PayPay Inside-Out People and Culture

Design at PayPay : Event Report vol.1


We held our first online design event!

Greetings from the PayPay Product Design Team.
We recently held the online event Design at PayPay vol.1 on August 2, and would like to express our thanks to those who joined. In this article, we will provide an overview of the event to those of you who were unable to attend.

Additonally,this was the first online event hosted by designers, held under the theme of “Behind the scenes of the PayPay Design Team.”

Meet the PayPay Design Team

Mission of the PayPay Designer

We are on a mission to update all touchpoints related to our users’ money matters. Touchpoints related to payments and finance play an important role in people’s lives, whether it be shopping for daily necessities, big purchases involving houses or cars, or building one’s asset for after retirement. We always want to be close to our users, so by renewing all touch points with the capabilities we have at PayPay, we want to eliminate any inconvenience and uncertainty users might have about the future.

Team Structure – Product Line

Currently, PayPay’s Design Team is divided into four, with each team consisting of four to six designers, for a total of about 30 members designing in different fields. There are also members who do not belong to a team but work cross-functionally with all team members. Their roles include UX Strategist, UX Writer, Visual Animation, and UX Consultant. We are a diverse team, where multiple countries and backgrounds are represented.

Team Structure – Four Teams Specializing in Different Fields

  • Core Features
    The Core Features Team is in charge of projects that are essential to the app’s growth strategies, such as those involving the home screen and screen for checking points, which serve as touch points for various other features in the app, or designing promotional campaigns.
  • Payment
    In addition to improving the nucleus of the app, which is the UX of the code payment feature, the Payment Team is also responsible for designing the UX of PayPay payments on the web and third party services.
  • Online to Offline
    This team is in charge of both 2C and 2B design, including the design of services that connect the online and offline domains (such as promoting store visits by providing coupons before users go shopping), and tools for merchants.
  • Finance
    The Finance Team is responsible for multiple financial services, including credit cards, banking, investments, and user asset management.

Team Structure – Working Groups

There are four working groups across the entire Design Team. Members can join groups of their choice, where they work cross-functionally to improve efficiency in design work, interact with members of other teams, and share information.

  • Design System
    With 30 designers working on the design of one product, inconsistencies and component conflicts tend to happen. To counter such issues, this working group defines the rules for design tokens and components and operates the Figma library, which is available to everyone. Using the Design System effectively has greatly improved the efficiency and UI quality of designers’ work.
  • Design ops
    It is a new working group that a few designers decided to start. This group promotes the discovery of issues in the design environment and any improvements for better efficiency in design work.
  • UX Bestie
    UX Bestie is primarily engaged in conducting user research and educating the users. PayPay was launched around five years ago, but there were times in that period when it was difficult to devote sufficient time to research because we were so focused on quickly repeating the PDCA cycle to improve as fast as possible during the early stages. We are aiming to be more proactive in conducting user research and listening to our users, plus we are working to improve the user experience by creating internal case studies and conducting educational activities.
  • Design Chit-Chat
    Through this group, we communicate the activities of PayPay designers outside the company. This meetup event and this article are also managed by the Chit-Chat group, and we would like to further enhance our communication capabilities by publishing more articles on design and speaking at more events in the future.

Quality Control

PayPay’s Design Team very actively reviews the designs of its members. The entire Design Team gets together twice a week in a meeting where UX issues are discussed casually—it certainly is not a regimented approval meeting. Each member submits an agenda and has his or her design reviewed by other designers for constructive feedback. Feedback can be given verbally, as comments on Figma, or in other ways.

Individual review meetings are held within each team, and members communicate on Slack, discuss and evaluate UIs in detail, and sometimes present multiple UI proposals for voting. This is where we narrow down the ideas and thanks to this system we can efficiently conduct AB testing and other such measures.

The Design Team also actively utilizes the Design System. Basic UI components are maintained in a library where color and typography guidelines are clearly defined, so designers can easily achieve consistent UI design simply by making use of the library. This mechanism enables us to propose high-quality UI design concepts from the early stages of a project and to move the project forward efficiently. The use of components also ensure a certain level of design quality.

