Imagining what the Starbucks app would look like if they start reusing their cups
Starbucks produces a lot of plastic every day and with the growing concerns from their customers about the climate, Starbucks needs to find a way to be more sustainable going forward.
In 2022, Starbucks announced they are going to eliminate single-use cups and go full reusable, I decided to recreate the Starbucks app and create a new feature that adds the feature of reusing cups.
In 2022, Starbucks announced they were getting rid of their paper cups and transitioning over to plastic cups. In a statement, Starbucks has a goal of reducing waste by 50% by 2030. They want to eventually be at the forefront of a "resource positive company." They are working on a reusable cups program where customers can bring in their cups at any Starbucks.
As of August 2023, the company uses around 6 billion disposable cups a year worldwide. However, with this new program, it's nice to see that Starbucks is listening to their user base and are now taking a stance on being more environmentally friendly.
In my opinion, the Starbucks app is one of the best user experiences I've had. My favorite feature is how easy it is to order a drink. I've never had to wait for my drink when I usually order 3-5 minutes before. I just go into the nearby store and pick up my drink, which is impressive considering that there are so many Starbucks around (38,027 stores globally to be exact).
As a customer, I've been conflicted with Starbucks because I do love drinking their coffee but I also know that they are not the most climate-forward company. But since they are transitioning to reusables, that worry is no longer there. Making an effort to be more sustainable is a nice change. Hopefully, this will lead to more companies to make changes to help the environment.
According to Clean Water Action, Starbucks used more than 8,000 paper cups a minute, which adds up to more than four billion a year. That is roughly 1.6 million trees. The amount of waste that Starbucks produces has always been a problem that Starbucks needed to address.
Starbucks then started to use plastic cups primarilly for their drinks as an alternative. Using plastic is better for the environment than using paper. But plastic is also not great as a large proportion of plastics don't get recycled and it is an even bigger issue than Starbucks can fix.
But Starbucks having a reusable cups program is a better solution than what they've done in the past. Since it makes the customer accountable for the cups. Whether customers will buy into it or if Starbucks will implement it fully in all of their stores is something we'll have to wait and see.
However, I wanted to create the Starbucks app but add the feature of this reusable cups program.
My first step was to recreate all the screens to the best of my abilities in the flow and once I have it sorted it out, I can then figure out where is the best place to add this new feature.
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.
So in the end this is what I imagine the Starbucks Reusable Cups Program to look like
I figured the only thing to address is whether Starbucks should provide a reusable cup and what size the cups should be. Starbucks will just save the size option, so they don't have to continously hand out new cups.
This experience felt like what I imagine it's like for a singer to cover a song they really like. It was very interesting and exciting to design an app that I really love. It made me think of what Starbucks did when they were creating the app and what kind of decisions they had to make. I didn't have the luxury of using their images though.
If I had more time, I'd try to be even more detailed and even talk to users on if this program would be of interest to them.