App Redesign


The JYP Bubble app is a popular chat app that fans of South Korean popular music (K-Pop) use to send and receive messages from their favourite music artists (idols).


Despite its popularity, users find using the app frustrating and for some completely unusable to the point that they give up and uninstall.


Research the user pain points and deliver a low fidelity prototype that demonstrates improvements in the user experience. This is a personal project used as an exercise to improve my UX skills.

Current Design - Initial Thoughts

Registration and Home

  • No onboarding or tutorial for new users. Significant problem for non-Korean speakers who are landed on the home page with no direction.
  • Lack of useful actions on home page. Initially this is a list of idols (many labelled in Hangul)
  • No direct way to buy ‘tickets’ (the current subscription model) from Home which is the main selling point of the app.


The current method of subscribing to individual idols is purchasing tickets in bundles and then using those tickets to subscribe to each idol for one month.
  • Overly complicated method that is not what a user expects based on experience with other subscription services.
  • You purchase tickets first and then choose who you want to follow, it would make more sense to be able to choose your idols first before continuing to payment.


The main event of the app is following idols (the name for k-pop musicians) and receiving messages from them. Users can also reply back, but there is no guaranty that the idol will reply directly to you. All messages that an idol sends are sent to all subscribers
  • Idols are labelled in Hangul (Korean) with their own custom labels, which presents difficulty for English speakers.
  • There are character and message limits on replies, which is understandable but there is no signifier on screen of how many characters you have left to use. (This limit increases as your subscription time increases)
  • Messages don’t automatically translate, users must tap manually on each message.


The app is rated quite highly, however mainy of the reviews are from users who are excited to ‘speak’ to their idols and are not reviews about the user experience of the app. Many people that have issues with the app report the following problems:

  • Problems purchasing tickets (ranging from confusion to payment failure)
  • When chatting, characters are limited to avoid spam but users can’t type enough for a full sentence.
  • Lack of interactivity – would like additional features like voting or more emojis.
  • If an artist does reply specifically to your message there is no way to know (it isn’t highlighted differently)
  • Screenshotting has been disabled to stop users sharing conversations online. However many users just want to save memories or copy text over to another translation app.
  • In built translation is not accurate (Google Translate/Papago)

Conclusions and Goals

Many of the user pain points centre around incomplete registration, subscription and chat functionality. For the purpose of this redesign I will focus on improving the following:

  • A onboarding process for new users
  • A new, clearer subscription process.
  • The chat function is the key selling point so we will improve the experience within the apps limitations. More on this below.

User Flow

In order to organise my thoughts before i started to sketch I created some user flows so that I could understand the user’s new journey through some of the main parts of the app. Below you can see Registration, Subscription and Chat.

Initial Sketches


The process for creating a subscription is

  1. Choose a K-pop group
  2. From within the selected group, select 1 or more Idols to subscribe to.
  3. Repeat step 1 and 2 for adding Idols form different groups
  4. Review your selection (list monthly cost, allows for indication of discounts)
  5. Proceed to payment
For the design I decided it was important to visualise who the user was subscribing to and how much it would cost in total. I also wanted the process to happen on one page in order to avoid confusion (especially if the user wanted to subscribe to several groups)
In the first version I used too much space for Group selection and this was changed from large images to a simple text tag selection. I also changed the design from squares to circles (to echo the ‘bubble’ brand).


On the Home page users can find:

Latest Stories and Latest Messages from the Idols they are subscribed to.

The ‘Who’s Active’ section shows which idols are active within the last 24 hours so users might decide to subscribe to new idols as well.

Low Fidelity Prototypes

Available on Figma at


For this design I considered the main selling points of the app and what the user wanted to find out before they created an account.

From research I know that potential users get stuck at the registration point and have to google what Bubble is and what they are paying for.


On the Home page users can find the latest content from the Idols they follow and links to view all the content fully. I added a ‘Stories’ section to this prototype but now consider this to be an extra feature not possible in the current app, as Idols can post photos and audio but not video.

The ‘Who’s Active’ section shows which idols are active within the last 24 hours so users might decide to subscribe to new idols as well.


The first prototype for the Subscription process simplifies the decision process so that users can choose their Idols first, see their selection listed below along with the monthly price, and then move forward to payment.


I didn’t make any significant changes to the chat window, except to give each Chat a more distinct border and clearer new message number.

On the individual chats I labelled the ‘room’ at the top so that I could remove all the repeating profile photos on the current design. That leads to a cleaner format and makes the chat less disjointed.


I’m happy with the first pass of the prototypes. A small test group of current app users were given the prototype and were overall positive with the improvements. They were especially pleased with the new subscription user flow which was much easier to understand.

If I were to continue on this project, I would love to delve into a deeper evolution of the app and not just redesign the existing app and I think there is a potential for other features such as community aspects and additional features for the artists such as live features.