For those of us who function comfortably in our plastic-driven economy, it's easy to ignore the prepaid cards found at the bottom of most card kiosks in stores.
But for individuals who are unable to join our banking and credit system, or have been burned by it one too many times, these cards are crucial. And getting basic information, like a card's balance, can be hard or expensive to find out, making already-vulnerable consumers even more susceptible to predatory practices.
How do we balance Bureau values, like transparency and free access to information, with facts about cognition, emotion, and shopping behavior?
Working with the legal and behavioral economist team responsible for writing these federal regulations required the design team to provide a rigorous, evidence-based rationale for all decision decisions. I chose to apply BJ Fogg's Behavior Model to define testable design goals that made sense to both graphic designers and subject-matter experts.
This disclosure will appear on the back of every prepaid card package, like a nutrition facts label. Its purpose is to help consumers comparison shop.Often sold in the checkout line, consumers have very little time to make shopping decisions about which prepaid card to get. A major challenge was choosing what information to emphasize, and reducing the amount of fine print.Here's how we chose what ended up on the short disclosure:
The long disclosure includes what's on short disclosure, plus all other fee information about the card. It will be included inside of every prepaid card package and can be seen online.
For those who do want to consult all the information before making a purchase, or need to look up information afterward, the full disclosure will be available online, accessible on all devices (including screenreaders), and clock in at a whopping 7kb.
The design team helped write this portion of the regulatory text, so that industry publishes uniform, honest, future-friendly content that doesn't do uncool things like mysteriously disappear, or show different information to different users. The code and the assets are on Github, so there shouldn't be any excuses :).
A year after release, I was able to tackle the usability issues I found with the original UI.The work is still in progress, but using a lean UX approach, I've focused on quick, paper prototypes throughout the design process.
The prepaid card industry was asked to provide consumers with these disclosures in mid-2015.
The design team's proposed disclosure is based on the insight that to best help consumers, we must design for their behavior. It is better to focus on a handful of elements to make a connection with them, rather than an assumption that full disclosure is the only good disclosure.