Measuring Financial Well-Being
Financial well-being is a tricky thing to measure, although it has broad effects on other areas of a person's life.
CFPB created a 10 question survey to measure financial well-being. I helped created an online interactive version of this survey that allowed anyone to take it, instead of it just being used as a research tool.
Take the survey and see your results: consumerfinance.gov/consumer-tools/financial-well-being
Visualizing Financial Well-Being Scores
Part of making a score meaningful is adding context to that number to allow people to interpret their scores. CFPB had recently surveyed and analyzed the scores of Americans to create a solid foundation of data around average financial well-being and what characteristics or lifestyle factors correlate with higher or lower scores.
We used some of this data, as well as user testing, to try multiple ways of visualizing scores to create meaning. We ended up with a simple color bar with 2 markers, after throwing out many many versions of histograms. One drawback of this scoring system is that people think it's like a school grading system, where a 60 would be a C- and not a great score. However, this is not the case, and a 60 would be significantly higher than average.
To give users more context around their score, and what factors might affect scoring changes, we brought in age, household income, and employment status data to give some context. A simple line marker that picks up the color from the bar ended up being the most effective way to visualize this comparison.
Featured Content and Hero Illustrations
I brainstormed and collaborated with my colleagues to create a cohesive set of feature images for the project.
Collaborated to art direct how we could make better graphics for the full report to give users a brief overview of the scores and a quick look at overall trends for each section of characteristics.
View the full report consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/financial-well-being
Or download the data consumerfinance.gov/data-research/financial-well-being-survey-data