Spending screen is counterintuitive with targets

I appreciate we can see things differently but I find the spending screen really counterintuitive when tracking against targets.
Functionality is that when nothing is spent against a category the bar is full and as spend occurs the bar decreases to the left.

I would expect it to be the other way around, the bar starting to grow from left to right as the cash goes out and I am heading towards the target.
e.g. I have #164 of #180 left to spend on eating out. The bar is solid almost all the way to the right.
To me, that indicates I’m nearly at the limit, not that I have only spent #16.

I am sure there’s a reason for it working the way it does, but it makes no sense to me :slight_smile:


I’m sure I remember seeing a post from Hugo somewhere, crediting Tristan with suggesting this design - & saying it was a deliberate choice.

Anyway, I actually like it, I prefer that the focus is on how much I have left to spend, rather than how much I have spent.
The latter (which is still displayed as a number & determines which order you see your targets in), is less useful for me because there’s nothing I can do to change how much I’ve already spent. Whereas I can manage the remainder of my balance & try to ensure that I still hit my target.

Keeping the user’s attention on how much they have left to spend (I find that the bars draw more attention than the amount spent figure), also supports Monzo’s first product, overdrafts

but this design is unconventional so I’m sure you won’t be the only one who finds it strange at first!

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Whatever the reasoning, I won’t be ‘getting used’ to it as it doesn’t work for me. Sometimes ‘being different’ doesn’t work too well. Even if the bar decreased to the right it would make more sense. Decreasing right to left as something progresses is counterintuitive. Because, as you say, the bars are much more prominent than the numbers.


Agreed, the bars throw me off when i first look at them, thinking I’ve spent nearly all my budget when in fact i haven’t spent much at all. I would prefer the bar ‘draining’ in the opposite direction as well


it is OK for those who’s languages write right to left, but really jars if you write type and read left to right.

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That’s your category’s balance decreasing :slight_smile: when you’re looking at the bars expecting them to show you how much you’ve spent, they don’t make sense but when you look at them as a balance, they do.

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:slight_smile: ekam ot gniyrt saw I tniop eht saw tahT


We won’t agree. To me, the balance working up to a target makes more sense. Not something I want to relearn for a single app that’s decided to challenge the way we read in the western world. If it works for you, great!


It would be a bit like a petrol pump not showing how much you spent on fuel but how many £s left to fill the tank so the display decreasing down to £0


The way I see it, it is correct. The targets aren’t there to be hit, they are there as a guide. In an ideal world, you don’t want to be reaching all of your targets. And that’s why (as far as I’m aware) they work the way that they do.


Whichever way you look at it, the issue I have is the dividing point moves the wrong way. It needs to move left to right, not right to left, as time goes by. It’s just the conventional way we mark the passage of time and bucking the standard way stuff works makes it counterintuitive.

Don’t know how to highlight it but up there ^^ alexs says “but this design is unconventional so i’m sure you won’t be the only one to find it strange”

This is ‘you’re holding it wrong’ applied to app design.
I’m looking at it wrong, not the way it’s presented is unnatural. So bad design becomes my problem, because I am not smart enough to ‘get it’.

The end :slight_smile:


Actually I’ll take back the “unconventional” comment. If you think about a physical fuel gauge (or the balance indicator that I mentioned) this is a standard design. It’s unconventional for budgets but not those types of indicators.

And I definitely wasn’t suggesting that you’re not getting it because you’re not smart. People don’t like change / difference because we’re naturally wary of change. Remember the last Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram redesign or the Monzo name change, everyone (including me) complains about these changes because they’re strange & it’s fun to point them out & then in a couple of months, they’re not bothering anyone & no one remembers or discusses them anymore.

And obviously it’s good to question whether these features are as good as they could possibly be.

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It is one thing to get used to change if it one thing in isolation changing but if one person or one London borough decides to drive on the opposite side of the road how do you get used to it sometimes when your brain knows they have to be used to the opposite the rest of the time.

The original poster has that issue. If all apps and sites chose to display in the direction Monzo want we can adapt easily, but with everyone else doing the opposite of Monzo makes it a real struggle coping with Monzo’s insistance to go against the grain.


A “progress” bar gives us the idea that the targets are fixed. I look at them as fluid, kind of like a thermometer or pressure bar, which can go up and down.

As an example, if I find I’m spending too much on transport or eating out, then I might reduce the target on shopping so I can increase the targets on transport and eating out.

I care more about how much I have available to spend rather than how much I have spent, so as the available amount decreases it seems logical to me that the bar should decrease along with it.

The targets feature is only at the early stages. As Monzo adds other products/features, the design of the feature will inevitably change with it.


I understand, honestly but give it some time. If it’s still bothering you in a month, then (for what it’s worth) I’ll be much more open to agreeing that this is a real problem.

If it’s unconventional for budgets then why force a change. Sometimes conventions make sense.
This is a banking app, not a selfie posting site. They are different things entirely.
This seems to me like change for the sake of it, just to be different. Great if you like it, unfortunately I work with numbers all day and I don’t want to do that mental swap every time I look at my Monzo spend. This has nothing to do with resisting change, everything to do with consistency in a particular field. So I’ll be switching the ‘feature’ off.

‘Wait a month and you’ll get used to it is’ a reason that we end up with rubbish software at all levels. It gets to the point that even if the consensus is that it’s wrong, after that convenient month has passed it is then too difficult to change as everyone is used to the way it works…


the solution is to have a bar going from left to right with a toggle setting allowing the bar filled in to the left of the mark or to the right so it shows how much spent or how much still can be spent

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Spot on:) I have no issue with what it represents. The division between dark and light bars just moves in the wrong direction!

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I agreed with your initial post, but the comment about it being represented as a tank emptying struck a cord with me. As you don’t want to empty the tank… whereas left to right feels more like a target to hit.

But as it is down to preference then maybe a left right or right left toggle?


Just a quick follow up on this, Zancler explained why the team chose the decreasing money, rather than increasing spending design in the developer’s Slack community today…