Improving Internal Merchant Tooling

(Kieran McHugh) #1

Hey all!

I’m on a bit of a mission to improve our internal merchant tooling in monzo time.

I got together a good prototype and shared it with a few people for feedback…

The problem with this was the information density was too low. It wasn’t making efficient use of the screen space available. For internal tools, we normally prefer a slightly higher information density.

So I’ve set about on another approach…

Progress is fairly slow, but I’ll document things here as I go along!

What do you think?

PS. I considered Backend Engineer Tries React, You Won’t Believe What Happened Next as the title for this post, but I didn’t want to get flagged for clickbait :wink:

Merchant Data Corrections
(James) #2

Can’t wait to see what you folks do with the merchant enrichment in the future, I know not everybody really cares for it (especially since you don’t find it in legacy worlds) but I think it adds a lot to the whole experience.

Would love to know more about how you determine where to draw the line in terms of what is a new merchant, and what’s part of a different group. For example I know it’s quite contested at the moment (in that it changes month on month) where sometimes VOXI is merged with Vodafone and sometimes it’s separate. How do you document this and ensure all the Ops teams are following these practices?

What is the overall goal here really? Is it to make it easier to manage? More stable (doesn’t “break” as often)? etc

(James Murray-Ferris) #3

It looks good however it still looks very empty if you like high density information. Personally I would have expected underneath the basic “Merchants in this group” the list of rules for how merchants are placed into the group and maybe even be able to add a rule to that flow etc.

I’d love to see the Branding and social tab to see how you are handling the feedback. Are you turning it into a simple :ballot_box_with_check: to approve an update with a quick comments box for the edit history tab?

Edit: also while looking again I think you could do with some sort of data analaysis tab or even maybe shrink the map into half and have an analytics section under it for things such as total spent with merchant, which category users have placed it in rather than the default category as displayed, maybe how many transaction reversals there have been for use in fraud cases?

2nd Edit: You could do with a preview of how a transaction from this merchant would look in App so you know what your end users will see when editing this information as I see in the API you send out things like Website address, suggested tags and you don’t appear to be able to see any of that on here :man_shrugging:

(Lewis King) #4

Have you got an internal CSS/Pattern library? Would love to see that publicly, you know, for #transparency and all that :wink:

(Kieran McHugh) #5

Good question. There are a number of priorities but the immediate goals are…

  • Improve visibility into our data and its overall health
  • Reduce the number of duplicate merchant groups (e.g. multiple Starbucks should be merged)

The reason it looks blank right now is because it’s unfinished :slight_smile:

Feedback will be processed by a different tool used by COps and asssistants. The purpose of this tool will be to visualise the information and make larger mass edits.

This would be pretty cool. We did this at my previous employer Skyscanner (link here). Right now we aren’t investing a huge amount of time in this, as we don’t really have much of a public-facing web presence. Also, I think internal tools have inherently different requirements to our public-facing sites, so necessarily the design will be different.

(Antoine A.) #6

Users need:

  • to be able to convert physical merchants into online merchants, and the other way around.
  • to see what’s the status of their feedback, if it’s accepted, pending or not
  • know source of merchants (4square, google, fb, monzo, etc)

(Joe) #7

Is stuff like Merchant Groups able to help Monzo decide what to do with certain branches? For example so every Tesco appears the same on the app, but I can eventually do things like “what did i spend at this specific tesco” or “what did i spend at tesco in general?”

(Lewis King) #8

Yeah I’m a big fan of the Skyscanner stuff! Especially important to have something like that if you have a big web presence and a varied team! Understand it’s not a priority for you at the moment though!

(Kieran McHugh) #9

Hey all,
Wanted to share a quick update here…

Search has been improved!

The map has been re-added!

The headers are coloured based on category!

More to follow soon!

Merchant Data Corrections
(Lancelot Payne) #10

Looks awesome and very promising :slight_smile: will be great when it’s fully up and running.

(Kieran McHugh) #11

Hey all,
Quick update. We had Monzo Time this week. I’ve been trying to reduce the visual noise and get it ready for an internal beta release.

  • I got feedback from desginers that the coloured header was too much. I’ve toned it down.
  • The tab layout didn’t really work well in the split-screen view. I’ve kept it linear for now, and will revisit if this becomes unscalable.
  • I’ve added a quick action bar.
  • I’ve refactored the code a lot to make it cleaner.

One of the hardest things about designing anything new is removing superfluous visual elements and inconsistencies. I am still learning (from the best!) how to do this and so that’s why the design keeps changing.


This looks great! Hopefully this will massively improve merchant data and reduce multiple merchant profiles when it goes live.

Some questions I’d love answers to

  • What replaces the map on the RHS when it’s an online merchant?

  • What about merchants with online and physical locations?

  • How do you deal with merchants like Wetherspoon where each pub has a different name or is the plan to have a different merchant profile for each pub? (NB: I prefer the 2nd option)

  • Can you view individual merchants for a single merchant profile? (ie: can you look at the details for a specific Waitrose store?)

  • What sort of BizOps tasks can you create using the Quick Action?

A few ideas

  • Maybe have a notes section somewhere
    (eg: if a user complains that a certain merchant keeps getting changed incorrectly, a note could be added to the merchant group saying so. Then if someone tries to change the merchant in the future, the note can help the COp make an educated decision).

  • Something which shows where the logo was from (eg: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, URL).

  • More granular History (ie: when the logo was last updated, when the name was last updated).

  • I think I’ve seen somewhere that merchants can be locked? Maybe have a locked symbol next to locked merchants>