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  • Writer's pictureBrett

The UX of Starbucks Reusable Program

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

A month ago, Starbucks announced they are going to eliminate single-use cups and go full reusable, which is awesome. I go to Starbucks every day and their app is one of the best experiences as a user I've had. It's so easy to order a drink on the app that I don't think I've ever had to wait for my drink when I usually order 3-5 minutes before. I just go into the store and pick up my drink. It saves me a bunch of time. It's perfect.

However, I get conflicted because I know their plastic production is obviously very high. I do recycle but still, I'd like to know that companies are doing everything they can to limit their impact. But if they are transitioning to reusables, that worry is no longer there. It doesn't matter whether they are listening to their customers like me or they are doing this to set an example for other brands out there. It's just nice that they are doing something. Hopefully, this will lead to more places making changes to help the environment. It brings me hope for the future.


With that in mind, I decided to recreate the Starbucks app through Figma and then create a new feature that adds this change. My first step was to recreate all the screens to the best of my abilities in the flow and then once I have it sorted it out, I can then figure out where is the best place to add this new feature. Recreating this flow, was a fun experience to have too. It's kind of like when other singers do a cover for a song they like.

Once I laid it all out, I found that the following two screens were really where I needed to change something since it's when the user gets to choose what size their drink is.

Reusable Starbucks Flow

After that realization, I figured the only thing to address is whether Starbucks should provide a reusable cup and what size the cups should be. Maybe eventually, Starbucks will just save the size option, so they don't have to continously hand out new cups. They'd only provide a cup if it's a first time. Kind of defeats the whole purpose.

I'm sure there will be kinks to be worked out and I'm glad that Starbucks is trying. The more companies that do these things the better if we want to reach a more sustainable world.

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