Starbucks App Redesign

I recently worked on a Starbucks app redesign.

Aaron Cecchini-Butler
4 min readNov 19, 2018


At the time, the app required three clicks to get to the pay screen. Or, as I discovered on accident, shaking your phone fast-tracked you to the pay screen. (Since we all want to be in line at Starbucks shaking our phone?)

After surveying about 50 users (as well as a few current baristas) I discovered a lot of people disliked the app. At my Starbuck’s location, the baristas told me that none of them use the app and that they all hate it. They were quite passionate about it!

Even the occasional power-user would praise certain aspects but still have strong negative feelings about other aspects.

It is my opinion that no app that is used for paying should require more than one click to get to the payment screen.

There is an anxiety surrounding those little moments at the register — with a line behind you and an exhausted barista/cashier/etc. in front of you — that amplifies any frustrations that a payment app may cause.

While working on the design, the team isn’t exposing themselves to that exact stress. They can do as much user-testing as they want, but the decisions I made surrounding my redesign focused on my feelings at that moment.

  • The very specific feeling of opening the Starbucks app
  • Clicking pay (at the top left of the screen, unreachable with one hand for most users)
  • Selecting the card you want to use to pay (Or preparing to pick multiple)
  • Navigating to the pay screen
  • Getting bored in line
  • Debating whether you have enough time to look at something else on your phone
  • Exiting the app
  • Getting to the front of the line
  • Realizing you’re soooooo many steps from the pay screen
  • Giving up
  • Getting out your credit card
  • Being annoyed at your failure and regretting the missed chance for points

This might be a more extreme version of what could happen, but I know it’s possible because it’s happened to me more than once. With the Starbuck’s app in particular.



Aaron Cecchini-Butler

Senior Systems Designer at Grubhub working on Cookbook (our design system) — as well as contributing to product design work.