Redbox App Design - Spec Project

Modernizing DVD Rentals

This was a spec project for General Assembly and is not affiliated with Redbox.

When you think of the modern movie watching experience, you likely aren’t thinking about DVD rentals. But Redbox is holding strong. For this project my team and I re-designed the Redbox app based on user-research, usability testing, and iOS heuristics.

Tools and Skills


  • 2-Weeks
  • HIG (iOS App)
  • High-Fidelity Prototype


  • Sketch
  • InVision
  • Photoshop


  • Usability Testing
  • User Interviews
  • Affinity Mapping
  • Design Studio
  • Competitive Analysis
  • User Personas

The Problem

The old Redbox we know and love is modernizing. They’re keeping their kiosks, but they’re adding a new streaming service, and they have an app to help you figure out what is in stock at your local Redbox. 

Unfortunately, their app is very confusing. Through user interviews and usability tests on Redbox’s current app, we found:

  • Users couldn’t find the location button
    • Once they found the map, they couldn’t understand where it was on a map, or which DVD’s were available in that kiosk
  • Users are confused and frustrated by ads in the app
  • They wanted a way to check which movies they had out when their movies were due
  • They were frustrated by how unstable the app was (Users were often booted from the app, or had errors logging in to an account)
  • Users found the navigation through the app very confusing 
  • The app looked chaotic due to the gradients, and inconsistent design 

Journey Map

Luckily, Redbox isn’t reliant on their app. Most the the Redbox users we interviewed didn’t know there was an app. The few people who were aware of the app said they didn’t mind too much because they only used it to figure out if the movie they wanted was available, or to find their nearest Redbox location.

Why do people use Redbox?

Before we started redesigning the app, we wanted to find out why people love Redbox, and what sets them apart from the competition. 

  • Redbox offers new releases before almost any other movie rental service
  • Redbox offers extremely low prices
  • Redbox has a limited selection of new releases and high quality content. Most of our users commented on how frustrating they find Netflix because of “choice paralysis”
  • Not everyone has a stable internet connection – Redbox is the most convenient DVD rental option
Redbox Kiosk

Because Redbox has strong brand recognition, and a loyal user base. The app likely isn’t hurting their bottom line when it comes to DVD rentals. But they currently are beta testing an On-Demand option.If they want to compete with the myriad of streaming options on the market, their app needs to be a lot more user friendly. 

Before and After - Redbox Home

User Personas

Family Watching a Movie Together

The Family Movie Nighter

“Friday nights are when we all get together as a family and enjoy a movie. My husband and I will turn off our phones, so there are no distractions.”


  • The “Process” of getting a movie – She’s nostalgic about Blockbuster
  • Making movie decisions as a family


  • Mobile notifications
  • Digital distractions
  • Being overwhelmed with choices
Person Holding Money

The Budget Buyer

“I don’t care where I find the movie I’m looking for. It could be streaming, I could have to go rent it. All that matters is how much I saved.”


  • Special Offers and Promotions
  • Free or freemium Options
  • Clean and Clear Navigation


  • Hidden Fees
  • Being forced to Browse
  • Popups and Ads not related to deals and savings
Person at the Movies

The Cinema Lover

“There are so many great movies I want to see, but I don’t always get a chance to see them in theaters.”


  • High Quality Content
  • New Movies
  • Being Comfy at Home



  • Popup Ads
  • Hidden Fees
  • Commercials


Find your nearest Redbox

Through our user interviews and usability testing we found that the most important feature of the app was the location finder, and the ability to tell if the movie you wanted was available at your local Redbox. 

Most of the users we interviewed had difficulty searching for a location. The floating location search button was easily overlooked, and most users said they hadn’t noticed it because there was “too much going on.” Because we knew this was such a high priority feature, we decided to make the location search option part of the main footer bar. 


Location Search Redbox - Original


Location Page of Redesigned Redbox App

Users also found the original location finder page confusing. The map function is obscured, and despite the text that says “show map” and the search function, users couldn’t figure out how to look for a specific location.

In our redesign, prioritized the search function and map view.


Another area of confusion for Redbox users is the checkout system. Users weren’t confident they were ordering the right movie from the right location. 

Most of our users couldn’t make it through the checkout system because of instability, but for those that didn’t get booted were frustrated by how long it took them to successfully book a movie.

The checkout system our team designed is simplified and helps users feel confident that they know where their movie is.

Our Checkout

Step 1

Checkout Kiosk Step 1 Redbox

Step 2

Checkout Kiosk Account Step 2 Redbox

Step 3

Checkout Kiosk Credit Card Step 3 Redbox

Step 4

Checkout Kiosk Confirmation Redbox step 4

Too Many Pages

Navigation was an issue for most of our Redbox users. They didn’t know what the envelope icon represented (most assumed it was a message center). People were confused as to what “My Redbox” meant, and expected to browse a certain location. And many of the pages in the footer felt redundant or unnecessary (most of our users were annoyed at the “Upcoming” section, and wished something more useful was in the main menu).

Redbox Confusing Userflows
Main user flows in the existing app

InVision Prototype

Explore our Redbox prototype below. Please note, not all pages have been designed, but we’ve designed the core pages essential to our user personas.