Venmo Recurring

concept project

Role: UX designer, UI designer
Date: July 2020 (Two-week design sprint)
Team: Chloe Danahy, Harry Mairena-Vargas, Finna Wang
Tools: Figma, Lucidchart, Slack, Google Drive, Zoom

Project overview

Venmo is a mobile payment application founded in 2009 that allows people to split bills, pay each other back, and pay for goods and services in a social and playful manner. Users enjoy Venmo for its simple design and universality. My team was tasked with designing a new feature for Venmo so that users could create and manage recurring transactions.



User interviews

We initially wrote our interview questions only about Venmo. When we weren't able to pinpoint exactly what would make an impactful new feature, we expanded the types of questions and topics about which we asked. We interviewed 13 users about not only their Venmo habits, but also their habits regarding managing recurring payments, whether that be through a banking application, by hand, or through an Excel spreadsheet.

A snippet of our very large affinity map, with information derived from 13 user interviews.

Key I-statements

"I find it uncomfortable to request money verbally."

"I use Venmo to split rent or utility bills with my roommate."

"I find automatic payments to be convenient."

"I manage my money by looking at my transaction history on Venmo."


Problem statement

After discussing our interview findings and extracting several I-statements, my team wrote the following problem statement:

Venmo users love that Venmo is easy and convenient to use. They need a way to set up automatic payments for recurring transactions so that they can minimize social discomfort and continue to spend less time on the app.


Competitive analysis

We compared Venmo with other commonly used payment apps and services, and concluded that Venmo is widely used because of its convenience, simplicity, and compatibility with different mobile devices and bank accounts.


User persona

Our primary persona is Alex, a college junior who lives with two roommates and has a busy lifestyle. He pays one of his roommates for rent every month. Conversely, he is responsible for monthly utility bills.


User flow: creating a recurring transaction

In order to make this new feature integrate as seamlessly as possible, we considered the existing user flow of creating a payment or request. We sliced this flow between entering the description and prompting the user to decide between a payment and request. This gave users the option to create a recurring transaction without deviating from the existing flow.


Sketching & design studio

After creating a user flow, we I conducted a design studio session to get our thoughts on paper. These are some of the sketches I did to illustrate the recurring transaction flow, taking direct influence from calendar apps and date pickers that we studied for our competitive/comparative analyses.


Design iterations

Adding a confirmation page


Venmo does not currently have a confirmation screen. This is the final page that appears before completing a transaction, which may lead to users be unsure about whether they’ve actually completed the transaction.

Confirmation V1

We created a confirmation page so that users were aware of the recurring transaction that they just created. This is important because there are several more details involved in a recurring transaction compared to a one-time transaction.

Once a recurring transaction is confirmed, users have the option to manage their recurring transactions, or return to the Venmo homepage.

Confirmation V2.1

We learned through usability testing that a summary would be helpful because it adds an extra layer of confidence to creating a recurring transaction.

We cleaned up the information from V1 to make it scannable. We also added a button to edit details if needed.

Confirmation V2.2

Once the transaction is confirmed, the V2.1 screen transitions to the one above.

The “Manage” and “Home” buttons were pushed to the bottom of the page to make them more accessible. “Manage” became “Manage Recurring” in order to appear more consistent with the new “Recurring” button that we added to the hamburger menu.  


Activating recurring button

How might we make the recurring button appear activated or clicked after setting up a recurring transaction?

Recurring button V4 & V5

My team went through many iterations of the new "Recurring" button that we added to the blue bar below the transaction details. When returning to the general transaction screen after adding details, we asked ourselves, "How might we convey that this transaction is now recurring?" After several iterations, we decided that the answer was none of them. We concluded that users had an easier time with the task when they were prompted with the two remaining choices - request or pay - at the bottom of the details page.


Developing options

Details V1

We started this screen with a few simple details to create a recurring transaction. The icon next to the amount indicates that the transaction is recurring.

Details V2

Through usability testing, we realized that we needed to have more specific and customizable settings. We also created the ability to start a recurring transaction on a day other than the day it is being set up.

Users weren't sure what "Variable occurrence" meant, so we added a hint icon.

Details V3

We added the "Request" and "Pay" buttons to this page because it was confusing for users to be redirected to the transaction page ("Wait, so did I make a recurring transaction or not?")

We also removed the "Variable occurrence" icon and displaced the text so that it appears on the page, eliminating a step for users.


Managing recurring transactions


We took direct inspiration from the existing “Incomplete” screen to design the new “Recurring” screen.

Recurring V1

Users can easily toggle between recurring requests and payments. Items are scannable because only essential details are shown. 

Recurring V2

During usability testing, some users went to the “Recurring” screen in order to create a new recurring transaction. With this in mind, we included a button to do so on this screen, as an alternative to the existing pay/request screen.

We also increased the text size and included due dates to further clarify what items were.



My team created a high-fidelity prototype illustrating the final versions of the iterations explained above. We designed a way for users to create fully customizable recurring transactions, which can be managed and edited at any time or at scheduled times. This new feature is seamlessly integrated into the existing user interface, which makes made it simple for users to use with minimal to no onboarding necessary.


High fidelity prototype

Creating a recurring transaction

Alex's roommate Isobella is responsible for paying rent to their landlord every month, so Alex is setting up a recurring monthly payment to her. He is setting his reminders based on his personal preferences.

Part 1

The pay or request screen has a new "Recurring" button sandwiched between "Request" and "Pay."

Part 2

Users are prompted to adjust settings from the default as necessary.

Part 3

A summary page allows users to edit details before confirming the recurring transaction.


Managing a recurring transaction

A month has passed since Alex initially set up a recurring electric bill request from his two roommates. He is now prompted to update that amount to reflect the current bill.

Part 1

Existing transactions are accessed via the hamburger menu.

Part 2

Toggle between requests and payments to find the transaction to be edited.

Part 3

Swiping left on an item allows users to edit the transaction. A confirmation window appears to acknowledge any changes made.


Next steps

Venmo for business

Although the "Manage" screen in our prototype only shows a couple of items on each tab, we considered the needs of users who have freelance businesses and receive income through their Venmo accounts. We would consider adding sort and filter options for when that list of recurring requests expands beyond more than a few items.

Receiving recurring transactions

Our project was focused on the user creating the recurring transactions and sending the payments and requests to others. As a next step, we would consider the experience of being the recipient of these recurring payments and requests. What do those notifications look like? Where do they live in the app?

Additional testing

A big drawback of design sprints is the lack of time available for user testing. However, the feedback that we received was extremely valuable and crucial to the success of our finished product. If given more time, we would definitely conduct more testing. For me in particular, I would try to conduct tests via video conferencing as opposed to emailing the tasks to potential users.

Using Format