Paypal Redesign - UX Case Study

UI | UX Reserach | PrototypeMARCH 2019

"A conceptual model is the explanation, usually very simplified, of how a specific object works. […] They are often conceivable in the object itself.” — D. Norman

Paypal is one of the most famous services to exchange money via Internet, founded in 1999 and merge with Elon Musk’s in 2000. Today is one of the most used ways to exchange money via internet. 

Me and my teammates decided to redesign it as a challenge for an unsolicited redesign.
The main reason for this lack of intuitiveness is that the tab bar, which should be a clear representation of the app features and structure, and instead contains direct actions.


The app launches on a screen where there are a lot of information about last transactions and balance, but they’re not displayed in a useful order. In fact, the first and biggest data is the last transaction, then there are the last contacts and, only after that, the balance and finally the last activities in a chronological order.

In our redesign we decided to give maximum priority to the Available Balance, which is critical for making decisions all over the app. In the original version of PayPal, Available Balance is displayed in a card, but it’s not quickly discerned by the other secondary information, overwhelming the user. Following, the most used contacts are displayed: it seems that PayPal is pushing a lot on the social aspect of the platform (for istance, having a direct link to your profile), so we opted for displaying circular profile icons (as PayPal is currently).Then, a quick look to the last operations is shown. The history is presented in a panel that can be scrolled up to see older operations, minimising the “Balance” space.


The main transactions features are placed in a tab bar that contains only four out of six total actions. But, the tab displays only two of them (Send and Request money) and the user has to tap another button to show a menu with the other two options (Create a money pull and Donate to a cause). Moreover, the last two (Add and Transfer money) are not easily discoverable (showed after you press the balance). Also… the tab bar should never contain actions according to the every interface guideline, as said before. 

Even if in different screens and spots, PayPal provides the functionality for six different types of transactions: “Send”, “Request”, “Transfer”, “Add Money”, “Start a Money Pool” and “Donate to a Cause”. Send and Request are transactions between PayPal Accounts, while Transfer let the user move money from a PayPal Account to a Credit/Debit Card and Add Money does the viceversa.In the original version of the app Send and Request are “prioritised” and placed in the tab/tool bar (Pools and Donations are in the same toolbar under “More”). Transfer and Add Money are “hidden” in a screen after tapping the balance, making these functions hard to reach for most of the users that are approaching for the first times to the app.


Like many different Money Transfer platforms, PayPal App operations take place in different steps, in which the user is asked to enter different parameters (in order: the receiver, the amount and the “type” of user). Since those parameters are simple to understand, in order to make the payment process faster, we decided to move the three easy steps into a single screen. In addition, on the top of the screen, to speed up even more the process of configuration, we re-introduced the circles representing the “most used” contacts (including the possibility to choose non so frequently contacted people). Thus the flow is faster, more natural and intuitive, especially if the user tends to often exchange money with the same group of people.

See the project also onBehance and Medium.