Friday 5th April, 2013
2:10pm to 2:30pm
Applying for a mortgage is confusing and stressful; this makes it harder to make good decisions. After the 2008 financial crisis, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau needed to do something about it.
Our goal was to simplify the disclosure forms so lenders could better explain their products and new homeowners would understand them. But we couldn’t interview all of America to understand what these stakeholders needed. Instead, we combined some interviews with an online tool that collected structured critique on the draft disclosures.
We learned lessons about complying with inconvenient but well-meaning laws, making crowdsourcing useful, and convincing lawyers that this was a good idea. In the end, we had a stronger design that was more accepted by the mortgage industry.
These lessons can teach us all how to respond to “You can’t just put these online. You don’t know what people will say!” with “That’s the point.”
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