Year: 2017
Company: Venmo
Role: UX Designer, Visual Designer
Tool: Adobe CC, Sketch, Flinto


Venmo is a mobile payment service that allows users to transfer money between one another using mobile apps. This project reimagines the Venmo iOS experience in a new perspective, from improving usability through reorganizing their user flow and enhancing user privacy in Venmo’s social feed.

User Studies

To understand how user interacts with the Venmo app, I interviewed Venmo’s largest user base – millennials in their 20s who uses Venmo on a regular basis for small amount of transactions. These users mainly lives in metropolitan areas, and uses Venmo between their friends for splitting meals, drinks, taxis, and paying rents. User personas were created based on the interview to gain insight on how users feel about Venmo.

84% of users don’t use the social feed feature.
71% of users are concerned with the privacy setting.
65% of users want to quickly pay/request money when they open the app.
53% of users say there are many features in the menu that they never use.
40% of users thinks the visual design is old and not intuitive.

“Paying someone using Venmo is kind of hard when you are drunk. There are so many taps!”

“I hate the social feed because I don’t care about my friend’s paying activities.”

“There are tons of things in the hamburger menu that I never use or know what it is.”

Design Goals

Based on the insights from users, I came up with goals to redesign Venmo to improve its usability and look and feel.

  • Reorganize information architecture
  • Redesign the Pay/Request user flow
  • Create new UI design that is exciting and aesthetically pleasing
  • Downsize the social feed feature
  • Disable privacy settings

Information Architecture

The user study reflects that more than half of the user rarely uses all of Venmo’s features in the menu system. Moreover, there are a few redundancies in the user profile page and the personal history transaction page. To define a new menu system and decide what features are most important to the user, I conducted a card sorting exercise with 6 users to understand their priorities.

From the result of the card sorting exercise, it’s clear that the current menu system is obsolete since users rarely uses most of the features listed in the menu. Instead, I adopted a new system similar to Snapchat which uses swiping gestures to access different screens. The new system prioritizes Pay/Request feature and makes it the first thing the user see when opening the app. The swiping gesture minimizes elements on each screen, and makes the micro-interactions enjoyable and pleasing.

Pay/Request User Flow

Based on the user study, the Pay/Request flow can be simplified and more accessible for users. Many users are frustrated with the privacy settings because the button to set privacy is hidden right on top of the pay button. I conducted another card sorting exercise with users to see what they prioritize.

The result shows that users emphasize the amount and payee much more than the memo (social feed). Using this result, the new Pay/Request user flow asks users to fill in transaction details according to the priorities listed above.


One accessibility issue with the current app is that there isn’t enough visual cues to differentiate between Pay and Request. To enhance visibility, I designed two colors for the Pay and Request buttons, and increased the text size to highlight their differences.


After building out the information architecture and user flow, I started sketched out what the new UI would look like on paper.


Visual Identity

Based on the Venmo color palette, I added vibrance and saturation to the new colors, giving it a fresh look. Besides the default blue, I also introduced a green gradient and a pink gradient. The three gradients: green, blue, and pink. The blue is mostly used for background, whereas the green and pink are used to differentiate between Pay and Request.


The new Venmo logo with fresh gradient background color.

The original Venmo logo with darker gradient.

Color Palette
Icon Set


App Screens




History: Paid

History: Requested

Request Selected User

Request Memo

Pay Selected User

Pay Memo

Invision Prototype