PAGES
The team also discovered that different
outlooks and life stages prompt different
approaches to finances.
“Probably the biggest thinking tool
that we were able to offer and the aspect
that is reflected in the site is that people
operate in different modes with regard
to thinking about money, approaching
their finances and their tolerance of
risk,” Ms. Beers says.
And that understanding shaped the
rest of the project.
The ethnography broke customers
into three groups:
1. Reactors have knee-jerk responses
to their finances. They never learned to
handle their money well or feel victimized
by their circumstances.
2. Poolers are one level up, doing
the right things in terms of day-to-day management of their money, but
they’re not savvy investors and feel
nervous about making their money
work hard for them.
3. Maximizers really understand
finance and manage their funds with
sophistication—these are the people at
In the final website design, those
groups translated to three broad stages:
those saving for retirement, nearing
retirement and enjoying retirement.
Graphically represented on the
group’s home page, the life stage a user
chooses starts him or her on a path
through the site’s content. People can
now make stops at retirement planning
checklists, risk tolerance assessment
tools, and IRA and 401(k) rollover applications that allow employees to transfer
retirement funds when they change jobs.
“We didn’t have those buckets previously,” says Nyja Stringer, vice president