Redesign of a mobile bill-splitting application

Part of the redesign

Splitwise is a mobile app for splitting bills that can come in very useful. From our own experience however we found it to have some serious usability issues. During two weeks within the PDEng program I looked together with a colleague of mine what they were and how we could improve the app.


We did both a heuristic evaluation and a think out loud with several colleagues. We found some minor issues with large effects: Unreadable words and unclear icons. And a difficult to understand menu made performing the main tasks rather difficult, especially for a first time user.

Once you do find out how to add and split bills these turns out to be tedious processes itself too. All amounts need to be manually entered and finding and adding friends is not as easy as it should be.

Ideation & prototyping round 1

During a first iteration we took some steps to make the data better readible and went from a strictly numerical and textual interface to a more graphical one with a circle representing the balance.

All elements of the menu that were previously located at the bottom with small and unclear icons were moved to a slide out menu and the most often used element "add bill" was given the main button. Instead of a big plus, now with the actual words on it. We tried to better define the status of the balance with clear green and red parts

While in the old design entering amounts could only be done through the keyboard, we chose a scrolling interaction to try and speed this up.

Redesign 1

Ideation & prototyping round 2

In a second round we tackled the problems of adding and splitting the bills in a more radical way. Instead of focussing on small details we decided this had to be done completely different.

We imagined the smartphone would be able to recognize bills and its content and automatically transfer this into the app. By simply clicking a picture this otherwise timeconsuming part could be done much faster.

The "splitting of the bill-function" is inspired by online pokertables. The participants can be placed along the table and the dishes are placed on the table like a deck of cards. By sliding the dish to the person that ate it the bill can now be split. The wine which everybody drank from can be split evenly.

Redesign 2


I did these modules with one other design engineer. We created the concepts and interactions and performed tests together while I did most of the lay out and sketching.

Interesting here was the use of different prototyping tools, eventually showing Axure to be a great tool in which both graphics and interactions can be easily created.

Time & Team

2 weeks

4 days a week

1 Design Engineer and me