AMA with App Evolution 🎉

Hello everyone!

First up on the new and improved AMAs we’ve got…App Evolution team :tada:

You’ll likely be familiar with the team with the amount of posts there’s been making recently explaining app versions in the past, the present and what to look forward to in the future.

I’ve been able to convince @emmag and crew to get involved and answer a few questions from you all. Let the team feel welcome as this will be the first time for a few of them visiting the Community!

What do you want to know about App Evolution?
How they work?
Who brings in the strangest lunch?

Get your questions in :blush:

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I kind of want to know this now…

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Hi @emmag thanks for volunteering yourself for the great interrogation community’s questions!

Loving some of the direction of the App Evolution work that’s going on, but it’s seeming (from my usage, comments in the other thread etc) that there are probably quite a few issues still with the piece before it rolls out more broadly to everyone, and replaces the existing dashboard.

  • What’re the team’s thoughts on the initial testing of the homepage, have there been things raised that have surprised you?
  • Additionally, are there any timelines on when Monzo would want to move this homepage to be more of a stable/rolled out piece for people?
  • (Subtly, when can we start seeing some of the usability bugs with it being rectified/what’s the timeline? :eyes:)

Finally, thank you so much for your engagement in that thread on the forum, it can be a bit like the Wild West here with some wording being harsher than others, and we appreciate the sustained interaction with staff!

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Hi folks!

You’ve seen a bunch of me and a few others over on our thread about the Labs launch but we have a few more team members around today to answer questions too :blush:!

Here’s who’s around today:

@emmag if you’re not tired of me already :joy: :wave:
@leepethers and @samuelbranter are our brilliant designers :art:
@dylanslewis and @ivan are our iOS and Android engineers :apple::robot:
@twindebank and @tulara are our backend engineers :hammer_and_wrench:
@Katherine is our data scientist :chart_with_upwards_trend:
@Sarah-Bee is our QA :test_tube:

I’ll do a quick intro of myself too – I’m a Senior Staff Engineer and have been at Monzo for about 6.5 years now. @ivan beats me by about 2 weeks, we were the first two Android engineers in the company.

I’ve worked across many features and bits of the Android app over the years – building the original p2p experience, Summary (sorry about that :wink:), the first Savings Pots, Shared tabs, and many other things I’ve since forgotten :sweat_smile:. I also spent a while running our Mobile Platform (now Product Infrastructure) team.

Outside of work, I’ve been trying to buy a house for a year (a running saga :house_with_garden:), and I’ve a ~21 month old daughter. I’m currently expecting #2 :pregnant_woman: too!

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Can we please get a home screen balance widget for android? :pray:t3:

This really swayed me to Revolut :sweat_smile: alongside their other bits that are free!

Would also love to see Pots in the same widget format as accounts at the top :pray:t3: so it aligns and matches.

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Hi team!

  • What would you say the coolest part of your job is?
  • How did you find working from home during lockdowns and has this changed the way you work now?
  • What do you think Monzo will look like in 5 years’ time?

Have a great week!

Thanks :star_struck:

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Hi, just a quick intro from me: I’m a Senior iOS Engineer and have been at Monzo for almost 4 years. Before App Evolution I was working on the Paid team (Plus, Premium, Trends) and before that a short stint on energy switching. Excited to hear all your questions!

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  • What’re the team’s thoughts on the initial testing of the homepage, have there been things raised that have surprised you?

I’ve been quite surprised by how many people want to see Pots vertically, and have had strong reactions to them being horizontal! I never expected it could be so controversial :joy:.

I was also a little surprised at the folks who don’t use Pots at all and wanted to hide the section entirely – super interesting, tbh. In my time at Monzo, I’ve come to really see how differently individuals think about money, it’s a terribly personal thing. It’s easy to forget too, which is why community engagement and user research are so important.

  • Additionally, are there any timelines on when Monzo would want to move this homepage to be more of a stable/rolled out piece for people?

We’re in the middle of our planning process right now so this is very much top of mind for me. There’s two main components to this:

  1. We don’t know what impact the new screen has metrics-wise compared to the existing home experience. e.g. can customers still find essential banking-related things, like card details, bank statements, scheduled payments etc. We’re planning to run a few experiments on new and existing customers to get some numbers on this, and see what we need to improve.
  2. We know from our user research there are some key customer needs not being fulfilled right now. Total balance across accounts/Pots is missing, customisation is the legacy experience which isn’t great, upcoming payments clogging up Latest Activity isn’t ideal… We’ve work to do to address these things before we’ll feel it’s “ready” for everyone.
  • (Subtly, when can we start seeing some of the usability bugs with it being rectified/what’s the timeline? :eyes:)

We’re shipping things all the time :wink: ! For example, one piece of feedback we had from user research was about how cluttered ‘Do more with Monzo’ was – we tidied it up a bit last week :blush:.

