This report summarises the intent, activities, outputs and key lessons from an ambitious program of field work which sought to capture vividly and succinctly the essence of how ordinary people think about the management of their money and resources. Unlike much of modern research which strives for increasing levels of detail and completeness, we wanted to come up with simple constructs which could be stretched, by analogy, to shed light on the issues faced by a variety of customer profiles in a variety of situations. We had a pipe dream: to be able to express all this through a graphic metaphor. We called it Metamon (short for money management metaphor).
This report begins by providing motivations for our work, both from a research and a service design point of view. The next section outlines our research methodology, especially the creative tools we used to capture what people think, rather than what they necessarily do, in relation to their financial management. The third section lays out our conceptual model of household finance. The fourth section presents our attempts at expressing the model more creatively and at developing broad metaphors. The final section provides our key lessons from the exercise, and proposes several ways in which this work can be taken forward.