Terra

Brief

Design a product, service or solution that demonstrates the value and differentiation of AI in learning. Your creation should demonstrate the best qualities of a symbiotic human-computer experience that takes into consideration the environment, objects, and people. 

Project Description

Terra is an Augmented Reality platform that empowers users to build and maintain their own financial landscape while providing guidance and support via artificial intelligence.

 

Team

Gray Crawford, Brendon Gouveia, Katie Herzog

My Role

Design research, Concept development, UX/UI, Digital prototyping

Duration

16 weeks

Tools

Sketch, C4D, After Effects

 
 
 

Concept Video
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Problem Statement
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How might we support millennials in visualizing long-term horizons and achieving financial goals?

 
 

Final Concept
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SYSTEM OVERVIEW

Terra supports two primary channels for interaction: one in the home and one out in the world. The in-home experience centers around an ever-evolving AR landscape, customized to represent a user's financial state and progress towards long-term goals. The in-world experience supports this progress, providing personalized suggestions and opportunities for improvement based on a user's behavior.   

 
 
 

IN-HOME VISUALIZATION

Represented in a form of landscape, the in-home visualization provides users with a sense of their financial state and their progress towards financial goals in an unobtrusive manner. The system incorporates a series of weather patterns to indicate system status.

 
 
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The sun serves as a gentle system alert to catch the user’s attention

The sun serves as a gentle system alert to catch the user’s attention

 
 
 

CUSTOM GOAL SETTING

When a user chooses to set up a new financial goal, Terra generates a virtual landmass sized according to the total amount of the goal. The landmass is also subdivided to represent the number of monthly payments needed according to the user’s current financial situation.

The user can then choose a landscape type that best represents his/her mental model of the financial goal.

 
 
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LEVELS OF SCOPE

A user can adjust the preferred scope for the visualization at any time, choosing to view his/her total financial state, an individual financial goal, or the progress for a single month.

 
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PROGRESS TOWARDS FINANCIAL GOALS

Terra is linked to a user’s financial account. It progressively populates the landmass with plants as the user makes financial progress towards his/her goals.

 
 
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IN-WORLD VISUALIZATION

Terra extends beyond the home environment, providing a user with actionable insights tailored to his/her individual habits. Learning from the user’s purchase history, Terra presents the user with opportunities to make changes to his/her financial behaviors, starting with small and easy adjustments and gradually increasing in difficulty.

 
 
Opportunities appear as iridescent orbs in the everyday environment

Opportunities appear as iridescent orbs in the everyday environment

 
 
 

SUPPORTING BEHAVIORAL CHANGES

The in-the-moment visual cues support a user to improve financial behaviors. Facets of the orbs appear over time as progress towards goals is made, until the goal is met and the orb is complete.

Once a goal is complete, a user is rewarded with an animal that he/she can add to the landscape, serving as a visual reminder of behavioral achievements.

 
 
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Design Process
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DESIGN METHODS OVERVIEW

For a full account of our process, check out our blog here. 

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SCOPING THE PROJECT

We started by discussing potential subject areas to focus on, guided by the following questions:

  1. What are the most salient subjects for people to learn now and in the next 5 years?

  2. What opportunities might AI afford in the learning process, and what are its limitations?

This line of inquiry led us to consider economic conditions as a whole. After further discussion, we decided to focus on financial wellness as it affects every aspect of an individual s’ life and plays a larger role in the health of the greater economy. With further investigation, we narrowed our target audience to millennials as we found that they are at high financial risk due to a lack of financial literacy.

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BUILDING DOMAIN KNOWLEDGE

To deepen our understanding in the field of financial literacy, we conducted literature reviews, surveys, and expert interviews.

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Five primary insights were identified during this stage:

  1. The financial landscape has changed.

    Millennials now face more complex challenges, such as a massively higher student debt, than the previous generations.

  2. Abstraction

    Digital payment methods abstract and disconnect people from their money, skewing their mental representation.

  3. Short-term thinking

    People are hard-wired to think in and prioritize the short term rather than focusing on far horizons.

  4. Personalization

    Making content relevant to the individual is critical.

  5. Start with the basics

    Start with basic concepts before working up to more advanced ones.

 
 
 

UNDERSTANDING USERS MENTAL MODELS

We used various design methods to help us better understand millennials’ perceptions for their finance, their level of understanding for financial systems and their needs. By using methods like modeling and collage, we were able to help users externalize their abstract concepts.

 
 
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DEVELOPING CONCEPTS

Drawing from our research findings, we brainstormed a variety of concepts centered around three themes: ambient visualization, point of sale information and future casting. As we speed dated and tested the ideas with users, we were able to narrow down to one concept and start iterating.

 
Speed dating ideas

Speed dating ideas

Bodystorming to test ideas in context

Bodystorming to test ideas in context

 
 
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