My opinion - Monzo's design


(Peter) #1

I like Monzo’s clear and crisp design, removing most of the clutter away from the main parts of the app to allow us to easily access what is important… however the clutter is sometimes necessary to carry out a task and it’s horrible to have to go digging through a random list of “less important” items to find what you want to do.

Take, for example, the settings page on Android:

We start off with nice clear sections with lines between (some of) the different items, and the items all have nice headers: profile data (line) address, notifications, limits, bank account details.

Then we move into our next element type, blue text and one of them has a subheading for some reason?

Then back to our sections with headings and then buttons (but no lines anywhere this time) toggle buttons on some settings (I don’t have any issues with some toggle buttons and some not though) but then we get down to tax residency and then Monzo labs… an entirely separate type of element which is also the only one with an icon (and also strange padding imo on that icon) before we get down to an entirely different section of different types of buttons with lines in between each button and then at the bottom (off image) we get a few lines of unsorted information…

This isn’t the only Monzo UX I’m not a fan of but, that can be saved for PM’s if people want a larger break down of a stranger’s opinion on the internet :stuck_out_tongue:

In my opinion, this isn’t good enough and Monzo is far, far better than this and this settings menu has just become a product of laziness “Oh great we’ve finished CASS support… where are we putting it? Guess the settings menu will do” picks random element type and plops it in

I do understand how much time and effort goes in to just adding one small button on the settings menu and I appreciate Monzo’s size and how much they’re doing despite UX but… as a UX designer I know that they can do better and some other fintech startups already are.

– If you don’t share the same opinion or don’t really care, that’s all fine, I was just sharing mine, as always feel free to share your own below! :slight_smile:


Discussion: Quality Assurance within Monzo
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#2

Totally agree. I dislike the on screen clutter of the bottom bar menu and would love a return to the clear crisp design with the hamburger menu


(Mark Embling) #3

Well I didn’t even know that was there** so I guess that’s my opinion. That particular option would seem to belong on the account screen.

** I know it was mentioned on the forum too, but that’s one thread I haven’t actually had the time to look at yet.


(Alex Sherwood) #4

Ok so you don’t get some aspects of the design. There’s probably reasons why some decisions have been made that aren’t immediately obvious but either way, how would you improve it?


(Peter) #5

I completely agree, for all I know, they could be working on a design to unite some clutter under one roof and using the settings menu in the interim (in itself though, interim solutions are also lazy and problematic, look at TSB at the moment having far larger problems than simple UX oversights, their interim solution? Well branches still work (sort of) so you should be fine).

I don’t have time to get into too much detail right now (I can post a nice big essay tomorrow if you’d like, on many different parts of the app (especially the account page on Android… not a big fan of pretty much any of the decisions there)) but for now, here’s how I would start if I was designing the settings menu.

For the basics, limit the number of elements you’re using on the settings menu and, if you can avoid it, never use an element for one thing and one thing only. If you’re going to go with icons & lines between sections then go with it, don’t chop and change.

I think a really good example of how to do a decent settings menu that can appeal to the majority is the settings menu on either iOS or recent stock Android versions. Stark clear and simple sections (with headers) and clear separation between them. Each button has a relevant icon with clear text that doesn’t get cluttered away by things.

Obviously this isn’t the perfect solution for everyone (and wouldn’t be the absolutely perfect solution for me tbh) but it would be a better option (in my opinion) for the largest amount of people.

If you have a different idea, please do share it! :slight_smile:


(Ben Harris) #6

Bump for this…

Totally agree with this thread, and thought that v 2.0 might be a good opportunity to address some of the design issues. No such luck :pensive:


#7

Couldn’t agree more with this. Once people praised Monzo for UX. Nowadays it’s just a mess because every new item is just dumped somewhere. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s often done without a sense of consistency.

I was looking for the “share account details” button the other day because I knew it existed, as I had read about it on the forum. It took me a good 10 minutes to find it (yes, it would’ve been faster to just type the sort code / account number manually, but I’m stubborn!), and when I finally did find it, I thought “WT*?! What were they thinking? This looks like literally nothing else in the app! Even the ‘switch to monzo’ bit immediately below is using a different aesthetics!”

