Final Poster. Best viewed on web.

The Design & Policy for Humanitarian Impact class at CMU paired with Mayor Bill Peduto to tackle policy issues within Pittsburgh. My team’s goal was to increase the number of Pittsburgh residents with bank accounts so that they no longer need to rely on alternative financial services such as check cashing, short-term (high interest) loans, or even family members. We partnered with Bank On Greater Pittsburgh, an organization that brings together community service non-profits and bank management to reach the unbanked population.

friends testing
User testing the toolkit

The project was a challenge because many voices needed to be heard: 4 team members, 2 professors, Bank On Greater Pittsburgh, the Mayor’s office, and the end users. In the beginning, we had no idea what the outcome or deliverables would be, but I’m proud of how well we were able to understand the issues surrounding the unbanked. We presented the poster to Bank On and they are excited to share our findings with their stakeholders.


I designed the poster which describes our research process and final deliverables: better communication via 1) Bank On’s website and 2) bus ads as well as a toolkit prototype designed to help families start conversations at home about financial responsibility. My teammates designed parallel activities for parents and children to learn how to make a budget, keep track of receipts, and save your change all using materials found in the home.


I participated in most of the design research including fly-on-the-wall bus rides, focus groups, and AEIOU of current Bank On workshops. We came up with a multitude of personas including immigrants, divorced women, teenagers, and more who might not have or be able to obtain a bank account.

Clockwise from top left: brainstorming personas and focus; identifying the problem space; storyboarding and synthesizing our findings; creating persona matrix of those willing vs. able to obtain bank accounts or not.

It became clear that Bank On was doing a lot of good things, but needed help on communication design. I synthesized our research to create higher impact bus ads. Further outcomes are shown on the poster.



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