by Starbucks


Starbucks is used as a co-working space, but doesn’t offer a wide range of amenities to accommodate for this secondary use case.


Create a digital solution that creates a sense of community amongst Starbucks co-workers, and a new store model that offers these folks more amenities.


“It’s not unusual to see people coming to Starbucks to chat, meet up or even work.”


In a labor market shifting quickly toward more nontraditional employment methods–freelance, contracted freelance, contract workers, temporary employees–coffeehouse work culture is flourishing. They offer folks with limited or less than desirable working conditions at home a place that has decent wifi (usually) caffeine and snacks while they work.


Starbucks has yet to lean into this use of its coffeehouse locations fully. As a “neighborhood gathering place” Starbucks is uniquely positioned to embrace this coffeehouse co-working culture, and provide a wide swath of people with amenities and a platform that connects them together.

App Features

The Spaces app by Starbucks blends the core functionalities of the Starbucks app with a new array of features tailored to those who use coffeehouses as co-working spaces. Preexisting Starbucks app users need only sign in with their same info to have all points, payment information, and messages transferred to the Spaces app. 


The Connect function on the Spaces app is a hub. It allows users to browse others that frequent their local Starbucks, view member-driven groups projects, and stay updated on local events at Starbucks in their area.


Users have the option to form groups–to get feedback on their work, life and career advice, whatever they want. New members can request to join, which will send a message to the group moderator for approval. Groups set their own meeting times, available in the schedule tab on the page, to keep everyone, existing and potential members, informed.


Profiles are a brief snapshot of who each user is, what their skills are, and any work they’d like to display for others to see. Users have the option to seamlessly import their work pieces from other sources like Behance, Dribbble, and DeviantArt. Clicking on a piece will prompt you to view the piece in its native application or website, and the ‘Back to’ feature in iOS 10 allows users to navigate back to the Spaces app.


Users can reserve a desk or a work/conference room up to one week in advance and for up to 8 hours. They simply put in their information–how many people, how long, what kind of space and at what location–and on the specified date, they can scan their personal barcode at the space to start, or add, time.


Projects are community driven. Users looking for extra help on a freelance or a personal passion project can post them on the app with a description of the work and the needed roles/skills to finish. This is a great opportunity for Spaces members to interact and collaborate with each other on a local level outside of the app.


Through the Events tab users can view events happening in their area. Be it guest speakers from the community, networking happy hours, or workshops, all events are community-driven and open to Spaces members. It’s easy to see events, who else is going, and to RSVP, all within one page.


The Spaces tab functions similarly to the Stores tab in the sister Starbucks app. Here, users will be able to see  and filter locations that offer Spaces amenities like workspaces, whether they accept reservations, offer printing services, etc. From the map, users can filter for specific amenities and get a list of Spaces locations to choose from.



The Home screen gives users relevant information about Starbucks; displays their points, inbox, and settings; and gives them weather-based drink suggestions as a way help get their day started.

Order in Progress

The Order in Progress is a fun, visual way of keeping track of a mobile order as it’s prepared and also offers tipping in-app, which keeps the action top-of-mind for users.

Building Up

Starbucks has numerous two-story store models across the country and the globe. For the Spaces concept, this model would take on two functions: the first floor operates as a normal coffeehouse for those looking to sip and chat, read, or listen to music, while the second floor will house a co-working space, removed from the noise below.


  • Phone booths
  • Group work rooms
  • Individual desks
  • Printers
  • Acoustic panels
  • Scan-to-lock storage
  • Small kitchen


Natasha Sligh – Experience Designer

Elizabeth Bassett – Copywriter


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