(Incidentally, that it’s faster to type sort code/acc no manually than to find this item, which is supposedly there to make live easier, tells you something about Monzo’s UX, at the moment.)


(Peter) #8

Yeah - the settings page is a real mess and that particular example is something that grinds my gears as well as I shared in my first post.

While I disagreed at the time, I’m starting to agree with @mirow, I really would like a return to the hamburger menu to allow for at least some separation of things - for example the marketplace - the way they implemented that random house button reeks of last minute “oh where shall we put it” questions.

The entire point of UX as a whole is to make sure that the user is able to carry out their tasks in the quickest and easiest way possible while also making it look and feel nice; a large part of this is the navigation UI, you have to use a small number of navigation options and ensure that there’s no ambiguity between them to stop people getting lost while looking for a particular thing but I feel like Monzo’s gone a bit too far and buried really useful things in menus and submenus and submenus - CASS? Why is that buried in the random settings menu with a different element to everything else there?

While I hate doing this here, I’m going to draw a quick comparison to Starling, their hamburger menu and account switching is really really good (not perfect but I doubt I’ll ever be happy with anything) and the marketplace placement is perfect (they’re also doing it properly in-app rather than using webviews… … I mean come on Monzo that is getting really lazy) and even with keeping all of this easily accessible they’ve managed to keep it clear and separated and where there’s no option that should be in multiple navigation options…

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Monzo’s ethos and that’s mainly the reason I carry my Monzo card on me daily and my Starling card stays at home but… that might change in the future - where there’s competition like this where there’s very little difference between the main functionality, people can afford to choose where they take their business because of little things like UX… and imo Monzo needs to realise that.

P.S. Might make some mockups of a new Monzo design if I get some free time after work and post them to this thread to try and show what I mean a bit more clearly - sorry for the novel’s worth of post again :joy:


(Tony) #9

Far be it from me to counter the ongoing narrative that the Monzo UI is bad, but IIRC the Marketplace was/is IN BETA. I’m sure when it’s introduced properly it will have a proper location and won’t be using Web Views.

I’m sorry, have you seen how many sub-menus Starling has? Monzo is positively restrained in comparison.


#10

I’m also sure about the latter (given that they want a far deeper integration than would likely be possible with mere web views). But given the recent trend in carelessly just dumping things in random locations I’m less confident about the “proper location” - hopefully I’m proven wrong though (I guess, given that marketplace will supposedly be their main source of revenue, there is plenty of motivation to prove me wrong :smiley: )


(Peter) #11

Thanks for your input Tony :slight_smile: I was really waiting for something like this to start a proper discussion going!

Yes, I have seen Starling, I have used their app and I agree with you, Starling does have far too many sub menus and Monzo are far more restrained in making use of them - but this is what helps to contribute to the problem.

If you take a deeper look at Starling, their top-level settings menu includes a few non-ambiguous options for you to choose from and then as you go further down the sub-menu tree you start finding the options that are less and less often used and slightly less important. Monzo’s current approach seems to be to just shove everything in one settings menu and let you dig around through a mess of different elements to look for it.

For the marketplace, you’re correct, it’s in Beta (and for the moment I’ll ignore the lack of consistency by not including it in Monzo labs properly) and the whole point of having a public beta is to gain feedback from the community, which I believe we’ve both done quite readily here :smile: as it’s in Beta, I can only comment on it’s current state and not theories about what they might do with it and, in it’s current state, it’s unacceptable in my opinion.

On webviews - you’re probably right and I really hope that you are, I just made the comment because I saw that they’re hiring for a web designer and one of the projects listed for the position is the marketplace.

