How we created Tabs: a new UI for a new financial experience

Most of the time, financial apps are not built for the customer. But, when it comes to Nubank, we're different from everything.

Nubank's app

Written by: Marina Brustello, Daniel Teixeira, Tacio Lobo, Mariana Andrade, Rachel Jordan, Paco, Nicolas Deçordi, Camila Alvinhão, Jaqueline Barbosa, Marco Soares, Vanessa Oliveira, Sinara Santos 

Nubank was born to fight the complexity of the financial system. Our purpose needs to be reflected not only in our products or in our customer service, but also in Nubank’s app: the company’s biggest touchpoint with customers.

And though this focus on simplicity and user experience has never wavered, after eight years, over 70 million customers in three countries (Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico), and a broad portfolio of products, our app was becoming a long scrolling screen and was no longer scalable.

So, to envision and deliver an experience that could combine both customers and business needs, we had a cross-functional team of BAs, Designers, PMMs, POps and Engineers working on the project.

Problem Statement

Many apps, particularly finance apps, are designed based on how companies are organized, usually in separate products, prioritizing the company’s needs over the users’. At Nubank, we always seek to create fundamentally different ways to think of our solutions. And changing the app’s interface couldn’t follow a different path. 

To come to it, we did what we do best: we listened to our customers.

Research is a key element in product development, because this is the moment when the whole team stops and listens. We capture the root of our customer’s pain, so we can best translate it into a solution that brings value and also seize business opportunities.

Researching, we have learned that Brazil is the most anxious country in the world. According to the World Health Organization, around 9% of the population live with anxiety disorder. That is not only concerning data, but also a challenge for us when it comes to improving people’s quality of life.

Defining the solution

But how does this relate to the evolution of our app? 

We focus on solutions that can cut through the noise and help our customers with their financial organization, bringing a simpler and intuitive way of looking at their finances. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re organized or not with your finances, if you use an automated spreadsheet on your computer or take notes on a piece of paper. Customers tend to organize their financial lives into 3 big moments:

  • Dealing with day-to-day decisions: in and outflows of money and dealing with household bills. 
  • Planning goals: thinking and organizing for the future.
  • Discovering new things: this third moment focuses on having fun and finding out other opportunities for leisure. 

So, to create more space for a growing business that is always launching new products and displaying them in a way that would make sense to our customers, the information architecture should follow the same rationale, right?

This is how having a tabbed structure makes sense: delivering an incredible in-app experience designed for real people, based on what they want to do.

Welcome, Tabs!

The new version of Nubank’s app is designed to anticipate where customers expect to find information, and what customers want to do, based on three distinct mental models for how customers think about managing their financial lives: 

  • Transactions: This is where you move your money. It gathers your Nubank account and credit card information as well as viewing shortcuts to make Pix transfers, payments, loans, TED and DOC transfers, deposits, pay bills, etc.
  • Planning: Here you can organize and plan the next steps of your financial life. Here you can see details of your investments, cryptocurrencies, life and cellphone insurance, as well as see how your plans are going inside the Boxes. Here, you take care of your money.
  • Shopping: Finally, this is the tab where you’ll find news and discounts at Nubank’s shopping partner companies

The new structure is not just about intuitive organization, it’s also about creating powerful product experiences within the tabs. It integrate our products in useful ways and adds new products and services to further empower our customers. 

Ok, the solution is defined, so how do we make it appear in the hands of over 70 million customers? 

Experimentation plan

That’s where the game gets trickier.

The app is a super powerful platform, with the role of integrating all product information and displaying it in a way that feels intuitive. Any change we do will directly impact both business and customers. 

So, to take a decision out of the whiteboard with this level of complexity, having a cross-functional team was key to success.

Iteration process

Once we get all these moving pieces together, we can start the experiment. For that, we always go first to our most engaged customers: our NuCommunity.

Having them as the first evaluators of the product is always exciting for us. They are curious and deeply care about our products, so their feedback is filled with details of every little change we propose.

When other customers start having access to the solution, the Operations team goal is to accurately report the assessed risks that are happening, how customers are receiving it and any inconsistency we need to iterate. 

We repeat this process of iteration as many times as it’s needed, so we have a great balance between customer satisfaction and business metrics’ positive impact.

When we get to this balance, we are ready to roll out the new interface for everyone and communicate with our customers. 


But one thing is for sure: change is hard, and any modification in the app will be seen as negative at first. You were used to things a certain way and, out of a sudden, you have to learn where everything is placed. 

So the strategic narrative was based on the premise that:

Some changes show our true essence一we are only Nubank when our customers are at the center of their financial lives

And, in this case, what’s most valuable for our clients is not the launch of tabs in itself. The value is on what an app based on mental models can unlock.

So, from a strategic narrative, we wanted to explain the new interface by representing what each tab could unblock:


After more than 5 months of this new UI, we can definitely say that it takes a village! 

Changing the way our customers interact with the app can be a cause of stress or a path towards peace of mind. The new app structure has been perceived as cleaner and more organized by our customers, and has opened new areas in the app for our upcoming products.

The Tabs project represents this mindset of collaboration and customer centricity that is so crucial for Nubank’s success.

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