Mindful: Learning Finance Made Fun and Easier— A Case Study

Vaibhav Singhania
9 min readSep 9, 2023

Helping users improve their financial literacy by adding a touch of gamification to increase user engagement & retention.


Financial independence forms the foundation of personal happiness — We’ve all heard that somewhere. But, did you know that only 24% of Indians are financially literate according to a survey conducted by S&P Global FinLit Survey?

Personal finance isn’t included in our school or college curriculum, leaving students unprepared for financial challenges in adulthood.

Even I have tried learning finance and investment before but it did not turn out very well because I wasn’t sure which resource to trust and almost every app I tried disappointed me. After all, they had no structure to teach finance to a beginner.

Why this problem?

This challenge aims to make finance and related topics engaging for users, preventing them from losing interest because let’s face it — learning finance can be boring, but not anymore!

But wait, why can’t people learn finance on YouTube or online? There are tons of resources available. Why would they even need an app for it?

I read a wonderful article that deep dives into this topic. You can read the full article here.

How did I figure out that this problem required a solution?

In the past, I have tried learning finance and investing through books, videos, and apps like Varsity (by Zerodha). However, I faced six common problems:

  1. Low-quality content
  2. Lack of personalization
  3. Not beginner-friendly
  4. Limited knowledge
  5. No structured learning
  6. Felt boring

My mentor, Sahil, played a crucial role in helping me finalize the problem statement and guiding me through the process.

🔍 User Research

I wanted to understand why India’s financial literacy rate is only 24% and how I could change that. I conducted user surveys to understand why so few people were interested in learning finance and what could be done to change this behavior.

The survey received a total of 25 responses, and to ensure there was no selection bias, it included responses from different age groups.

🙈 Insights from the Survey

  • 60% of respondents haven’t tried learning finance via apps, doubting online sources for such an important topic.
  • The majority of individuals prefer learning finance through video content and interactive quizzes.
  • Over 90% of respondents expressed interest in learning finance but struggled to find a reliable option.
  • More than 80% of respondents expressed interest in an app offering structured learning for finance and investment.

👤 User Interview

I conducted user interviews to understand user behaviors and pain points, with some follow-up questions about their experience learning finance so far.

I interviewed two of my college friends, Amogh and Ujjwal, who attempted to learn finance and investment but ultimately gave up due to complex jargon, lack of reliability, and the absence of a structured learning curriculum.

Their experience: Learning finance online through apps, watching instructional videos, and reading books.

  • Amogh attempted to learn about investments on YouTube and remained consistent for over a month. However, when he entered the market, he struggled because the videos had recommended stocks that performed poorly.
  • Ujjwal purchased several books on investment and downloaded finance teaching apps to better understand finance and make informed decisions.
  • However, the app had no clear learning path, leaving him unsure about where to begin. The books, on the other hand, were filled with complex jargon, making it tough for him to understand the concepts.

🤕 User Pain Points

  • Lack of quality content: Many users struggle to find reliable and high-quality educational content on finance and investment leaving them with no reliable option.
  • Complex Jargon: Financial terms can be pretty confusing and intimidating, leading to difficulties in understanding key concepts.
  • No Structured Learning: Users often find it challenging to navigate through various topics without a clear learning path or structure and end up getting frustrated.
  • Personalization: Existing apps lack personalization and follow a “one-content-fits-all” approach that doesn’t work in the real world.
  • Boredom: Existing methods of learning finance are dry and unengaging, making users lose interest quickly. Have you tried reading “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham?

🤔 How Might We

  • Personalize financial education to cater to individual learning preferences.
  • Motivate users to stay committed to their financial learning journey.
  • Leverage gamification to enhance user engagement in finance education.
  • Help users overcome the common obstacles that lead to dropping out of finance learning.
  • Encourage users to connect, learn together, and support each other within the app.

🎴 Moodboarding

After I had a basic idea of how to approach this problem, I started with competitive analysis and mood boarding. The main competitor for this app was Varsityby Zerodha. I also studied some apps that weren’t related to finance education to learn more about the gamification features such as Duolingo.

🟪 User Flow

After completing the research, I decided to converge on my design process because initially, I was exploring and collecting every bit of inspiration I could find but then I had to limit the scope and start working on the final design.

This is the basic user flow that was necessary for the user to complete all the basic tasks that the app was initially designed for. It includes personalized onboarding, options to choose what to learn, options to watch video sessions or read, and unlocking the master sessions using virtual currency.