I’d just like to say that I am a big fan of Monzo and what they’re doing and I am getting my friends to sign up with me, at no point am I attacking Monzo, I just believe that part of being a fan of a company is being able to criticize them when they’re doing something you disagree with or don’t like. If I didn’t and just went along saying everything was perfect nothing would ever change for the better and I’d be a “fanboy” and no one likes those :wink:

EDIT

This thread isn’t “My opinion - Starling’s design” if it was I’d bring up plenty of problems that I have with Starling’s design and what Monzo does better than them (e.g the home screen/pulse - it’s flashier than Monzo’s but the usability just isn’t there with Starling), I only raised the point of Starling to point out a few specific areas as an example of how it can be done better.


(Tom ) #12

For me - I like the design. As it gains more and more features though there is obviously going to have to be a rethink. I often go into “Settings” instead of “Account” for something or visa versa so there’s obviously a bit of confusion there.

I’m confused. I thought you didn’t use Monzo?


#13

Well, I wanted to, and needed to transfer some money across. Being a Good Citizen I didn’t want to use “top up” to top up by card, but by bank transfer :wink:

As such: yes, so do I. It’s just the UX that’s suffering recently, and lots of inconsistency.


(Peter) #14

Hi Tom :slight_smile: hope you’re having a nice Thursday.

When you say you like the design - is there anything in particular that you like? With the settings menu in mind as an example, in my opinion it’s confusing having different menu elements and lots of different stylings all within one scrolling screen. Is this something you like or tolerate?

I’m just curious, if there’s a reason that user’s have to keep things the way that they are I think it’s important that it’s shared! :smile:


(Dan) #15

Just to throw a quick tidbit in. It’s worth noting the iOS and Android Monzo apps have very different looks.

The iOS app in Settings has a consistent style throughout (and I assume you’re talking about Android).


(Mark) #16

Agree. Made this point several times on here. Not even updated pot backgrounds!


(Peter) #17

Very good point (and we’ll ignore the fact that this difference across platforms is another issue) I use both regularly (I’m a designer for both iOS and android so I try to use both as much as possible to remain consistent myself) while the iOS settings menu definitely is better, in my opinion it still has many of the same issues as the android version.

For the most part it is consistent, however it still has issues with some elements having headers, some elements just having gaps (why have the tax residency element have the header “Tax Residency” and the button label “Tax Residency” when the Monzo Labs button is just left floating on its own?)

It also has a similar Monzo Labs & CASS issue (although Monzo Labs is slightly better than on android because it doesn’t have the out of place icon) in that, while they use the same base element (a button) CASS is a different element entirely, with the blue colour (which otherwise was reserved for floating links (e.g. share account details) on this page. Both Monzo Labs and CASS also have subheadings in the buttons unlike any other element on this page - this inconsistency and lack of general UX design philosophy is troubling… Monzo has a consistent guide for how their staff speak (which is good and definitely a thing they should have) but from the outside it seems as though they don’t have something similar for their UX design.


(Tom ) #18

Thanks - I was until my new puppy got poo caught round his bum. Too much information? How’s yours?

I’ve always liked the simplicity of the design, and like that it’s simple looking, sharp and modern. I’ve always been able to navigate without really thinking - until recently. For that reason, I agree with you to some extent. It’s getting slightly more complicated - but I put this down to growing pains.

I’m sure, and I trust, there is a plan in place to keep things easy to navigate as the product gets more powerful, offers more functionality and grows its features.


(Peter) #19

Oh dear - hope that’s all okay and wasn’t too tricky to deal with but, hey, you’ve got a new puppy! That must be nice :smile: I’m doing well thank you, just very busy.

I also agree with you - up until a few months ago, for the most part things were fine, or at least better than a lot of other banks and I was happy to put up with them (okay, I’m not a fan of the account page on android, amongst a few other things, but most of that is personal preference rather than objective problems) but yes, then things started steadily going down hill and becoming “lazy” in my opinion in a lot of different ways.

I really hope that you’re right about a plan to update Monzo’s UX because, in my opinion, it’s in serious need of a touch up in a lot of different places.


#20

At some stage I was wondering if their entire design / UX team just went on a collective sabbatical :wink: