Meeting money management goals is tough, especially when you are doing it for the first time. Genie is a both a money management app, as well as a campaign directed toward individuals who are transitioning from being financially dependent to financially independant. Where will you find more people experiencing this transition than in college? My partner, Lily Kim, and I designed Genie as a university sponsored campaign that encourages students to consider how to improve their money management, and offers the resource to do just that.

The System

The Genie campaign takes three approaches: identify that there is a problem (or an undesirable situation that could be improved), offer a possibility for change, and provide one such tool to bring about that change. During the Genie campaign, the university would use the Genie branded bags, to-go cups, and napkins to begin a conversation with students about their money habits. The tone of these items, placed in the campus environment, would be friendly and peer-like. Genie mobiles, hung around campus at points of transaction remind students of their money management goals, and heighten awareness of spending habits. This method of spreading awareness encourages users to try the Genie app. The app is consistent in its friendly tone, but has a refined interface that feels trustworthy and professional. The key features of the app include budgeting and discretionary allowance, calendar of costs and income, and savings goal-setting. The environmental items bring to student’s mind their money management situation, then offers a usable tool to make meaningful changes.

Developing the Brand

The brand of Genie was an inspiration of our goal to make money management as effortless as checking your wallet. Now that we have limitless information at our fingertips through smartphones, financial information budgeting should be just as accessible! The language and tone for this campaign was a challenge because of the sensitivity of the topic. The visual language had to be friendly and inviting and avoid a soliciting or overbearing tone. It also had to be versatile enough to transition into a digital space, without loosing its approachable voice. We chose a mixture of handwritten type and vector-base illustrations to achieve this tone. The turquoise and purple colors tied all pieces together. Ultimately, the brand of Genie had to assume the character of a trustworthy peer – relatable and helpful.

Design Approach