PayPay Design Workflow

General Design Workflow in PayPay

  • Discovery
    • Designers typically research and gather ideas about the challenges that need to be overcome based on a strategic roadmap and corporate goals. We also may get ideas from information we acquire via customer support and user interviews.
  • Strategy
    • In formulating a strategy, we always place emphasis on understanding our users and grasping their needs before embarking on any specific design or development. Through mapping the user journey, we identify issues from the users’ perspective and identify the optimal user experience. Once we figure out the specific issues and the factors contributing to a decline in CTR and establish a hypothesis, designers work closely with project managers to create a PRD.
  • Execution
    • Designers work in lockstep with the ‍Design System Team and UX writers to ensure a comprehensive and consistent design.
    • Communication among designers is open and frank, and we actively provide mutual feedback on each other’s work through weekly meetings and Slack conversations.
    • When developing, we flexibly choose between agile and waterfall methods depending on the scale of the project.
  • Analysis
    • Designers work closely with the QA Team as well and focus on making sure everything is implemented as planned. We then conduct an internal beta test to get feedback, and when ready for implementation, iterate in preparation for public release to users.
    • After rolling out, we track and report data to see if our solution is effective. Based on the data and findings, we identify issues that need to be improved, incorporate them into the roadmap, and start workflow cycle again.

The design process does not necessarily follow these four steps in this order and may require flexibility on the part of the designer, depending on the size and goals of the project, as well as the results of the research and testing.

Case Study: The Designer’s Critical Role in Solving Issues

We spent some time during this event to learn from case studies on the importance of designers in problem solving, which we will present in a separate article.


What UX challenges do you face in onboarding the elderly?

The percentage of elderly people in the Japanese market is increasing every year, and about half of the population now consists of people who are in the “elderly” bracket (65 or older). To address this, we first focus on making the UX as simple as possible. By doing so, we enable easy use for users to use and reduce the app churn rate.

In designing features, we also try to make them as simple as possible. If the system becomes even slightly complicated, we conduct in-house usability testing to find out where users get confused and come up with revisions. After rolling out a new feature, we always analyze the numbers to identify areas where users tend to get lost and make improvements.

How do you conduct user interviews and usability tests?

We adopt an approach that suits each project. While the Design Team is usually in charge of doing the interviews, improvements can be made by both the Design and Product Teams. An important part of our process is to establish a plan (hypothesize) and examine why a certain request was made and what we can achieve with said request (verification). Smaller tasks, like quick interviews or surveys can be handled in-house.

How do you maintain a balance between business and UX?

Clear business goals are necessary for a company to be successful. In order to achieve our business goals, we need to provide features that meet the needs of our users with the appropriate UX so that they want to use our services for a long time. But unless we have a solid business plan, it will be difficult for the company to grow.

So as a designer, it is important to strike the perfect balance between business and UX, which involves making compromises. Since how much importance should be placed on business goals and UX varies from project to project, it is important for designers to have a solid understanding of the requirements and to be flexible in making adjustments based on user needs. This adaptability is a crucial skill for designers.

How do you communicate and design in English and Japanese?

The team’s lingua franca is English, but several members communicate in Japanese. Therefore, we have an interpreter at important meetings to provide simultaneous interpretation between Japanese and English. We strive to provide a comfortable working environment for both Japanese and English speakers by minimizing the language barrier.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a designer at PayPay?

It is an extremely happy and rewarding experience for us to see users paying with PayPay at local stores as part of their daily life. It makes us realize that so many people are replacing their wallets with PayPay. These everyday interactions can be informative for designers because we can see with our own eyes how users use our service in a normal environment, rather than in a test site or some other formal setting.

Who makes the final design decision?

The decision-making process for design is different for each project. Designers take ownership of the projects they work on, and final approval is not always required. Designers may be required to present their design to management with large-scale projects, but the designers still maintain ownership of the challenges and solutions to the project under development.

As for who makes the final decision, in most cases both the direction and how to proceed with the project is discussed and decided within the team. And designers are in control of everything regarding the specific details of the design.

In The End

Thank you for taking the time to read our event report. If you are interested in knowing more about us, check out our articles or come to one of our events that we will be hosting in the future! We look forward to seeing you at our next online event!

Finally, let me give you an insight into the atmosphere of our design team. The team environment is casual and very friendly! While we work remotely, we come together at the office once a month for team building. During these gatherings, we host workshops and parties to enhance collaboration among members. We would be delighted if this piques your interest!

We Are Hiring Product Designers!

The mission of PayPay designers is to offer new value by eliminating any inconvenience at all touchpoints centered around payments, whether it by QR code payments or other methods. We would love to see you join us and together create the future of cashless payments! We will be discussing diverse topics in future events, so stay tuned!

Current job openings

*Recruitment status and employee affiliations are correct at the time of the interview.