Donate while paying your friend

"Damn, this place doesn’t take cash...”
“Don’t worry man, I’ll spot you. Just Venmo me back.”

If you are a millennial, urban professional, conversations like this are pretty common. Whether you’re splitting the bill at your favorite Mexican food restaurant, pitching in on a party for a friend, or paying for Uber or Lyft with your college-mates — Venmo has become the go-to solution. In fact, Venmo is so prolific it has become a verb.

Venmo is an app that allows users to send payments to other users for free. Venmo (owned b), which specializes electronic-money-transfer mobile payments to friends and family. Venmo’s mission is to provide quick, convenient transactions between friends.

Project Overview


Paper, Sketch, InVision, Photoshop, Axure


15 days design sprint

The Process


In order to create an effective way for users to make donation to their favorite non-profit organization or campaign with a way to know enough details on the organization and campaign so that users will become more confident while choosing the charity/cause. Also Introduce a way for users to pay/add the campaign/non-profit while making payment to friends or any other user using Venmo.

What is Venmo?


Venmo is one of the most popular mobile app amongst millennials. Venmo is the service to beat in the growing peer-to-peer payments space. They have 7 million active monthly users. Venmo shuttled nearly $18 billion between people last year—$5.6 billion in the final quarter alone, up 126% from the previous year. For the past few years, Venmo has been consumed with turning itself from a move-fast-and-break-things kind of company into something more upstanding—and substantial.

Project Plan




Business Analysis, Competitive Analysis, User Research, User Testing, Wireframing, Interactive Prototype

The Problem


The current payment native mobile app lacks support of the donation for the cause nonprofit or a campaign. The peer to peer payment mobile app would like to expand their app by piloting an additional feature and offering options for social network.

Go to Design Process

Business Analysis


I started the research with a list of assumptions about Venmo and tried to get those on the table as quickly as possible. I knew that I couldn’t let my assumptions lead the process so I tried to toss out my beliefs early on. I thought to research through several different routes.

The market, charities, the fundraising platforms and process, Venmo users and their experience in the app, Venmo as a company, and the reason why people donate or do not donate to non profit organization and charities.

Competitive analysis


There are other similar payment methods are their in the Market and here I came up with the result by analyzing 4 more industries. PayPal, Square Cash and Zelle. They have same features and process but some were quick and some were not. The comparative analysis that i made was in terms of like how fast they are when comes to getting balance back in my Bank account, what devices each mobile application supports, what are the transaction fees, do they support charities in their app etc...

Research/Initial assumptions


I interviewed 5 users that met the criteria of our screener. I learned about how they currently went paying their friends and family as well as what are their preferences and thoughts about making donations. In the process I also gained insight about how they would like to share towards charity or cause.

I constructed a screener survey to help shrink down the focus. The purpose for the screener was to evaluate: do/would people use the payment app to donate? Additionally, do people donate certain amount or select random amount from the choices given? What other factors matter the most in making decision to let them spend towards certain cause or charity? Out of 24 screener participants, only 7 individuals had met the criteria. Below are some snapshots of the results from the screener.

Screener Survey Question: What is your opinion of Venmo?Screenshot: Do you support any charity?Screenshot: What charity or a campaign do you donate to? Why?Screenshot: What charity or a campaign do you donate to? Why?

You can check out the overall result of the screener Typeform result report. Here is the full screener survey Typeform.

My aim was to gain multiple stance of the app, donation feature. Ultimately, to evaluate the efficacy of the real-time response of the current feature I conducted a couple contextual inquiries.

One of the user's statement during the in-person interview:
Do I get to see that the charity is certified, do I have a choice to donate to my favorite charity, I would like to see who is getting benefit from my money. Yes. Ok great, and also if it’s just a tiny bit of  money from my pocket that I am paying towards a great cause when I am paying to my friend that will be cool.”

Persona Development


I came to conclusion to create two personas to circumscribe the two types of users hope to attract. One persona is a young, ambitious girl who believes in giving money to the right cause which benefits the right people/charity. And the second persona is a middle aged man who needs the easy way to pay his children's school charity programmes.

Takeaways from research:

   -  Lack of assurance who will get benefited from donation.
   -  Donating school charities by checks is annoying.
   -  Facts, figures, pictures and videos are not specified in the charity page or website.
   -  Easy way to donate without going through main navigation

User Flows


I came up with the idea from research that there are two possible ways that i can implement when it comes to donation. The one is making a donation by going through the navigation which is a different process all together and the other is the user can donate to their favorite charity while making payment to their friends.



To begin with the design process, I started with the home screen. Home(Feed) screen shall be used as main page with a variety of ways to display content that could then also be repurposed throughout the rest of the app. I did a ton of sketching for this project. Many of the good ideas were cut out and formed into new designs. This method of sketching, discussing, identifying the best ideas, merging them together and then iterating allowed me to create many ideas and dig deep into every detail.

User Testing


The initial tests did not really go as planned, the users were confused about how to find the charities, the layout of some of the design elements, such as why the charities are in dropdown, and I ended up redesigning 70% of screens, only keeping about a few as they were. Users almost always wanted to skip the initial screens prompting them to input information such as how many charities, what do they actually do etc. Users were also confused about choosing the amount to donate, mainly due to poor explanation on what was happening.



After the first round of designs I created the second round of designs and did more tests. These designs were much better. The flow was much more clear and there was very minimal confusion with this design, mainly due to still having some fidelity issues, some elements were hard to understand without some images and descriptions.

Low Fidelity Mockups


I went back and spent a lot more time on the second round of prototypes, redesigning most of the screens and making them slightly higher fidelity and almost completely redoing all of the features navigation and donation screens.

High Fidelity Mockups


Once the sketching and low fidelity mockups were complete, I began to solidify it into the high fidelity mockup to make it visually approachable. I was able to build this mockups using sketch, sketch helped me build them the way i wanted to.

Final Digital working prototype Link


After I was done with the visual design, I then bring that into InVision to build out the experience. Give it a try using the scenario described below.

Scenario: You are already a user of Venmo app. You found that there is a new feature added called "donation" in this app. And You want to make a donation to your favorite charity ASPCA of $5 using Venmo app.

Give it a try by yourself => Venmo Invision Prototype