Robinhood x BrainStation Industry Project

About the project

Robinhood is an American financial services company, on a mission to democratize finance for all. They partnered with BrainStation in November 2021 to challenge students to a hackathon. Working on a multi-disciplinary team, we tackled the challenge and produced a solution in 24 hours.


Project Type: Hackathon
Timeline: 24 Hours

Role: UX Designer
Tools: Figma

About the TEAM

The challenge

Robinhood is looking to engage new and existing users by sparking their curiosity around cryptocurrency and online trading.

We are looking to...

  • Educate users and demystify the world of cryptocurrency
  • Leverage consumer behaviour information to better engage new/existing customers
  • Illustrate why and how individuals can take control of their own finances
  • Establish Robinhood as the preferred platform for crypto trading

How might we help Robinhood’s users navigate the world of crypto and make more informed trading and investment decisions?

Secondary research

Barriers to Cryptocurrency Investment

Lack of knowledge, security concerns and difficulties knowing where to buy are the top cited barriers to investing in cryptocurrency according to a report by The Economist.


of Americans say they have heard at least a little about cryptocurrencies (PEW).


have invested, traded or used cryptocurrencies themselves (PEW).


cryptocurrency investors don’t know what they’re doing (CNBC).


of potential investors cited volatility as the primary reason for not investing (PR Newswire).


The Potential Investor

Given the time constraints, we were unable to conduct primary research. We generated assumptions based on our secondary research and create a proto-persona to inform our design decisions. Given more time, primary research would have been integral to validating our assumptions.

  • New to cryptocurrency
  • Influenced by social media trends
  • Spends time researching before investing
  • Wants to learn more about cryptocurrency
  • Wants confidence that their investment is secure
  • Privacy is a top concern
Pain Points
  • Not sure where to buy cryptocurrency
  • Worried about the volatility of cryptocurrency
  • Too much information available - it’s overwhelming and they don't know where to start

early concepts

Sketching and Ideating

Through collaboration and brainstorming with all members of the team, we imagined various ways to provide cryptocurrency education to potential investors. Our goal was to establish Robinhood as a cryptocurrency authority and empower potential investors with the information required to give them confidence in their investments.

pushing our design

Trading Simulator

After designing the educational resources, we decided it wasn't enough.

We returned to our proto-persona and the design challenge. Potential investors reported feeling overwhelmed by cryptocurrency and weren’t sure where to start. To alleviate this pain-point, we designed a cryptocurrency trading simulator that allows potential investors to practice trading cryptocurrency in a risk-free environment.

Intended for hands-on learners, this trading simulator provides helpful tips so traders can learn as they go. Once they feel confident in their understanding, they can seamlessly transition to trading with Robinhood.

Next Steps

Leveraging Social Media

Social media plays a key role in spreading the word and increasing engagement. With this in mind, we would like to consider additional features that incorporate social media and competition into our trading simulator to make it more fun, and less intimidating for potential investors.

Testing Assumptions

Primary research conducted with new and existing Robinhood customers would be crucial for validating our assumptions. From there, persona development and customer experience mapping would help us understand if our solution is really addressing user needs.

Key learnings

Communicate Early and Often

At the beginning of our project, we talked to the web developers on our team and established clear expectations of what they could accomplish given the time constraints. We took the time to understand their limitations and what information they needed from the UX team and our designs, and made sure to communicate this effectively.

Take Risks

Our initial designs focused on expanding existing resources, and it wasn't until later in the process that we started asking if we were doing enough. Had we pushed ourselves earlier, we would have had more time to explore the potential functionality of our trading simulator. This project was a good reminder that our first idea is rarely our best, and even in a time crunch it's worth spending time brainstorming.

Interested in working together?

Get in touch