Case Study: Redesigning Venmo’s Profile Page

Emily Chan
Sep 24, 2018 · 5 min read

User Insights and Observations


  • Looking up people who you haven’t paid before is hard; search bar is ineffective and does not offer suggestions based on mutual friends, etc.
  • Pay/Charge button should be more visible especially for new users; not really intuitive.
  • Landing page is the “Social” tab which is irrelevant to someone who just wants to make a payment/charge; next tab is “Global” tab which shows random people’s purchases which is even more unimportant
  • No way to check bank account when Venmo account is low; must go to settings to check which account the app is using and then check from third-party bank app
  • Interface appears too basic/vague for how unstraightforward it is (What exactly is the Social tab? Why am I seeing all of these transactions? Where did the notifications go? I just want to pay someone where do I click?)
  • “Incomplete” transactions and notifications should be displayed in the feed or somewhere more visible than just the side tab
  • No record of how much money is going in and out of account; would be nice to see a summary of transactions over a week or some period of time instead of just a long activity feed
  • “Top” people seems a little vague; why are they at the top? (Most money exchanged? Most recently paid/charged? Most often paid/charged?)


  • Super clean interface: simple color scheme, minimal graphics, intuitive organization by tabs
  • Emphasizes social aspect of exchanging money; unique feature to see what other people are buying/selling
  • Scanning code to find people is handy and easy-to-use
  • Paying/Charging people is consolidated into a single page; super easy to complete transaction
  • Lots of options to customize payment options (can set bank account, change public/private posting, etc.)
  • Seeing transaction history is straightforward and nicely presented by the person’s photo, name, description, and amount exchanged in either red/green
  • Overall, simple to navigate, but capable of covering multiple tasks (money exchange, management, social sharing, etc.)

Defining the Problem

Focused people problem:

  • When I want to manage how much money is in my account, I want to be able to see a summary of my transactions as well as any incomplete charges, so I can know exactly how much I am spending and receiving in a given amount of time. But, I can’t do this because 1) Incomplete transactions are not shown on my transaction history; 2) Money received and money spent are not separated in my feed; 3) Each transaction is listed separately.

Ideating a Solution

I began my exploration by critiquing the current Venmo app and revisiting that information gathered from my user interviews. I combined details from both sources to consolidate a list of features that would be ideally incorporated into a redesigned “Summary”/”Profile” page. These features are:

  1. Venmo Balance clearly listed.
  2. A “Transfer to Bank” button.
  3. A summary of transactions organized in a given period of time.
  4. An option to view spending and receiving activity independent of each other (any kind of sorting option).
  5. A clear way to see pending charges or other incomplete transactions.
  6. Profile picture, name, Venmo username, and QR code.

I started on pen and paper and sketched out different ways to format these features into a single summary page and then a few complementary pages that users can click to get a more in-depth summary of their spending. My explorations are shown below:

Iterating a Solution

Using my hand-drawn explorations (with a focus on sketch #4), I came up with this redesign:

Instead of just having a single feed of all of my activity on my “Profile” page, I designed a simple page that summarizes the user’s activity at a glance.

Clicking on “View Transaction History” gives some more details about specific payments sent and received (See 2 screens shown below).


Clicking on “View Pending Activity” gives some more details about charges sent to others and charges sent to you. On the “Pending Payments” tab, you can easily click “Settle All” to pay back all of the charges sent to you by friends.

Mockup Analysis

I think that this mockup is a good solution to my original people problem because it covers many pain points in a straightforward way. Instead of just displaying spending/receiving activity in a single feed, this approach allows users to get a better understanding of how they are managing their money. in particular,

  • I think that the ability to track transactions for a given time interval is a lot less overwhelming than seeing every action in a single continuous feed. A user I interviewed said she did not like that Venmo did not have a feature like this to manage her spending so she would feel out of control with her finances at times.
  • I like that the total Venmo balance is more clearly shown in my mockup because it is such an important feature to know. Even though the balance is currently shown in the app, ssers did not like that the balance was not clearly visible and easy-to-read.
  • Being able to see “Pending Activity” along with the transaction history covers the pain point of accidentally missing notifications or failed transactions. In the current app, notifications/incomplete transactions could only be seen if the user swiped in the hidden sidebar onto the screen.
  • Dividing activity into “money in” and “money out” allows for a cleaner and more fluid view of expenses. Some users complained that they thought the chronological view of ALL activity was confusing and not cohesive.

Overall, this whole process took me about 2 hours to gather user information, 1 hour to compile my research and draw out initial ideas, and about 2 hours to iterate; 5 hours total.

Thanks to TK Kong

Emily Chan

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