Merrill Edge – Face Retirement



Production / Professional


Doug Bolin, Michael Vessella


Research shows that the majority of Americans do not have enough saved to retire.

To address this challenge, our goal for the Face Retirement project was to get potential and current customers to start thinking seriously about saving for tomorrow. To literally Face Retirement, with help from Merrill Edge, and learn what they can do now to enjoy their futures.


Using primary and secondary research, we generated key personas clustering users by demographics, psychographics, retirement saving patterns and their attitudes towards retirement at different ages.

We then used participatory design techniques as well as testing interactive prototypes to validate and update our user understanding as needed.


The major media coverage, metrics and usability research tell the complete story – over a half million visits and conversions in the first months alone, tweets, Facebook posts, spots on major network news shows and coverage in national newspapers.

In addition, Face Retirement continues to generate high levels of traffic as well as foster exceptionally high rates of sharing, user recommendations and earned influence beyond our wildest hopes.

Research shows that using the website gets users thinking about planning for retirement where they may not have been thinking about it before and that it dramatically enhances awareness of Merrill Edge.


The Face Retirement project transformed science into art, raw research into an extremely compelling – and measurably successful – user experience.

We focused on giving you a glimpse into what you, and the world around you, would look-and-feel like thirty, forty even fifty years from now. As we created the experience we worked in an iterative manner, brainstorming, designing, prototype, testing, and optimize all aspects of the experience. We also grew the project into a consistent eco-system integrating a variety of on- and offline channels and devices.


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