Winning an Appathon

I was one of the participants of the 2 day Appathon organised by NEST in conjunction with TCS and The Open University. Our tool ‘Save up’ won the challenge!

Feedback from Matthew Blackstad – Head member of proposition NEST:

“Given the very tight timescale, and the daunting challenge of pitching to Shlomo in front of the whole conference, you managed to create a concept with real potential – and communicate it clearly and convincingly. As Helen said in her judging, the things that really made it stand out were the way it was so clearly build around the user, and the way it brought long-term savings into her daily financial life.”

Our design process and proposition

1.It all starts with one fine structured brief, well backed up by research <3!

Matthew Blakstad spent the morning taking us through all the information necessary to get us going:

  • Context of conference and the appathon
  • Problem statement
  • Biases and psychology concepts
  • Proven behavioural approaches

This level of detail and information meant that we were able to quickly start designing something and keep it user centric. All our decisions were backed up by the needs of our users and our design process was driven by the research evidence we were given. #researchwin

2. Pitiching our idea to Behavioral Decision-Making Guru —> Shlomo Benartzi

Sketch ElviaVasc.png

By the end of day 1 we were invited up to the conference stream to pitch our idea and show WIP to the audience of 100 and Shlomo Benartzi. The feedback we received helped us focus our idea and it’s unique selling points. We used Shlomo’s input to refine our proposition and this then determined how we spent the rest of day 1 and day 2.

3. Communicating our final proposition – ‘Save Up’

By 13:00 on Day 2 we welcomed all of the conference participants into our room and showed them our final proposal.

IMG_0029 copy

First we introduced the ‘Save up’ a simple tool to help people save money now. It has 2 main drivers: 1- Invisible savings and 2 -Achieving goals.


We framed our proposition in the context of what we set ourselves to do and how grounded our process in user needs. We also elaborated on to the feedback from the pitch and how that informed the rest of our process.

IMG_0029 copy2

We wrapped up with next steps and how we would take the proposition further –> Meet Alex, our AI buddy.

Here’s a quick video of the prototype we created.

And we won 🙂

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Thank you to Vivien and Mal for being great team mates and to the organizers for putting on a great show!

Check out the tweets.


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