Way back in 2020 I offered some thoughts on Monzo’s design. About Monzo Plus, I said:
I think some of the design choices are a bit off. I think it fundamentally feels a bit too much like a bolt on, that’s not integrated with the core Monzo experience … I see the attraction of the Monzo Plus tab , but it feels wrong to me.
I think there needs to be a dedicated Plus/Premium section in settings that can hold stuff like insurances and the holo/metal card info. I’ve never looked at that since opening Plus. Also the auto export. You’ve mentioned the credit score implementation and I like that idea. The others get a bit trickier but I’m wondering whether a Plus/Premium card within the carousel detailing interest earned and a therefore pot for it to be paid in would work. Maybe the offers (they need way more) could feature in Trends as a dismissible banner in each category based on what the offer is. So for example Hello Fresh could display within the groceries category.
I’m really not sure about the offers. They’re dialed in at best, aren’t they? This might be harsh, but the effort to find a home for them isn’t really worth it for me. They hold no value.
I wonder whether the insurances could go on the home screen? The one you get to by pulling down the cards or tapping your user icon on the top left bit if the feed. There are sections for “Your Account” and “Loans” so perhaps “Insurance” could naturally fit there?
But if they do, for the love of Starling, give that screen its own tab. Right now just to describe it you have to perform a midnight incantation in the rain. Goodness knows how new users find in.
An alternative (or more properly a complementary approach) would be to give the insurances cards in the carousel, complete with contact details, policy numbers and anything else you need to know).
I think this tab is in a bit of a limbo. It’s a directory but nothing more, but the primary reason I think it stays is that it’s advertising. If you’re new to Monzo and unsure what Plus/Premium gives you, it’s all there in one place a full list. And it stays there. You don’t dismiss it and forget Plus exists, you don’t have to go hunting on the website or in the hidden parts of the app to find it.
Even if it wasn’t there for advertising, I wouldn’t be keen on hiding these things in other sub menus/settings, the app is already confusing enough as it is for that sort of thing.
I’d like to see it expanded
Other Accounts - “You’ve added two external accounts. Add more?”
Interest on balance/pots - “You’ve gained £10.42 in interest since being a Plus member”
Custom Categories - “You’ve created 18 custom categories”
Virtual Cards - “You have 3 active Virtual Cards”
“Advanced” round ups - “You’ve saved £25.52 this year with round-ups”
Credit Tracker - “Your score is up 9 points since last month”
Offers - “Latest Offer - 1% off £10,000 spend at Tesco - Added 20/2/22”
Auto Export - “On”
etc etc. Some of them are a bit repetitive/redundant but I think it would give me a reason to look at this tab, which currently there isn’t really.
I just think it’s lazy design. If it’s marketing, then so be it, but none of these features naturally fit together. From a previous post of mine:
The bottom part (the list of features) feels confused. The way that it works differs according to features so, for example, you can:
tap on the “Holographic card” and just get some info that you tap to dismiss
tap “Offers” to access features that aren’t available in any other part of the app
find links to other parts of the app (including the very confusing “advanced roundups” one - which just takes me to my roundup pot without any other explanation or how to enable that features).
Delightful design doesn’t need to be thought about: you just intuitively know how to use the app. I contend that that this best done by not having a tab - but if one is “necessary” for marketing then it needs to work much better than it does right now.
I’d argue that’s what this is over what’s being proposed here. I know where everything is and where to find it. That won’t be the case if it’s all scattered throughout the rest of the app.
As a new plus customer, the first question I’m going to have is right, now where are the fancy new things I’ve just paid for? The plus tab tells me, and I know where to go straight away. The directory approach works great for this. I could see myself getting frustrated and making an angry post on here if I had to go and find it all in other parts of the app, which aren’t always the most intuitive things to access anyway.
Monzo still has a pretty big discoverability issue, and as nice as the app is, it’s far from intuitive. Things take longer to do than they should, and are harder to find than they need to be. Too many different sub menus hidden in the app and too many features that could reasonably exist within any of them.
I think the directory is probably one of the most intuitive aspect of the Monzo app they have ever built.
I agree with the above idea though, that it could replace where the summary button is. Just turn it into a big flashy star that screams tap on me if you’ve never tapped on it before.
I’ve no problems with putting all the features in a new home that makes a little more sense for their functionality, but the directory must live on in some capacity, so I can clearly and easily see and access everything I’m paying for. I’d never have known to swipe down on the home tab to access my virtual cards that way if not for someone on here. It may not be the fastest or most convenient to access them from the plus tab, but at least I instinctively knew they would be there!
I was thinking about this, and I don’t actually think that there’s a better way, because most of the other things are all out-of-band features, not app features. Credit Tracker should definitely be in Trends. And perhaps there’s a better place for the Auto-export, too, but the others are not app features:
Or, to simplify:
Offers & Discounts
As we can see, none of them are features of the app itself. And so the decision becomes “Should all the Plus/Premium stuff be listed in the same place somewhere highly visible?” And so while I am with you that the tab is pretty annoyingly redundant, it would conversely be unhelpful to the user to just display the non-app-features stuff on this tab.
So perhaps the tab itself is really the problem here? The problem is, perhaps, that one of the biggest, most-accesible spots in the navbar leads to a page of boring mostly-static content. Though that’s from the perspective of a user who’s used the thing for many years; I am not the general case nor - perhaps most importantly - the noob case. So perhaps Monzo need to put this somewhere obvious for noobs, but allow experienced users to dismiss it. Though that would presumably preclude it being in the navbar for all cases.
No I think you’re correct. Initially, when you first look at the plus tab it’s really interesting, novel.
But when you’ve looked at it a few times, it becomes boring fast. Here’s where Natwest has it right I think. You go onto the spending tab and it brings up highlights, and can click on the top to the different sections to go into the detail.
A dashboard showing interest gained, pots, top spending trends etc would be immense I think
For me personally, it’s not intuitive at all/the plus tab does not make it so easier to know where stuff is - it makes it harder. I know this is subjective but…
When I think “I want to see my credit rating” I don’t think “Now, is this a plus feature or one that all Monzo users have access to… ”. I don’t even remember this once I’m a few months in to plus. Having a list of plus features in e.g. a help article, in case I need to reference them, is important, but it’s not something I need to look at regularly, let alone daily which is what the prominence of the current positioning seems to imply.
I think “where does this fit most naturallly in the app” “what is a credit rating about” etc etc.
And even if some people are inclined to think the former (is this a plus feature), the non plus features are always going to be sorted by the latter, so it makes sense to me to sort everything in that same way - rather than sort plus features in their own, different, way to everything else.