As we speed along in a tech-rich world, we can’t leave anyone behind. Four Swinburne students turned to online banking with this driving belief in mind, combining forces with social enterprise Untapped to create an inclusive financial literacy and banking app.
Prototyping tech solutions for neurodiverse people
In its third year at Swinburne, Design Factory Melbourne’s 2020 TOM@University – in partnership with TOM: Melbourne – program involved students from occupational therapy and design. The program is dedicated to creating design solutions for people living with disabilities to make future work and study more inclusive and accessible – and for students wanting to take part, it will run again in Semester 2, 2021.
Last year students worked with Untapped, which finds opportunities for neurodiverse individuals to thrive in the workplace. The challenge was to build a prototype of a solution for neurodiverse adults.
Swinburne students Courtney Forbes, Claire Ioannidis, Celestine Le Blanc and Jaiden Gusti worked with Untapped at Design Factory Melbourne over twelve weeks to improve the accessibility of financial services and products. The collaboration shared knowledge between Untapped staff, researchers, digital banking and diversity teams at ANZ, and trainees in the ANZ Spectrum Program, which supports people with autism to settle into the workplace and develop their careers.
“We live in a world of convenience that’s becoming increasingly more digital. It is only right that we continue to design the world we live in to be one for everyone, especially those who have been disenfranchised so frequently before. Having the chance to not only interview, but also collaborate with neurodiverse people to develop an experience that would be relevant for everyone, was an opportunity our team could not pass up,” says design student, Jaiden Gusti.
Students attend a TOM@University workshop at Design Factory Melbourne as part of the program designed to bring tech solutions to challenges faced by people with disabilities. Image by TOM: Melbourne.
Money&Me is created
The co-design resulted in Money&Me, an inclusive financial literacy and banking app that takes fundamental financial literacy learning modules and incorporates them into personal banking. It provides accessibility to banking services, packaged in a universal design solution that can be optimised for individual preferences.
The Money&Me app design was presented to stakeholders including ANZ’s Head of Accessibility, Meg Dalling.
‘We were delighted to welcome the students to ANZ to present the innovative banking app prototype, designed to tackle the barriers that can present for the neurodiverse community. Their approach represents the best of inclusive design, underpinned by insights from those whose needs are often not met by mainstream services. We know that accessible banking is fundamental to financial inclusion, which in turn supports confidence, dignity, independence and financial wellbeing,’ says Dalling.
The Money&Me app allows for individual preferences around how users would like to be presented with financial literacy information.
More about the program
Design Factory Melbourne coach and program advisor Pauliina Mattila coordinated the TOM@University program during the online-only semester in 2020 when Money&Me was created.
‘During the 2020 program, the student teams went above and beyond in their efforts and created some very interesting concepts ranging from this one on inclusive banking, to improving access to study – an inherent part of the pathway of pursuing a career and independent life,’ says Mattila.
The program leveraged partnerships with TOM:Melbourne, Solve, Scope, Swinburne’s AccessAbility Careers Hub and Untapped to provide real-world challenges for students to work on.
The TOM@University program will run in Semester 2, 2021.