On 20th September, the millennial-focused cryptocurrency exchange Robinhood tweeted about how the platform makes trading activities seamless and convenient for its userbase. It implied that design has a major role to play in the process. On its official Twitter handle, Robinhood introduced a blog on designing where it discussed its significance in making a trading system easy and accessible. It wrote:
“We make use of simple colors to remove as much information as possible, so that it’s clear to the user what’s happening. // Alex Bond, our senior designer, spoke to @Adobe & @99U about our design philosophy.”
Alex Bond, the lead designer at Robinhood, in an interview explained several strategies and hacks on how to make trading more accessible and approachable for the young userbase. She also mentioned that designing for the financial space was not something she had aspired to do. However, the underlying idea of Robinhood was appealing to Bond, after which she boarded the project’s designing team.
About the key strategy used in design at Robinhood, Bond implied that Sartorial design is a major factor in outlining a certain social class and how they must act. Furthermore, according to her, design defines how a person should be and what product one is permitted to use. She stated that the modern era has not seen much change in this trend.
Talking about the traditional financial brokerage account, Bond said that design can communicate aspects of utility that are not provided in writing. Based on how a platform is designed, users can go from wanting to trade, to the conclusion that trading is not for them.
A Twitter handle named QuantBot commented on the post, saying:
“Interesting, I prefer removing all the information and creating my own reality.”
Manuel Fontaina, a crypto-investor and blockchain space enthusiast also stated:
“I’ve invited over 12 friends to your app. All put in around 2k in there account and I have yet to get even one free share”
Despite all the healthy publicity, Robinhood recently fell into a pit of controversy where it was alleged of selling its customers’ private data to high-frequency trading [HFT] firms for revenue. The allegations began after the platform revealed its financial accounts of the second quarter to comply with the US Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] Rule 606.
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