Robinhood News – UX Planet
1. Understanding Robinhood
Founded in 2013, Robinhood is the fastest growing financial service application in history. Millions of people use Robinhood to invest in stocks, ETFs, options, and cryptocurrencies, all commission-free, right from their phones and desktops.
The pain-point that Robinhood solved was that “big Wall Street firms paid effectively nothing to trade stocks, while most Americans were charged up to $10 for every trade” (Our Story). This meant mostly only the wealthy were able to access the financial market to invest.
The founders then went on to create Robinhood — a company that leverages technology to encourage everyone to participate in the financial market.
I first used LEMERS method to discover more about Robinhood and its competitors in the market.
It is interesting to note that Robinhood performed relatively low in learnability and satisfaction. In order to find out why, I also performed contextual inquiry to observe the user behaviors and write down any insightful quotes:
• “I like Robinhood since it gives me a free stock first. But then it took me weeks to invest in other stocks, since it only provided news about that free stock I got.”
• “It was hard to know which stocks to invest first. I had to browse New York Times and Techcrunch to explore and understand more.”
• “I wish Robinhood could combine with Techcrunch or Twitter. I‘m new [to investing] so I want to read more about the market.”
Problem and Opportunity
After reviewing the research from above, I noticed a common journey map especially with the amateur users.
I noticed there is often a gap between the user’s first free stock and later stocks. Many users revealed that this is because it’s hard to explore stocks, as Robinhood currently provides news only about the stocks they own (a.k.a. their first free stock). As a result, users are stuck without any new discoveries or investments. This may cause a drastic decrease in the retention rate — why would users stay on Robinhood if they aren’t investing in stocks?
There is an opportunity here. In order to encourage more users to invest in stocks, Robinhood should design a news feature for users to read about various stocks and to gain more knowledge in the hopes to apply the following sequence.
If Robinhood makes a news feature and users begin to gain more knowledge about stocks, then they will begin to invest and use the app more often.
We can test this by performing an A/B test — one group with the news feature and one without. After a month, we can check both group’s retention rate and the amount of stocks users in respective groups invested in.