Cashback Donation App

0-1 Product Launch | Lead Product Designer | June 2020 - Dec 2020

I designed the end-to-end user experience of a startup - Good Deeds - new mobile app, from conducting competitor research, defining product requirement with stakeholders, delivering final UI matching the product and marketing needs, to fast iteration based on findings from beta users. 

As the first and only designer at the company, I worked in a cross-functional team including a product manager, two app developers (iOS & Android), a QA engineer, a data analyst, a content writer, and a marketing lead.

How might we create a seamless experience for users to shop, save, and give?

Good Deed's vision is to connect people, nonprofits and brands to increase sustainable sources of funding for social impact by making giving a part of everyday spending. I designed Good Deeds app that allows users to discover brand offers, earn cash back on purchases, and automatically donate part of their cash back to any of the 1M+ eligible nonprofits in the U.S.

Users & Stakeholders

Our target users are millennials and Gen Z - they are used to mobile online shopping and cashback offers are good incentives to them to make purchases. Most importantly, they are conscious consumers who are more likely to buy from brands align with their values.

Our stakeholders include:

  1. nonprofits seeking ways to reach more potential supporters to raise more funds

  2. brands wanting to build meaningful relationship with customers by supporting causes they care about.

[ Critical User Journey ]

critical user Journey (2).png
Defining Requirement & Iterating

Our team kicked off a sprint at each first day of two weeks, where I reviewed and refined product requirement, and asked questions regarding technical capability and constraints ​together ​with PM and engineers.

I did user and competitive research to explore solutions, and shared my design regularly to get feedbacks from stakeholders.

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Working with Engineers on Edge Cases

While designing the happy paths, I also worked closely with engineers to design the edge case, empty state, and loading experiences.

edge cases.png
Creating Visual Assets - Components & Icons

[Nonprofit category icons: knowing that nonprofit are a critical pillar of Good Deeds, I worked with our VP of Nonprofit Partnership to created icons to best represent nonprofit categories]

nonprofit categories.png
MVP Design
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Users find brands offer on the Shop tab by searching or browsing by categories. Users can redeem offers directly in the app. By tapping the "Shop" button, users will be directed to the brand's website to make purchases. 



After making purchases through Good Deeds app, users can see their pending and available cash back on the Save tab. Users can cash out the earnings through Paypal or Venmo.



Users can discover 1M+ nonprofits and selects one to support. Every time when users make a purchase, part of the cash back will be automatically donated to their selected nonprofit. User can track lifetime donations on the Give tab and change the cashback-donation percentage anytime.

Major Design Challenges from Beta to Launch

We identified two main challenges in our beta launch:

  1. There was a lot of friction in the signup-onboarding flow that could hinder users from using the app. Users thought they were being asked for too much information in order to start exploring what's inside the app.

  2. It may take up to 45-90 days for users to go through the entire journey - from purchasing to receiving cashback. Users felt uncertain about if they have successfully activated the offers.

In two weeks, I collaborated with the cross-functional team to find out solutions and successfully shipped the new design in our public launch.

I. Onboarding Improvement

Our goal was to make the onboarding process easier while introducing the core value of Good Deeds app. From our beta user interviews, we learned that users wanted to get into the app as soon as possible, and they didn't really understand why they need to provide that much information.

[ Beta onboarding flow requires users to go through multiple steps]

onboarding flow.png

Finding balance between business needs and users needs


We need the information to provide personalized experience and bring insights to our nonprofit / brand partners


I want the onboarding process as easy as possible and I don't want to provide too much info before I decide to keep the app.

After discussing with the team and understanding the implementation feasibility, I proposed a simplified onboarding experience- only keep "Select Your Preferred Nonprofit" step since it was our core value - while providing other entry points for users to access the removed parts. 

[ New sign up + onboarding flow ]


[ Ask for users' cashout account when they want to transfer their cashback]


[Keep the data collection and permissions in "Account" tab + prompt users to update settings in  less-critical journey]

entry points.png

Measuring success

Metrics that helped us tracking the new onboarding flow were:

  • Percentage of people converting from sign up to selecting a nonprofit

  • Shorter time from onboarding to tapping into an offer

With the improvement, we got an 88% conversion rate in our first month data report.

II. Post-Purchase Improvement

Due to our cashback processing limitations, users cannot receive their cash back right after they make a purchase at the brand's website. It may be confusing to users who first use cashback offers, thus, we need to find ways to build trust with users during the waiting period so they have incentives to revisit Good Deeds app.

I worked with our UX writer and marketing manager to see how to best communicate the cashback process and celebrate the winning of both the users and nonprofits. We decided to make two quick updates at our first launch:

  1. Adding an interstitial to explain the process when users close the in-app browser that shows the brand's website

  2. Sending push notifications about pending cash back and donations


Measuring success

  1. Receive fewer customer support tickets about why cash back hasn't showed on the account

  2. Percentage of users opening the app when they receive push notifications of cashback status

User Reviews

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What is working with me like?

Penny is the definition of a rising star, she has a cool and enthusiastic energy about her and it was a joy working with her. I was blown away by how gracefully Penny managed the heaps of work she needed to manage by herself as our Startups only Designer. She took on UX, User Research, Branding, Copy and more with grace and professionalism. She did all this while somehow always delivering before the agreed timeline, leaving room to gather feedback and iterate on for example her designs or user survey questions. Penny is not afraid to share her knowledge in her field while at the same time easily absorbing new information and requirements.

- Carl Horned, Product Manager at Good Deeds