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Hey everyone :wave: hope you’ve all had lovely weekends. A quick intro from myself!

I’ve been at Monzo for 5 years this week and one of the two product designers on the team. I originally joined Monzo as a COp in our customer service team though, before moving to design! I’ve worked across a number of teams but currently have a strong focus on our design system.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

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A really long time ago I built a balance widget for Android using the public API: GitHub - emmaguy/monzo-widget: An Android app widget for Monzo using the public api!

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I think right now it’s working on Overview! It’s such an exciting project and when we get all the stuff we’ve designed built I think it’ll be a really great experience for all types of users (lots of hard work still to go tho!) It’s pretty amazing getting to work on the first screen of the app and not something I’ve done before.

:sweat_smile: So I was in the Paid team when lockdowns started and we had Plus and Premium all ready to go but there were a few features in both that really relied on people being able to go out so that put a spanner in the works. The v1 90 day version of external accounts was quickly built in time to ship Plus but I think that’s now grown into one of my favourite features and has served as the basis for some work being done on the main account feeds. So during lockdowns was a bit intense with all the changing priorities, but I think we’ve now got more flexible ways of working out of it so overall a plus.

I’d expect us to be helping you see even more of your financial life, but as we’ve seen with Overview it’s tricky to show all that info in a way that still makes sense to users so that’ll be a big challenge!

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This is why the way the Community and Labs can work together can give great insights for you, at least I hope that’s the case anyway!!

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It made me never want to work in a office 5 days a week again :sweat_smile:. Not because it was bad, it just seems like a long way to go to do something I can do just as effectively at home!

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I feel exactly the same - such a waste of valuable time to commute every day!!

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Hello team :wave:

My question is how do you balance Android and iOS in terms of feature parity?

  • I assume the new iOS team will be a big help with this now?
  • What are some of the thought processes that happen when things get released/delayed for one platform over the other
  • Is there a wider plan to “backtrack” and bring the two more aligned?
  • Can/should the app continue to evolve or should priority be given to aligning the two operating systems first?
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Hey! I nerd out on user interface details and interaction experiences, so it’s been great to push the pixels on overview with @dylanslewis and @ivan and really start to sweat the details. Can’t wait for everyone to see what we’re thinking about!

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Hi everyone :wave: I’m Theo and I have been with Monzo for almost four years now. I have spent most of my time here as a Data Engineer, but recently transitioned over to Backend Engineering when the App Evolution squad formed in June. Looking forward to your questions :smile:


Right now I’m really enjoying being able to open the app and see everything we’ve worked on so far right there on the front page. Building things that customers see directly is super exciting; it’s a new experience compared to my previous role where my customers were folks who use data at Monzo.

I used to work from home multiple multiple days a week pre-pandemic and have worked with fully remote people for most of my time at Monzo, so not that much changed. I pop into the office 2-4 times a month nowadays depending on events happening throughout the month, and it’s a nice social time.

Big question. For me, as a customer, I want more intelligence and more insights. Dynamic behaviour depending on my current circumstances and data from a bunch of different places to help me make informed decisions across all of my finances with some intelligence over the top of it. As an engineer, I want to build this and make it happen. We can do so much in 5 years :smile:

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Interesting questions, and something I used to take extremely personally - because when I joined Monzo, Android was ~18 months behind iOS!

Teams at Monzo will usually have the same number of iOS/Android engineers per mobile platform. Often one, though some have a couple of each. That helps us keep roughly at parity, depending on the individual engineers and the area they’re working on (e.g. if it’s old on one platform and needs investment). Though if someone takes a long holiday there can be some catching up to do :sweat_smile:.

The new iOS health team should help set up the other iOS engineers in the company a bit more for success, hopefully enabling them each to go faster - partly because they’re directly taking away issues that a product engineer might need to go investigate, partly because they’re making things better so less goes wrong. I’m super excited about the initiative!

I think this happens best organically. For example, something I’m keenly aware of is how different search is on Android and iOS. We know that search on both platforms falls short of what it could be (I dream of a universal search across everything! To be clear tho, noone is currently working on this sadly) - when we invest in making it great, we’ll do it with both platforms at once and the disparity there will naturally go away.

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What part of Overview are you most excited about?

Who’s your favourite other team to work with at Monzo? :wink:

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