Building Military Personnel Financial Wellness

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) hired Mad*Pow to improve US military personnel financial wellness. The result? A digital game. It's user-centered, immersive, and educational. The game coaches recruits toward responsible financial wellbeing.

  • 46.5% average debt to income ratio for military members
  • $31,000 average yearly salary for junior personnel
  • 36,000 active service members requested financial help due to debt

Financial Fitness Training Through Gaming

The Process: Tailoring User Experience

Mad*Pow began the project by creating a strategy. The strategy was based on three inputs. First, a workshop with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its military advisors to define project goals. Next, field interviews with military members to learn about their needs. And finally, a roadmap to connect the two.

Based on these learnings, Mad*Pow decided on an educational mobile game. The game had several requirements. For one, it needed to appeal to a generation of digital natives. It would also need to encourage teamwork between recruits. And it needed to reflect the interests of recruits! Lastly, it needed to address the complexities of real-world financial situations.

The Results: A Fun Approach to Military Personnel Financial Wellness

Mad*Pow designed a realistic, playful game module. It follows a choose-your-own-adventure framework. Players are presented with a simple car-buying scenario. They respond to sales tactics, print and online advertising, and peer pressure.

The game is now helping recruits learn how to make good financial choices and avoid bad deals. It sets them up to exercise a lifetime of financial fitness.

Key Services

  • Behavior Change Design: Mad*Pow's team analyzed the spending behaviors of recruits. They then developed an appropriate intervention design strategy.
  • Research and Testing: Initial field interviews helped ensure a usable, useful, and valuable solution. Robust usability testing later confirmed the game was a success.
  • Experience Design: UI and visual designers presented the experience artfully and playfully. Design focused on dramatic, novel-style visuals.
  • Content Strategy: The right voice and tone resulted in a natural language to add realism.
  • Mobile App & Web Development: Mad*Pow's developers delivered a responsive, accessible experience.