MoneySense was created by RBS and Natwest to provide financial education for young people. The brief was to overhaul the existing website and transform it into a unique, modern content offering that would appeal to teachers, young people and their parents, and support them in learning about money. It would a need to target children from the ages five to eighteen; Natwest also wanted to Increase staff engagement with a volunteer programme for schools. The bank also had a target of reaching a total of one million young people by the end of 2018.
The UK is below average on financial literacy with only 43% of young people confident in managing their own money. According to the NHS children are more anxious now compared to a decade ago with 25% of 7-12 year olds concerned about family income. The main challenge was creating a site that needed to target a wide range of users from children to young adults to teachers, parents and volunteers! The site also had to work across three different bank brands (RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank) and in two different currency markets (United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland).
Our solution was driven by making all the relevant resources which include videos, quizzes, games, lesson plans and activities accessible to the various users on a creatively designed responsive website.
I was the creative director and sole UI designer on the project and I worked closely with a UX designer and a print designer who produced the resources. Using insight, analytics, and research we started to put the wireframes and user flows together and experimented with several prototypes using Invision and Framer.
95% of UK adults believe that young people are leaving school without the skills and knowledge they need to manage their finances, while one in five secondary teachers said they lacked confidence in this area.
For teachers the main priority was making the resources on offer discoverable and convenient, so creating a simple filter was very important. Currently we have over 400 unique resources for teachers which are organised by age, theme, and curriculum links.
The priority was ensuring that the programme was educational and fun; so games and interactives were key. In the students area of the site, we have more than 30 games tailored to different age groups, enabling young people to explore the world of money independently.
The Volunteers section contains materials to help bank staff support teachers in delivering classroom workshops. The Parents area offers exciting family activities to help children learn about money in everyday situations.
With the illustration style we needed to create something that worked across all three bank brands. We knew we couldn’t use the Natwest illustration style so we commissioned an illustrator to create a series of characters for the different age groups that could be used across the site, in resources, games and videos. After selecting Tado as the illustrators we briefed them to create two different sets of characters.
I was involved in creating two videos for MoneySense, the first video was for the homepage and features at the top of this page. I worked with an editor at John Brown to create the narrative and then storyboarded it and created the assets. I then art directed an animator who put the animation together. the second video features on the parents page which you can see below, it was animated by myself using after effects.
There are a number of games on the MoneySense website and I was involved in about ten of them from the ux, ui, animation and art direction. With Virtual bank the most popular game on the site I worked with an illustrator - Andrew Painter. Games and videos have had more than 320,000 plays.
The initial brief was to reach one million young people by the end of 2018. This target was reached and exceeded early in the year, and as of July 2018, MoneySense has reached 1.8 million young people. MoneySense has won several awards including Gold for 'Best Educational Programme' at CEA 2018 (Corporate Engagement Awards) and Gold for 'Best Finance' at CMA 2018 (Content Marketing Awards). Kenneth Clarke, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, commended NatWest for exceeding their target and recommended all schools use the resources on offer (Primary Times; July 2018).
This was not an easy task; in fact I’m pretty sure it’s the first project across the Bank to use the new Natwest branding but still remain relevant for the other brands.
Manager, Financial Capability Programmes, Sustainable Banking
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