I’m 🌊 🐐 ☯️

Venmo - Reboot

The challenge is how we can help users handle money experience with Venmo more confident and reliant   

Case Study: Duong Nguyen
Animation: Jude Dacula
UX/UI: Our lovely collaboration


Venmo is a smartphone app supporting online transactions and increaseing social networking. Venmo solves the issue of daily payment between people in the cashless and technology era. In term of user experience, Venmo did an excellent job of optimizing all the current needs in daily matter.
However, after we did few interviews and a survey, there are few major pain points that can be addressed further.


To identify the pain points, we started the project with interviews and a survey. Different types of user were participated in our interviews. The scenario is scripted to test: “A group of friends goes to a restaurant. They enjoy the meal, and the bill was given to them. Server tells the group that they can’t split the bill. One person pays the check then everyone Venmo that person.”

After this stage, some standing out pain points were:  
  • Payment requires a lot of steps
  • The social feed is unnecessary
  • Transferring Venmo balance to bank account is difficult to find


1. Company Background Research

“Venmo was first founded by two college students Andrew Kortina and IqramMagdon-Ismail from the University of Pennsylvania. Their first prototype of Venmo is via text messages. It later was bought by Braintree for $26.2 million, and was acquired by Paypal for $800 million in 2013. Their vision of Venmo is a digital wallet.”
2. Target Demographic

The biggest user demographic of Venmo is millennials because millennials more likely adapts mobile payment than other generations (80% smart phone owners are millennials). Venmo understands the spending habit of young generation. About July 2017, Venmo has near 10 million unique monthly users which comprised of 74% users under the age of 35. The functional platform associated with social media appeals younger demographic as millennials the most.
3. Competitor Research

Venmo have recently become one of the youngest members in the finance field with #1 on Apple store. Venmo supports iOS, Android, and Web platform; Venmo internalizes all banks with debit, credit, and bank account supports to create instant transfer; Venmo has its own ecosystem app. 

Venmo’s mission is to make daily simple and fun cash transaction, avoids money awkward, and catches up with users circle of friends. Venmo is a digital wallet that increases a better interaction between people and money. Venmo now focuses on daily transaction rather than business transaction.  

4. Goals

We concluded goals for business, brand, and users according from our research. Instead of achieving all the goals, we approached one by one 

5. User Journey Map

Early during this stage, Payment and Bank Transfer were our focus. We didn’t try to solve the social feed because the social feed is surprisingly an attractive feature making Venmo distinct.

Paying someone

Transfer to bank account

6. Survey

We created a Google survey to learn Venmo demographic (link)
Main Take-Aways
    • “Who are our users?” – Millennials 18-25
    • “How would you describe your friend group?” – College students
    • “What would you change?” - Make Venmo easier to manage and use. Navigation is confusing.


From user testings and the survey, this is what came out as the potential solutions:

  • Payment: “Make two buttons in the homepage: pay and request. Clearly distinguish different text fields.”
  • Social Feed: “Find a happy medium for showing the feed and having easier access to function on the homepage.”
  • Bank Transfer: “Make a dedicated button for this feature rather than just having the text.”


We realized our solutions were more likely an interface re-designing, so we put out a question for ourselves: what we could do differently to make the transaction even faster and quicker?


1. Brainstorming

The research process notably helped us brainstorm our goals and further directions. We got a solid idea and started sketching. During this phase, we decided on creating a new extension for the paying process and called it “QuickPay” - the QR code based function 

“QuickPay is a new extension  using QR Code to create the transaction right at the moment.”

When two users process a transaction in person at the moment, QuickPay will push the performance even faster than the traditional way. Person who pays simply presses QuickPay button, inputs amount, and scans instant QR code from another device that receives money.

2. Visual Concept

The current interface design is overall flat and outdated. Since the main audience is millennials, we want to represent the youth culture. We took into consideration of many graphic trends and fads. Our new interface design is fluid and minimal.
3. Prototypes

We developed the paper prototypes for users testing in order to fix bugs and visualize the final interface.

4. Hi-Fi Prototypes

Pain Point #1: Payment
After learning users flow, We re-arranged navigation and shortened the overall performance and only kept the most important parts. Homepage has two separate buttons for two main functions: Pay/Request and QuickPay

Pain Point #2: Social Feed
Social feed is significant for Venmo because it makes the brand different than its competitors and increases the human interaction and networking which Venmo values. We designed an adjustable view for social feed.

Pain Point #3: Transfer to Bank
We made a dedicated button right under user profile photo in the side menu.

Our attempt was to make this process as fast as possible, so we minimized all the steps. We set an available time for a QR code for security.
1. Start using QuickPay by simply pressing QuickPay button on main screen.
2. Choose either “Pay” or “Receive”
3. For payer, input an amount, select bank account if needed, then scan a code from receiver. On receiver screen, QuickPay will pop up a QR code that only lasts in a short time to scan. 

User Interface:
While working on user experience, we kept going back and forth to revise graphic interface. We changed color palette, buttons, gradients, types, and layouts that are friendly and suitable for millennials.

5. Users testing

We asked people to test our prototypes with three tasks:
  • Payment: Making a payment for your friend
  • Bank Transfer: Transfer money from Venmo account to your bank
  • QuickPay: Perform QuickPay for the first time

We fairly received positive feedbacks. There are some highlights we needed to fix for the final step:
  • Buttons, links, icons, headings and main navigation need to be bigger
  • Users should be able to selecte how much money they want to transfer 
  • Scanning personal QR code is not secure because other people can save it as an image. Suggestion is an one-time QR code for each transaction, and the code only exists in a short time.


After the final testing on digital prototypes through InVision, we finalized style guidelines, tweaked all the little errors, and agreed on a final design. A short clip below is an introduction for our new Venmo and QuickPay. 

Here is Venmo’s newest interface and extension - QuickPay


  • According to early goals, with our solutions and styling, we are able to create a welcoming and trustworthy mobile app which ensures money transaction secure, faster, and easier. 
  • We challenged ourselves by arguing with our solutions. At the end, we comes up with a new extension that even pushes a performance faster.  
  • The primary outcome is understanding users experience and behavior via research. Each step slowly guides us closer to the success. 

by Đại Dương (