The Lab Y

The Lab Y provides financial literacy and independence education for kids aged 5-12 using scenario-based interactive picture book-sets and a parents' community platform.
Xiaoqian Li
Runa Yu
Independent Project
Learn freely, Grow independently
The Lab Y focuses on financial literacy and independence education for kids aged 5-12. We use a scenario-based interactive picture book-set to guide kids to solve real-life challenges independently and improve kids' problem solving, financial quotient and safety awareness. There are in total 24 book-sets under 3 series named Home Alone, Little Banker and Little Explorers. Each book-set contains an interactive picture book, creative tools, mission cards and parents' guides. For parents, The Lab Y uses a mini-app to help parents construct the kids' growth roadmap, check their learning progress and communicate with peers.
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Research Insights
This diagram summaries our key research insights about the financial education environment in China and the growth journey of Chinese children. There are three key points we would like to share with you. Firstly, the data shows even though most young adults are worried about money, the financial education penetration rate in China is below 8% for children and teenagers. Secondly, consumption habits change through the time children grow, and during the junior school period, they are experiencing a transition time from passive to active. Thirdly, when children are under 10 years old, it is a critical time for habit-forming and value cognition. Overall, we chose the age group of 5-12 year old children as our target users.


We carefully designed personas for both children and parents after doing many interviews. Let me introduce you to Joyce, our child persona, a 9 year old girl. Regarding her thoughts about money, Joyce says, "I don’t want or need to manage money as I do not have to pay for anything.” For Joyce, she can have everything she wants immediately as she is the treasure of the whole family. Also, products in the market such as blind box and virtual games, have driven Joyce to form bad consumption habits such as impulsive consumption. Joyce is her parents' first child, so they are also learning and exploring. But hey are busy working, and struggle to find the best way to educate Joyce.

Design Process

To solve the problems for our persona, Joyce and her parents, we came up with our How Might We statement: HMW help 6-12 kids to build a good relationship with money, and become independent by developing an immersive platform that can provide simulated experiences and coaching, and at the same time reduce parents’ stress and concern. For the project, so far we have done 2 Surveys with more than 330+ participants, we interviewed more than 20 people, including parents, kids, teachers, bankers and education experts. We have launched 2 prototype tests and run 1 co-creation workshop. Now, let us show you what we have designed.
Service Introduction
From the service architecture, you can see our service ecosystem which includes our The Lab Y Interactive book-sets, our Mini App, media channel and our online and offline workshop. Users can access our services via multiple channels and enjoy the service through these 4 modules. We categorized kids’ daily activity and actions into three parts and within the content, we focus on evaluating kids’ growth in five areas: communication, money perception, emotion management, problem-solving skills and safety awareness. Based on the skills, our booklets are designed under 3 categories: Home Alone, Little banker and Little explorer. We believe that financial knowledge is best taught by problem-based learning. Based on daily scenarios kids can see Money more tangibly. The interactive experience can mimic real-life challenges which allows kids to make their own decisions.
Service Journey
Now, let me introduce you to the service journey. We will help parents to set up learning goals for their kids and choose the best fit book-set. All our book-sets are carefully designed based on behaviour change theory. We see the reading process more like a gaming process, and the experience should not only be through the book, but also immersed with real life. One booklet will contain an interactive picture book, mission cards, parent's guide and creative tools. Each book-set is designed with one specific scenario such as “My first birthday party”. It will guide kids to solve the problem step by step. After the kids complete the experience parents can go into the mini-app and share their story, and also at the same time the platform will record the set as mission complete. Also, parents can start to order another set in the mini-app.
special thanks
Qian Sun - our tutor; Qiu - illustrator; Bessie -illustrator; and all the parents, kids, teachers, experts and peers who have participated in the project.
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