Nudging by Design was an innovation project funded by the Money Advice Trust, building on our work with housing associations to develop new ways of helping money advisers help their clients to tackle debt and take control of their finances.


Much of the work to date in financial inclusion has focused on the advice process and the importance of the interactions between debt advisers and their clients.

Our aim was to complement this by designing innovative new tools that can enhance these interactions to help clients tackle their debt and improve their finances.

Working with a group of housing associations and the Money Advice Trust, we examined the whole process of money advice from referral and appointments to develop specific tools for money advisers that can improve engagement at different stages along the money advice journey.


Built on our previous work developing the Better Money Behaviours toolkit, we drew on a range of behavioural theories to create 6 new tools/materials.


We then tested these with money advisers and financial inclusion officers across 4 housing associations and the Money Advice Trust.

These tools include:

  • Envelope stickers to encourage clients to open their letters
  • Case study cards to help normalise the act of seeking help
  • Case study films to bring that advice process to life
  • Text message suggestions to help advisers manage texts they send to clients more effectively
  • Action cards to remind clients what they need to do after a session with their adviser
  • Action charts for clients to then track their progress


Overall, we received positive feedback from the money advisers who helped test our tools. For instance,  advisers found the text message suggestions to be especially useful in getting more engagement. The Money Advice Trust saw a 7% drop in the ‘no contact rate’ for their National Debtline service after implementing a new range of text messages.

Affinity Sutton saw a 20% rise in clients taking actions which have been suggested by their advisers.

All learnings and feedback from the testing period were incorporated into a toolkit we created that provides guidance on how to use the tools and materials most effectively across a range of channels. We co-hosted an event with the Money Advice Trust to officially launch the toolkit, so that others in the wider advice sector can benefit from our work too.

Other case studies