UX/UI Design

PROJECT TYPE: Cross Disciplinary Hackathon
DURATION: 24 Hours (November 2022)
TEAM: Maddy Sedgewick (me), Eden Beronio, Samantha Lllorente, Stephen Seche, Arvin Ezzati, Joshua Young, Hannah FeltgesMY ROLE: UX/UI Designer
TOOLS: Figma, InVision, Canva

As part of the Robinhood x BrainStation Hackathon, our multidisciplinary team of Web Developers, Digital Marketers and UX Designers created a platform to make Cryptocurrency Education more trustworthy and engaging for Gen-Z. We were awarded first place.

Project brief

What are we solving?

The online trading platform, Robinhood, challenged us to find a way to engage new and existing users by sparking their curiosity around cryptocurrency and online trading. They posed the question:  

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

Oh and they also told us we only had 24 hours to build our solution and prepare a pitch for the panel of Robinhood judges… Time to get to work!


What's the plan?

@ 0 HRS:
Understand & Plan
- Receive project brief from Robinhood executives
- Initial team kick-off
- Explore the problem space  
- Vote and decide
@ 5 HRS:
ideate, Design, & Build
- Persona    
- Sketching and Wireframing
- Front-end development (Web Developers)
@ 17 HRS:
marketing & pitch
- Digital marketing plan (Digital Marketing)
- Create presentation deck
- Script writing
- Presentation


setting the ground rules

We were a team of four UX Designers, two developers, and one digital marketer, and for the most part, none of us had worked together before. If we wanted to make the most of the 24 hours, it was imperative that we set some ground rules. Here's what we agreed upon:


Given that this hackathon was entirely virtual, frequent communication was key. We started an unlimited zoom call and agreed to keep that open for the entire 24 hours. Each discipline was committed to keeping the other disciplines looped into their progress.


We agreed that there would be no dictatorships. It was important that everyone on the team was excited about our solution and that we all had a say in what that would be. We agreed to use dot-voting for any major decisions and we agreed that we would all do our best to create an environment where everyone's opinions would be heard.


While we were all prepared for an intense 24 hours, we wanted to make sure that nobody sacrificed their self sanity. We agreed that power naps and food breaks were a must and we vowed to work smarter, not necessarily harder.



To understand our problem space and the potential target user base, we were all hands on deck in conducting research.  What we found is that Crypto is failing its mission of financial inclusion;  

"Most cryptocurrency buyers share a predictable profile: high income, well-educated, male, millennial or Gen X and highly financially literate."  

This, obviously, is a problem. But it's especially a problem for Robinhood whose company mission is to "democratize finance for all". Robinhood states that they "aim to ensure that everyone, regardless of wealth or industry knowledge, feels empowered to participate in the financial system." At this point we decided that designing for the average crypto investor wasn't going to be our answer. We wanted to focus our efforts on the generation that is under-represented in crypto investing, and yet is the future of it. Gen Z.

We continued our secondary research and found two important statistics:


Of crypto-aware, American internet users are unable to pass a quiz assessing basic crypto-currency facts.


Of Gen-Z are learning about investing from social media, despite ranking it as one of the least trustworthy sources for investing advice.

In order to address these key insights, we refined the overarching design question to:  

How might we make crypto-education trustworthy and engaging for Gen-Z so that they feel informed rather than left behind?  



While we had a general idea of who we were designing for, we wanted to nail down the specifics of our potential user base so that they could be at the top of our minds when designing our solution.



After we had a more clear idea of who we were designing for, the designers jumped into a collaborative Figjam session, where each member gathered inspiration and communicated their ideas via sticky notes and images. We all agreed that we wanted our solution to include the following:

With the popularity of video-based apps like TikTok on the rise amongst Gen-Z, we reasoned that providing learning materials through bite-sized videos would be an effective way to engage our users.

To further engage our users we wanted to incorporate an element of gamification.We all agreed that a rewards-based learning approach would help users to not only have fun, but to increase their knowledge retention.

According to Statista, Gen Z uses mobile devices much more than PCs or laptops. Because of this we decided to build our solution specifically for mobile viewports.  



It was important that our solution felt authentic to the Robinhood brand so we established branding guidelines and drew inspiration from Robinhood's existing products.



With all our ideas laid out, it was time to start putting pen to paper - after all, our web developers were patiently waiting for us! Given the short timeframe, we did a quick round of exploratory sketches and then dived right into designing our hi-fi wireframes.  



In the end we created Cryptohood. Cryptohood is a mobile web app where users can watch educational videos and answer questions to earn crypto credits. It’s engaging while also being trustworthy.  Let’s take a look at our persona Angela's journey with Cryptohood:   

Cryptohood Intro
Angela opens up the platform and is greeted by a message letting her know that Robinhood is there to help.

Educational Videos

She scrolls down and notices she can earn rewards by learning about crypto. She's intrigued and hits play on the video.

Knowledge-Testing Quiz

After the video ends a mini quiz pops up to test her knowledge. She answers the question and hits submit.

Quiz Outro

Success! Angela just earned one Cryptohood Credit which she can cash into a Robinhood crypto account after she completes all the lessons. 



Test and iterate

Given the short timeframe of this hackathon, we did not have the opportunity to test our product. To make sure Cyptohood is truly intuitive and user-friendly, our team would perform usability tests and make any applicable iterations.


We would like to include text to speech for all written content and closed captions for all video content. In order to align with Robinhood's mission of democratizing finance for all, Cryptohood should be truly accessible for any differently-abled users.


There are 3 metrics we would use to determine Cryptohood's success - 1) the percent of daily average users who access the quiz, 2) the percent of retained quiz users, 3) the percent that convert into cryptocurrency traders.