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During an effort to expand BarkBox's subscription services into a new vertical, research uncovered a critical oversight with the existing customer experience. Initial interviews revealed that users cancel their subscriptions due to difficulty accessing preferred items and controlling their accounts. With this discovery, the project goal was realigned: enhance existing customer retention through an optimized product experience without detracting from the primary revenue model of new subscriptions.


Key Human Problem

One-on-one user interviews uncovered a frustration common to online subscription customers: feeling disengaged with the service. 67% of participants reported trouble relocating and purchasing specific products they enjoyed from past shipments. 83% reported wanting more control over their subscription parameters, shipments, and the delivery contents. Improvement to customer experience was needed to retain existing users.

Key Business Implications

As the BarkBox brand and its subscriber base grows, the value of retaining customers becomes more acute. Streamlined direct purchasing gives customers more control over their experience while simultaneously augmenting a secondary revenue stream. Allowing for product engagement outside of the typical subscription services can keep current customers, ex-subscribers, and gift subscription recipients coming back to BarkBox.


Product Design

Subscribers' accounts were bridged directly with the BarkShop service to optimize its visibility and usability. Users can take an active role in their subscriptions by reordering past shipment contents and upgrading certain items. This strategically leverages existing infrastructure to minimize the need for new development and maintenance efforts.

Visual Design

Extension of the current brand design patterns offers users a seamless and intuitive experience. The cool, tonal color schemes from the Bark product lines carry into the account management screens to help orient users in the overall product environment, while consistent UI components, CTAs, imagery, and typesetting unify the brand experience.

Interaction Design

The user account dashboard was enhanced with direct subscription controls, past shipment information, and a new click-to-order flow for purchasing individual items through BarkShop. Modals and toast notifications confirm user actions in an unobtrusive and efficient way.


92% Task Completion Rates

During usability testing, participants were able to complete almost every given task on the first attempt. Users navigated the account management flows to control upcoming shipments and reorder a specific item through BarkShop without issue.

Increased Brand Loyalty

Qualitative feedback revealed that users experienced an elevated sense of agency through the enhanced access to individual item purchasing. 75% expressed newfound awareness of the BarkShop service and an increased interest in using it in the future.