Robinhood Retirement


Robinhood Retirement


In the US, there’s a stark gap between the rich and everyone else, with more than two-thirds of wealth owned by only the top 10% of earners. A recent survey found lack of access to a workplace plan is the most significant retirement savings challenge facing non-traditional workers, with 77% saying they would participate in a defined contribution savings plan if they were eligible for it. Sprinkle in the highest inflation in 40 years and the idea of retirement can feel like an unattainable dream for most.

At Robinhood, we already democratized investing by introducing commission-free investing in the palm of your hand. We wanted to build on that to bring financial hope to everyone, not just the rich or those with traditional employers.

Robinhood Retirement reimagined not just what an IRA could be, but how it could look and feel. Taking the bold first step toward investing in your future shouldn’t feel stuffy, static, and scary. It should feel hopeful, dynamic, and optimistic. As with all Robinhood products, intuitive and easy-to-use design will enable people anywhere in their financial journey to sign-up for a Traditional or Roth IRA in minutes.

We took inspiration from the idea of perpetual energy—a force that fuels and propels itself—to serve as the throughline for the experience. An IRA should feel like a self-propelling machine that continually moves with your investments and energizes you toward a life free from uncertainty and free from having to work into your golden years. This concept was flexible enough to apply to both static elements like an icon, and dynamic animation explaining our industry-first IRA match. We applied it to branding moments, both inside and outside of our app—for new and active customers. The idea of retirement, embodied by this IRA product, would no longer be only for the rich, but now available for everyone willing to nudge the perpetual-motion machine into action.

So many traditional retirement products are obscured with financial jargon and smiling faces on beaches. They’re clunky and hard to understand. They’re out of touch and uninspired. They make assumptions about you that aren’t true (not everyone has a full-time job, and they shouldn’t have to). What if there was an easily accessible IRA that didn’t require an employer? When we set out to design our Retirement product, we wanted to make an impact by re-introducing the very concept of an IRA to people in a way that’s understandable, dependable, and usable. Whether you’re checking your retirement account every day or once a year, the experience should feel familiar and predictable. By building a well-considered concept, leveraging a flexible visual system, and keeping people’s financial wellbeing top-of-mind, we believe we shifted that experience. At the heart of every project, our team ensures the customer experience is simple, educational, and imaginative. These criteria play a huge role in not only gaining trust, but also empowering people to be part of something they may have previously felt excluded from. We believe that everyone should have easy access to tools that allow them to build a more comfortable financial future. During our competitive audit at the outset of this project, it became immediately clear that a vast majority of IRAs are confusing to set up and challenging to navigate, resulting in uncertainty and intimidation, especially among first timers. We were determined to have the exact opposite experience with this product. By utilizing a flexible design and branding system, we were able to build a simple onboarding experience that led to an easy-to-use, practical product. Through repeated testing and research, we also made sure that the product followed our accessibility principles and was easily used by people with a range of technical and financial backgrounds. Explaining the benefits and individual characteristics of different IRAs can also be challenging. Most existing products put the burden on customers to research and determine the differences between IRAs, short and long term benefits, and when/if they should start one themselves. The very first thing a user sees in our retirement flow is a set of educational screens that succinctly explain the benefits of our IRA in addition to debunking the myth that you have to have an employer to start one. While the content design of this flow had to be educational yet approachable, so too did the motion and visual design. By leveraging animation and our brand system, we were able to build a compelling visual narrative that served as a supplement (not flourish) to the copy. This approach of pairing copy to visuals is not always an easy task. So often in design these two pieces of content can compete or distract from one another. The balance we attempted to strike had to be thoughtful—the visuals were to be supplemental to the copy, yet interesting enough to leave a meaningful impression on users. We closely worked alongside our content designers to form a single POV on the creative that was not only comprehensible, it had to be imaginative. The graphs illustrating the benefits of an IRA needed to be dynamic, they needed to move in unexpected ways to feel real and not simply like a textbook chart. This liveliness is intended to make the product more tangible and obtainable, not rigid and impersonal. The perpetual energy concept was the driving force of making that achievable. Finance is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Everyone should have access to simple tools that help them take control of their money. Our design team was dedicated to making this IRA product easy, exciting, and educational, and most importantly, help give everyone the opportunity to impact their financial future.

Key Team Members

Andy Montgomery , VP of Design & Creative
Tim Scale, Creative Director
Daniel Haire, Design Director
Jessica Hagg, Associate Creative Director
Simoul Alva, Visual Designer
Esther Lin, Visual Designer
Mackenzie Pringle , Visual Designer
Haelee You , Illustrator
Azeem Khalid-Segraves, Motion Design
Victor Bivol , Motion Design
Ye Liu, Product Design
Etheline Nguyen, Product Design
Shawn Roe, Content Design
Travis Nichols, Creative Writer