Redesigned Key Functionalities Of Venmo And Refined Its User Experience

I have been using Venmo for over 2 years. Honestly, my experience with Venmo was not as good as I had expected. I think there is still room for improvement. Therefore, I decided to start this redesign project to refine Venmo’s user experience.

Duration: 3 Months (Spring 2018)

Team: Individual Project @ AAU

My Role: Research, Ideation, UI/UX Design, Usability Testing, Prototyping

Tools & Skills: Sketch, Principle, Photoshop, Illustrator


Will Venmo Keep Its Popularity?

Venmo has quickly become one of the most popular payment apps over the last few years. However, as the mobile payment market grows rapidly and more competitors are catching up, can Venmo keep its lead in the race?


User Reviews

By looking through the existing user reviews on app stores, I spotted a few key insights.

Finding 1

Users Want New Features, Such As NFC

As users receive money through the app and accumulate Venmo balance, they will start to expect Venmo to provide new features such as contactless payment enabled by NFC (near field communication) so that they can make purchases using their Venmo balance.

Finding 2

Users’ Attitudes Toward Social Feature Are Divided

Social component is the key differentiation that sets Venmo apart from other competitors. It is also the most controversial feature of Venmo. It seems like that some users cannot accept the social feeds while some users are addicted to it.


Narrow The Scope

I was surprised by the reviews I found. Before I jumping into designing, I sent out a questionnaire survey, asking people’s opinions on Venmo’s social and payment features. A total of 103 people responded to the survey.


Insight 1

Users Cannot Take Full Advantage Of Their Venmo Balance

Although Venmo gains popularity by its simplicity, users are asking for more functions. Venmo does not allow its users to take fully advantage of their balance. Most users just transfer money back to bank accounts or leave it in Venmo.

Insight 2

Venmo's Strategies For Social Feeds Need Adjustments

Venmo currently provides two types of social feeds: public social feed and friends’ social feed. Based on reviews and the survey results, most users say they never look at the public’s social feed and they don’t care about strangers’ transactions. As to the friends’ social feed, it is still liked by a lot of users. Venmo feeds need some change.


Introducing Redesigned Venmo

Contactless Payment Feature

Venmo Pay

Venmo Pay is the swift way to pay in stores. Buying a cup of coffee in morning before work? Just tap and go.

Adding Photos To Your Payments

Add Photos

Not just limited to emojis, now you can also add photos to your payments.


Small Group Brainstorming

Although this is an individual project, I called up three friends of mine, who are also Venmo users, to come up with a wide variety of ideas during the ideation and exploration session.


Sonia's picture
Occupation: College student
Age: 19
Location: Berkeley, CA
Status: In a relationship
About Sonia:
Sonia is a college student. She shares an apartment with Jackie and Katty, her best friends. Sonia hates writing checks or going to an ATM to get cash.
Sonia's needs:
Share bills with roommates. Make faster payments in stores.
Lance's picture
Occupation: Financial analyst
Age: 26
Location: New York, NY
Status: Married with no kid
About Lance:
Lance received his bachelor’s degree from Queens college 8 years ago. Currently, he is working for a financial service company. Lance really enjoys the fast city lifestyle.
Lance's needs:
Split bills with friends and colleagues in an easy way. Build up network with colleagues.

User Flow 1

Buy A Cup Of Coffee

Sonia has about $600 in her Venmo balance and she decides to try out Venmo’s new function-Venmo Pay-in her favorite local Cafe.

Sonia walks into Linda’s Cafe near her appartment and orders a cup of coffee as usual. This time she pays it with her Venmo balance via Venmo Pay.

User Flow 2

Add A Photo To Payment

It’s a Friday night in New York. Lance and three coworkers go out to a bar for dinner after work. When the bill arrives, they decide to let Tom cover the entire expense and the others will pay him back individually.

Lance opens up the app and sends $25 to Tom with a dinner picture attached. Before the waitress comes back with the receipt, Tom has already received the payment sent from Lance.


Running 7 Rounds Usability Tests With 12 Participants

Iteration 1

The Evolution of Venmo Pay Instructions

During the test, one major problem is that users were having trouble rapidly locating Venmo Pay icon from the home screen and understand how Venmo Pay works next. In order to give users more guidance, I redesigned the Venmo Pay icon and added a gif to demostrate the usage for new users.

Iteration 2

What Is The Best Way To Display An Icon For Deleting The Photo?

To figure out the best way to display the “delete a photo” function, I conducted multiple rounds of A/B testt against the “delete” element. Based on the test results, most users prefer the “delete” function as a trash bin icon.