Design workshop findings

Our design workshop gave us interesting insights including:

  • People kept asking us if they were “doing it right” as if there was some correct organizational system out there that we, Quarter Hotcakes, know about, but that users in the dark over.  This points to a lack of confidence in this space,  feelings of inadequacy and indicates a lack of knowledge about what is the absolute minimum to do with one’s important documents.
  • People store their documents in special containers which are rarely intended for the purpose of keeping documents safe.  This includes a wine crate, laptop bag, plastic Christmas tote, grocery bag and colorful folders that were free.
  • After the session was over, a users confided that he FELT AWFUL having his whole lackluster life situation laid out in front of them.  Another reported FEELING GREAT AND RELIEVED because she realized that she is in fact ORGANIZED, she’s just forgetful.  Another found it helpful to see all this background information that churns in the back of his head that he hasn’t dealt with yet but is worried about.
  • Only one collage participant indicated any good feelings towards this space.  This user described dealing with these documents and organizing them as “fun” and it made her feel “grown up.”
  • Moms and Dads are still present in this space, providing coaching and mentoring.  For 20 somethings, the parent’s house still has set of documents there they need to be kept safe.
  • People have a lot of questions about what’s the best way to deal with these documents.  They’re making their systems up as they go along.
  • Each system is highly personalized to the individual.  There are few discernible patterns between each person’s logic in organization.

Moving towards behavior change with BJ Fogg’s Presuasive Tech Lab

We’re learning a lot about how to change people’s behavior for BJ Fogg’s blog.  He says that three things need to be in place for people to change.

  1. A trigger signaling action
  2. The ability to change
  3. The motivation to change

We’re seeing very clearly that our project space lacks in all these categories

  1. There’s no trigger for action with most of these documents besides bills and annual renewal contracts.  There’s no trigger to start a 401K today vs. tomorrow or next week, next month.  Even horror stories fail to be a trigger.  For example, after Hurrican Katrina, did YOU put together a go-bag and get an emergency plan together for your family? We’ve interviewed a fire man who admits to having no fireproof safe.
  2. The ability to organize these documents is present but the ability to UNDERSTAND why to keep them, for how long is missing. Our users have many questions about financial documents in particular, not knowing what a Roth IRA is, nor do they know how to do their own taxes but many are hungry to know these things but don’t know where to start looking for answers and who to believe.
  3. The motivation is almost completely lacking here.  No one wants to deal with this stuff.  Our users say:
  •  “You don’t want to spend your time thinking about this stuff.” – Max, 35
  • “I haven’t faced those demons yet.” – Kevin, 23
  • “There is always something more fun to do than deal with this stuff.” – Bill, 40
  • “I just don’t make time for it” – Garrett, 29
  • “I hate the act of organizing.” – Garrett, 29
  • “We should just get rid of all paper and documentation and just trust each other.” – Ahmed, 28
  • “Thinking about this stuff makes me very uncomfortable.” – Jeff, 40
  • “I don’t know where to begin.” – Michael, 39

We will continue to synthesize this data and begin to focus on design directions.

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