In this article I critique the Starbucks iPhone 6 app and provide a design tweak specifically for adding a gift card.
iPhone 6 App Review
Overall I like the app. It has a nice, clean visual language and is easy to use. However, I found that adding a gift card was particularly hard to do. In fact, it was impossible to figure out, based on my coworkers experience. He literally couldn’t figure it out! He swore there was no way to add more than one card to the app. He argued that you could only add a second card on their website. My wife also struggled with adding a card for the longest time (tried multiple times) and I was in total agreement! It wasn’t possible!
However, After a few attempts and an argument or two with my coworker and wife, I was able to figure out how to add multiple cards.
Hypothesis: Users do not understand and have a hard time figuring out how to add multiple gift cards to the app.
The landing page is nice and clean. It’s easy to use and I don’t have any problems with the page in terms of layout or interaction.
The only problem I have with the screen is the lack of clarity on which option will allow me to add a gift card. Which option do you think you’d use to add another card? Maybe Gift since I have a gift card, that makes sense, right?
Nope, I quickly realized this isn’t the place to add a card, but rather where I’d buy a new card. I also tried Stores, but that didn’t get me to where I needed to be either. I also tried Menu, thinking this was a typical app menu, but its actually their food and drink menu, so that didn’t work. Ok, I’m stumped. I guess my only other option is Pay.
Since you’re looking at a static screen the option might jump out at you, but it didn’t jump out at me at all. It also didn’t jump out to the people I talked to. I see 3 main calls to action. Pay, Reload, Manage, as well as the ability to see the balance of my card, but nothing that let’s me add a card.
Again, I tried every option. Pay took me to a screen where I could obviously use the card to pay for an item. That didn’t work. So, maybe I could Reload the card with the physical card I was holding in my hand? That didn’t seem to work either. I also tried to Manage my cards, but that didn’t work either.
So, how would you add another card?
Did you notice the tiny plus sign under the card?
Yep, that’s it. That’s your indication that another card can be added. Quite subtle, no? A little too subtle, YES! You can also swipe the card to the right to add a gift card (which is actually how I figured it out). I’m all for gestural based interactions, but when you know people who failed repeatedly, and you too have failed at a task, it’s time to find a better solution.
Here are a couple small changes that would make this a better design, more intuitive and an overall better interaction.
Like I said, it isn’t much of a change, but I bet it would make a world of difference. The user now has a visible cue on how to add the gift card. I’d also argue to keep the swipe feature enabled. Don’t take that away from the user, but do give the user a little more of a hint that they can take a particular action to add a gift card.
It’s subtle, but I’m sure it would work wonders for the app!