Created with Sketch. Go Back

Thanx App 3.0




    5 months


    Illustrator, Sketch, Photoshop, and InVision


Thanx is a Series B company based in San Francisco. They partner with thousands of merchants across America to power their customer loyalty programs. Customers connect their credit cards to the Thanx app and automatically earn rewards as they pay with their linked card. Merchants can send targeted offers to their customers through the Thanx app as well as collect feedback on their experience using the Net Promoter Score system. Thanx needed a redesign of their app and had three goals in mind: (i) To update the aesthetic to deliver a modern customer experience, (ii) To better integrate new and planned features, and (iii) To simplify the user experience. In addition, they had just completed a company rebranding and needed the app to reflect the new desired look and feel. Our redesign accomplished all of these objectives and more.

    Today, the Thanx app maintains a consistent 4.5/5 star rating on the iOS and Play stores. Everyday thousands of customers continue to happily earn rewards with Thanx. The redesigned app served as a strong foundation for the sales team to push the offering to thousands of merchants across USA.

Getting Started: Understanding Requirements

The first step was to understand the bigger picture of this redesign. In addition to the goals, we considered three other buckets in order to have a successful product launch: (i) Business Requirements, (ii) Technical Requirements, and (iii) Design/Brand Requirements.

To give an example — A number of Thanx merchants said that they wanted their brands to be better represented during the customer sign-up flow in the app. We learned that this was a business requirement for Thanx. A Thanx user only cares about the merchant they regularly visit; their experience of the app should be as if they are using that merchant’s loyalty program, not Thanx’s. Our proposed solution involved to adapting the app to the primary merchant’s branding by using their logo and cover photo as much as possibe.

Technical requirements for engineers arise as a result of these sorts of findings. Design requirements are considered when we decide how to display the right balance between merchant and Thanx branding.

Developing Personas and User Scenarios

Many different kinds of people use the Thanx app. Some are tech savvy, some are not. Some are very wealthy, some make a moderate income. Some visit many different Thanx stores, some visit one. This list goes on.

It’s important to account for all these types of users, to create an experience that will work for the most people. The best way is to craft personas. User personas are created to identify real people’s needs, expectations, and wants, in order to design the best possible experience for them.

Thanx’s then art director had already created three personas for each of the company’s two audiences: merchants and consumers. Together using the personas, we created user scenarios. Working with user scenarios allowed us to consider for most use cases when designing the app. In addition to better illustrate our scenarios, we created a series of example merchant logos.

User Research

It’s very difficult to launch a good product without talking to users. From the vantage point of within a company, employees often develop assumptions about how users typically use their product. Sometimes these assumptions are accurate, but without talking to and observing actual users, there will be outside perspectives that are missed. With Thanx we conducted research sessions with several different users in order to gain some new insight. We identified 3 buckets of users to research: (i) Users who have signed up and made at least one purchase (new users), (ii) Users who have earned their first reward, but not yet redeemed (earlymusers) and (iii) Users who have redeemed multiple rewards (power users). Our findings were very critical for the redesign.

Competitive and Design Research

This redesign needed to look completely different from the previous app, and accompany the look and feel of Thanx’s new branding. We created moodboards for illustration styles, UI, and transitions. We looked at competitor apps to ensure our design direction was different. A big takeaway from Thanx’s rebranding project was that people thought of the brand as friendly and fun, yet smart. The redesign needed to retain and enhance these qualities. As a fun Easter Egg, we illustrated a series of yeti characters to be found within the app.

Understanding Constraints

Designing for the user and audience is only part of the picture. We also considered engineering and time constraints that will affect the overall delivery of the app. We made the decision prior to wireframing to avoid heavy use of animations or visual features that would impair engineering’s ability to ship the app on time. As a result, Thanx 3.0 was delivered on-time and remained simple yet very functional.


We went through the standard process of wireframing, designing, and prototyping the screens using Illustrator, Sketch, Photoshop, and InVision. Our design cycles were short yet highly iterative. The result was an app that the entire Thanx team was proud to call their own.


Download the Thanx app: