Helping You Better Plan for Your Child's Higher Education Expenses
LeapFar is a website concept developed by Intuary, Inc. with the aim of creating a "Parenting Roadmap" feature to allow parents or expecting parents to view and plan for potential expenses.
Help Intuary Inc., bring to life their proposed solution, a simple-to-use website for new or expecting parents who want to better select college savings plans
(529 plans) for their children.
UX Designers with two stakeholders
Client Project, 3 weeks
Sketch,Illustrator, Invision, Keynote, Pencil & Paper
How might we help parents of young children or expecting parents learn 529 pan and select the option that is tailored to their needs?
LeapFar subscribers, Expecting Parents & Existing Parents
How it Works
Being a new parent is difficult and saving for your children’s financial future can be extremely daunting. There are an overwhelming number of options available, but most are often hard for ordinary people to understand and digest.
The solution presented is of a design on a desktop platform that allows the user to calculate and compare different 529 plans that best suits their needs while maintaining a warm and easy to understand interface. The features implemented into the interface is a reflection of all the insights gathered from our research and usability testings.
Below are some features:
529 Calculator Tool - Step 1
Designing a simple and easy to input form to empower the user with straight forward questions and usability
529 Calculator Tool - Step 2
Second step of the tool that asks for users goals
529 Calculator Tool- Results Page
Compared plans that were best tailored to users' needs
529s Explained - FAQs
We created a page dedicated to explaining the details of 529s for users who seek further details on the college savings account
Articles related to 529 plans and news
A more specific look at the blog content with social channel sharing features and subscription option
User Reviews Analysis
Potential User Flows
User Flow Refinement
UNDERSTANDING THE USER
In order to understand LeapFar's potential customers I conduced research to see where it fit in the market. My main goal for Leap Far’s website was to have users find and compare the best 529 plans tailored to their needs using the on-boarding tool.
User Interview Guide
Asked questions regarding parents financial goals and literacy as well as specific questions relating to 529 plans.
18 User Interviews
Used our interview guide to interview 18 users - 5 provided by the client, the rest from our own various networks.
Conducted features analysis of 8 competitors also providing college savings plan advice and 4 comparators with similar business models.
Key User Insights
We successfully validated our client's initial assumptions of how parents were overwhelmed by the college savings process for their children.
of users have a 529 savings plan for their children
To pay for as much of their children's higher education as possible
529 savings plan that is uniquely tailored to their financial situation
of users have a poor understanding of 529 plans
A singular platform where they can research 529 plans and identify which plan is best for their needs
Unbiased and intuitive website that they can trust
of users with 529 plans were gifted them from their relatives or friends
Users Pain Points
Overwhelmed by the vast amount of information in the market
Financial institutions that try to sell users their products
Plotted nearly 200 data points, our team grouped our findings into 5 main groups:
Frustrations / Pain Points
Specifically Related to 529 Plans
Broke the 5 groups down further using "I" statements to better represent our users needs, wants, behaviors, and pain points which led to the creation of our primary and secondary personas.
In order to visualize Paula's (our primary persona) journey through discovering, researching, and saving for a 529 plan for her child, I walked through her current journey without LeapFar as well as her possible future journey with LeapFar.
Analyzing competitive landscape
Because information on college savings accounts do exist on other sites, I wanted to scope out the competitive landscape before starting to think about design. I looked at companies that offer 529 plans and some form of comparison tools or calculators.
After analyzing our competitors, I found the need for a financial website that offers both relevant content and tools related to 529 plans - this is where LeapFar has a competitive advantage and can make the difference.
Competitive Feature Analysis
In order to get an idea of which features were common in a financial planning or 529 web tool, I conducted a competitive feature analysis. This allowed me to see which features were common across the board and which ones are unique to certain companies.
Comparative Feature Analysis
In addition to my competitive analysis, I wanted to learn about the features that comparable companies are using. Although these companies do not provide 529 services, they are tailored towards making their traditionally intimidating industries more approachable to younger, new customers.
How Would Our Users Us It?
I created the task flow (below) to visualize the "happy path" users take when finding and using the on-boarding tool from the home screen to get to the 529 results and comparison page.
Similar to the task flow, the user flow includes two other paths, adjacent to our intended path, that could also get to the same endpoint. It includes our primary persona's happy path as User 1 as well as two other user' possible path.
Once we had our layout for LeapFar's MVP, we created a site map. This allowed us to diagram every possible place a user could go within the site and the various paths they could take to get there.
Using a features prioritization matrix and the MoSCoW analysis method, our team determined the main features to include in this minimum viable product (MVP):
Explanation of 529 plans
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