PayPal Business App

APP DESIGN RETROSPECTIVE (2017 - 2020)

PayPal Business is a native app that helps 1.2 million small business owners across the globe review and control their sales operations at PayPal: Send invoices, view the progress of their sales, get in touch with customers when disputes arise, track their business loans and review transactions.

Role

For three years I was the lead designer for this product. I focused on creating an experience that brings actionable information users need to manage their money and grow their business.
I partnered with one designer, two project managers and 16 engineers working on iOS and Android platforms.

This retrospective shows snippets of work I did during my time with the team. If you're curious about specific details, I'd be happy to talk.

Design operations and research

With the help of my manager, I put in place the design operation process for a team of two, that included  a centralized file system, documentation to track historical changes and a sprint planning site that me and my design partner updated every two weeks to keep work transparent.

During two years I followed a weekly cadence to bring designs to the research lab, and do interviews, card sorting or prototype testing using remote tools or cafe studies to sort out minor UI questions, and working with dedicated researchers to run in-person diary national and International studies. In a year, my team had conducted more user research studies than any other at the company, and engineers and product managers were invested in the process.

Visual refresh and pattern library

One of the first, and most basic goals I had for the app was to create alignment with PayPal for web.

I reduced the number of font variations we used from 16 to 4, also reducing the app size, set up a tile system and general guardrails for our home screen  that resulted in a flexible, yet regulated layout, where all basic elements from the web experience were translated to mobile while maintaining information integrity. The tile system would be later adopted by our official UI system and used across many teams.

While I wasn't maintaining the style guide alone, my role was to oversee its consistency and correct application of patterns in the app, and addition of implemented patterns to the app supplemental library.

Before
After: Above the flow
After: Below the flow
Style guide

Navigation and quick actions

A series of interviews and card-sorting exercises helped my team learn how users categorize the information on the app, and how are their behaviors different on web vs mobile.

Takeaways

We made some adaptations to the navigation bar to reflect how people used the app leaving the bottom tabs for highly used features. A quick action button triggers commonly used flows, so users can make the most out of their time.

Nav and quick actions
Tap on quick actions
Overflow menu

Home Framework

The app homepage is an optimal location for Merchants to be guided on business objectives and tasks, but small business owners didn’t have a way to know what tasks were important for them to do at PayPal. They wanted actionable data, insights and tasks relevant to their business.

Our mission was to help people have at a glance view that highlights the overall status and pending actions at PayPal, tailoring the experience to each person as they progress throughout their journey with PayPal.

I worked in tandem with the home screen web team to come up with a home screen framework  that scaled well and reliably presented the same information in both platforms.

I defined discrete areas for information in order of criticality to give users a sense of permanence, and other teams at PayPal a set of rules to add not only their notifications, but features and cross-sells.

Information hierarchy skeleton

Card types


One of my challenges was to maintain the same hierarchy as the web home screen, and condense all in a single feed, while respecting the user. I achieved it by creating zones of expandable notifications, and defining rules around the permanence of notifications and cross-sells if not attended.

We launched a pilot displaying notifications to users with customer disputes, calling them to resolve them, with a 82% conversion from tap to action. This model is still in development as teams migrate their notifications to the new system.

Framework Applied

First-time use
High priority information
Daily  information

PayPal Business today

I spent the last 6 months with the app team bringing even more consistency with the company latest UI patterns and guidelines teaming up with the home web team.

LATEST DESIGN
RECAP

Impact

1 Million users in 2019

As of October 2019, we reached a million users, doubling our year over year number of users.

Removed feature silos

The home framework design took information out of the silos of features and pages, adding transparency to the app.

Added patterns to UI library

The card patterns were adopted by other teams and added to our official UI library.

Next

Sales Insights

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