Barclays – Financial Wellness

The challenge

As part of our 3rd-year industry collaboration we were tasked by Barclays with two briefs to chose from; Financial wellness and T&C’s – Please tick here to continue. The financial wellness brief challenged you to help students better manage their finances. And, the T&C’s brief asked you to prevent users from overlooking the T&Cs. Both brief being open in teams of their output.

Myself and my teammate James Pang chose the Financial wellness brief for this project, as we were confident that we could create a digital product that would solve the challenge, as we had both had experience in this field in the past. Even though both briefs were open, there was still some consideration to keep in mind. The outcome had to target low-mid of middle-class urban-based uni students, in a light-hearted and entertaining tone of voice. As well Barclays had outlined a few things such as the problem with contactless, financial management and the metal heath behind your finance.

Where do we start?

The target, urban based uni students, so pretty much us. So we began to think about the problem we are faced with when living the 'students live'. Becoming a student is a pretty mayor transitions in our live and one that comes with many responsibilities. One of the main things being making your student lone stretch. Most struggle with this as you there is too much freedom and temptation as students. How can we reduce this temptation and 'need' to spend?

When discussing this problem a couple main issues and insights were raised;

- Students struggle to make their maintenance load or large money stretch over several months

– "Its too easy to dip into your savings account" / "Before I came to uni I didn't have access to my savings' = dangerous picking of savings account when in need of money

- The danger of the convenience of contactless

For these insights we began to develop them into Ideas:

1. Barry From Barclays

Insight: Student’s when they go to university gain too much freedom or struggle to be responsible/grown up, they no longer have a parent keeping an eye on their spending etc, no authority, with contactless being their worst enemy.

One-Liner: Barry is that person who no one likes, knows it all, the wise annoying guy, who you should listen to but don’t because he's a boring wanker.

Visual: Barry an app that gives you honest feedback on your spendings through out your week. Almost like a virtual money coach. But with not Barry there's no bullshit, he's just straight up and brutal.

Barry will work by connecting to your apple pay and give you feedback on you speeding via collecting date from your contactless spendings.


2. BudgetMe

Insight: Students struggle to make their maintenance loan or a large sum of money stretch over several months

One-Liner: BudgetMe is a finance tool which divides up your maintenance loan, cutting out the hard work for the student, providing a clear picture each week of how much he/she is able to spend according to their student loan.

Visual: The backend of Budget Me, visually showing you have it will work and how it will split up your student loan and make the life of a student a whole lot easier.


3. Phil From Barclays

Insight: “It is too easy to dip into your savings account” Harry Wilson Student

One-Liner: Phil is an app that gamifies your savings account, Phil is a virtual character whose happiness and quality of life is dependent on the amount in your savings, The concept is simple, the more you dip into your savings, the shitter Phil’s life becomes.

Visual: Phil is a visual representation of your savings. The visuals below show the different stages of Phil and a basic mock-up of the app.


Once we had identified 3 main ideas we began to develop the ideas further to prepare for our first pitch to Barclays, in which we had been tasked to present 2 ideas. In which we chose to present Phil and Barry.

But, before this pitch, we had a chat with our course leader, Derek. Just to check that we were heading in the right direction. His response to our ideas was; Barry in its current straight did not reflect the tone of voice we were trying to portray. So he suggested to get from something more typographical and copy lead. And, with Phil, he thought it was pretty good but the illustration is clearly not our foray. So he suggested creating a version that conveys your savings via symbols.

Our response to this was we only had time to paperer fix one our two ideas we were going to present. So we chose to re-do Barry. Barry V2 would work by hacking the Apple Pay app to give you feedback on you spending live to your payments. This would work by us designing a set of tickets/ cards tailored to the main locations that students spend there money in. These tickets will pop up at the bottom of the Apple Pay app as your making a payment. On the ticket, there would be a piece of tailored copy to the location with would make the user have second thoughts about the payment they were just about to make.


Now that we had refined Barry to be more relavent to our tone of voice, it was time to pitch. Below is the deck we presented:

Our feedback from this pitch was as followed:


– Good idea in terms of gamifying your savings account

– Would definitely make the user think about their decision more if it is going to make Phil’s life worse

– Would students want to make Phil happy or make Phil die?

– Think what students are actually like

– Think about the longevity of the app/life span

– Appeals more to children or younger generations with the illustration


– Loved the copy, very on brief and connects well with the target

– Tone of voice strong

– Insight good, very common problem

– Think how this would appeal to females as the example we showed would be a bit harsh towards girls, sensitivity, maybe tone down the harshness?

– Does Barry have a voice or does he talk to you? Need more copy and examples

– How would you set barry up or add him to your wallet? Logistics

The end result of the pitch was Barclays picking Barry. So we started to develop Barry in repose to their feedback. Befor doing this we set out a plan of what we had get done by what date and spread out the work equally. We did this by making more cards for more location that we there catered to both male and female, and then we started to build the onboarding app to be better show how Barry would work.


Barry Card Set:


Onboarding dev:

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Above are screenshots of the development process of building the onboarding app and fleshing out the whole app in its integrity. Some of the key thing that we paid particular attention to when developing the app was the copy to keep the tone of voice constant. Also, the overall aspic of the app was key to convey the tone of voice we wanted but as well we had still had to make it recognisable to Barclays brand. So we ended up picking quite a bold typeface inspired by building sights signs and then contrasting that with the Barclays blue.

Now that we had the app fully designed we began thinking about how we were going to present Barry. At this point, we thought the best way to present Barry was to have Barry him self-run you through the app. But, for that, we need a voice over and that voice over would of have to be perfect to make the video look somewhat professional. So with the time constraints, we had we designed to create the video inspired by the Apple adverts. Referencing their Apple Watch walkthrough videos. So we began work on this:

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This was the final result:

Harry Wilson