Visual Design/Solution

1. Calming splash screen

This serves as the initial user interaction, aiming for a calming and engaging experience to enhance user retention.

  • The term “mindful” represents a sense of calm and awareness, which is the opposite of the often frustrating experience of learning finance through other available resources.
  • Initially, the idea was to use blue as a primary color for the app but the color blue is often associated with trust, reliability, and professionalism whereas the idea was to establish a brand identity that is fun and relaxing.
  • To improve user retention, I implemented a user-friendly approach by initially requesting only essential information, such as email and name. This aims to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed and reduces drop-offs.

2. User Credentials

The goal was to gather essential user information to personalize the content before users began their learning journey.

  • I initially overlooked an important detail in the user experience, which was pointed out during a design review session with Abhinav & Jayneil at 10k designers. The issue was on the home screen, where the user’s name was displayed without any user input.

3. Personalized Onboarding Flow

To improve user retention, personalized onboarding was necessary to cater to user needs and enhance the learning experience.

  • To simplify the decision-making process for users, I replaced the progress bar with a segmented one, clearly indicating that there are two more steps to complete. This change aims to reduce user drop-offs.
  • To make the decision-making process easier for users, I changed the layout of the goal-setting screen from horizontal to vertical, maintaining consistency with previous screens. Additionally, I improved the clarity of icons and tags associated with goals, enhancing user understanding and ultimately resulting in better engagement.

4. Explore Options

The home screen includes different topics that users will be interested in learning based on their responses in the onboarding screens.

  • In the survey results, I found that people were most interested in learning these four topics, and in this specific order: Managing finance and learning basic investment were the user’s top priorities, so I placed them at the top of the list.

5. Learning Flow

Users can begin their learning journey by choosing from these topics. This flow has gamification elements to make the learning experience engaging and enjoyable for the users.

  • I incorporated streaks into the app because they have proven to be a significant motivator for users. Longer streaks are more exciting and add pressure to maintain them, contributing to improved user retention. Users also earn rewards for their consistent progress in learning finance.
  • The in-game currency also plays an important role in unlocking master sessions, which are hosted by market leaders. Users can unlock these sessions by earning coins through module completion and quiz success, leading to increased user engagement.
  • The survey revealed that people are likely to learn finance through videos, quizzes, and reading materials, with video lessons being the most preferred. Therefore, I added options for both reading and watching videos. For instance, if someone is at an airport and prefers reading, they can easily access reading materials or even download them through the overflow tab.

6. Search Suggestions

I designed this flow to enable users to easily find the resources they need. For example, if they want to learn more about a specific topic, they can simply search here.

How might we help users find the resource they are looking for?

  • I added locked sessions here as well to keep the app interesting and motivate users to earn coins and unlock sessions that are not available for free. It keeps users invested in the app and makes them want to unlock these sessions to find out their value.
  • The users can also segregate the search into articles and videos depending on what they prefer at that moment, keeping the app user-centric.

7. Community & Leaderboard

How might we facilitate user engagement, knowledge sharing, and friendly competition among learners?

  • The goal here was to connect users who are just starting to learn about finance with other learners so that they can connect and share insights while learning something new from each other. This would lead to more user engagement and improve user retention. This page is divided into three tabs: trending, following, and events.
  • Under the profile tab, users can check their achievements, leaderboard ranking, and manage general settings. Users can also view their followers and their following while on the profile page.

📗 Learnings

  • Time-Box Everything: It is very important that you set a deadline for yourselves, or it will always take more time than required to complete the task. I heard this somewhere, and it has stayed with me since, and it has proven to be accurate.
  • Clear your head: Don’t get so lost that you forget to take a break once in a while because you can not do your best if you are exhausted. I’ve felt stuck at times and trying harder doesn’t get you anywhere, you just need to relax once in a while, and it will come to you.
  • Documentation: One of the most important skills in design is to document everything & every thought that you come up with because if it’s not documented well, does it even exist?
  • Just start: The only way to learn is to get started. There are no shortcuts in learning, and I can say this from experience. I’ve consumed a lot of design content, but I’ve learned that nothing truly valuable comes from it unless you take action. Remember: Action > consumption.

It’s a wrap

Thank you for taking the time to read this case study, I hope you liked it. 😋

I’m available for projects. Do reach out if you’d like to work with me or collaborate on some projects. Check out my portfolio website here.

Connect with me on Twitter or Linkedin or reach out to me at ✉️ vaibhavsinghania07@gmail.com for opportunities.