a) helps its users to simplify otherwise complex tasks?; and
b) offers proof in a way which potential users can trust?
That’s a question we asked when we started working with Moneyscope earlier this year, and the animation above is one of the first examples of how — working with Moneyscope founder, Richard Allum, and designers Bond+Coyne - we’re seeking to achieve it.
On the face of it, the short video — featuring Gary Phillips of Phillips Financial Planning based in Newry, County Down - appears to be a traditional testimonial. But there’s a good deal more going on than that so, with Richard’s blessing, we’re about to point out the things that we think you will have noticed when you viewed the animation (even though you may not have realised it at the time).
Before we do that, though, it’s probably helpful for you to know that Moneyscope is a web-based lifetime cashflow forecasting tool which enables financial advice professionals to work out how much income a client’s existing savings and investments are likely to yield, right up to the point that their client ‘pops their clogs’.
Like any forecasting tool, it’s a ‘posh guess’, but it does offer insights about potential fluctuations in income and expenditure, and cash shortfalls and surpluses, over a client’s lifetime; insights which are likely to prove invaluable for a financial adviser who’s generating a client’s financial plan.
As you might expect, there are plenty of alternative applications which generate the kind of information that Moneyscope does. But what’s distinctive about Moneyscope, is that it reduces the volume of information required to generate a meaningful forecast.
For its users, that means that its more swift, simple and easy to use in comparison to alternatives. (And we know that’s true because Moneyscope’s users say so.)
So the animation isn’t just seeking to convey what the Moneyscope application does, it’s seeking to express how Moneyscope does it and why that’s a good thing for its users.
Like the Moneyscope application itself, the production values of the animation are reduced to the bare essentials — no over-production; no embellishment.
There is no music soundtrack. There are no video effects or transitions. There is no narration or voiceover.
To guarantee its integrity, it’s an ‘open mike’ recording: the content of the call is unscripted, unrehearsed, unprompted and unedited (we did give each of the callers the chance to record their piece a second time but only if they wanted to).
The call itself is made landline-to-landline and recorded digitally; no effects have been added.
And, mimicking the user experience of the Moneyscope application itself, the resulting animation moves simply and smoothly, step-by-step, from one item of information to the next.
Taken together, this means that Gary is able to say exactly what he wants, however he wants, in as many or as few words as he wants.
And, aside from the text explaining the scenario and the end-frame logo and web address, Moneyscope doesn’t utter a word, it doesn’t interfere and it offers Gary a platform to express himself.
So is this an animation about Moneyscope? Or is it an animation about the kind of technology Gary likes to use? We’d like to think the animation underlines the fact that it’s hard to tell the difference.