Theoretical Design Ideas for Master's Project

(Connor) #1

Hello everybody, my name is Connor and I am a student at the University of Westminster finishing up a Master’s in interactive Media. I just finished a big design project based around Monzo, because i’m a huge proponent of the company. For anybody who is interested, i’ve just published a Medium article showcasing my ideas, please feel free to have a look and comment and share and critique and tear to pieces. I would really appreciate the feedback and insight (no matter how positive or negative)

If anybody at Monzo would like to get in touch with me about my design ideas you can reach me at

Here is a link to the medium Article:

Make sure you play the videos included! Lots of Flinto prototyping-goodness.

Thanks very much!

Connor Gettel

Can someone explain the graph?
(Eve) #2

Just read the article and it looks amazing! Some of the details have been discussed on here at length but it’s nice seeing a visual representation of how it could be put into action.

I have no in-depth knowledge of design or fintech, but as an ordinary user, it looks sleek, visually appealing (love the animations too) and doesn’t detract from Monzo’s existing design.

My favourite bit is definitely the first point (more detailed visual analytics) and I hate pie charts but a bar chart would be helpful in letting me know at a glance what I’ve spent too much on etc. Things like custom categories, pots, and savings have already been addressed on here and I’m sure most people would be very happy to see them implemented!

The idea for dependents linked to a parent card is an interesting idea and definitely worth looking into since there are youths still dependent on their parents even past 18. My credit card is linked to my dad’s account-it’s not quite the same thing I guess but I think it could work!

(Tom Warren) #3

Amazing piece of work, loving the ideas and design tweaks you’ve done as part of your piece :blush:

Only aspect I am not keen on is the navy colour on the settings (full background navy), I am no designer by any stretch of the imagination, just my two cents.

(Connor) #4

Awesome thanks very much for the feedback Tom. I’d like to know how many more people agree with you on the colour change. It is a bit weird to see settings not in traditional grey/white i suppose.

(Connor) #5

Thanks very much for the feedback Eve!

(Toby Toller) #6

Hi Connor,

Great article!

Love the design for the Pool concept. Some great designs in here!

(Ben) #7

I have a feeling Monzo may want the snap you up and employ you very fast.

(Simon B) #8

Hey Connor! This is absolutely fantastic, you’ve clearly put a great deal of thought and work into this. I’m very impressed and I’d love to see what our design team think. You’re definitely thinking along the same lines as some of the stuff we’ve internally mocked up for our current accounts. Amazing stuff!

(Marta) #9

I really liked the article, features were well explained and videos/designs very convincing. If it was Hugo sharing them, I probably wouldn’t know any better, I’m not an expert so I’d be fooled easily. :smiley: Thanks for sharing!

Few comments, different ideas and feedback from me:

  • Videos are exceeding page height making it awkward to start and view, as you have to scroll. If they could be downsized a bit, it wouldn’t be that awkward. I zoomed out to 67% and back as many times as there are videos. :smiley:

  • Figure 16 - what’s your solution if 2 participants have the same initials? :slight_smile:

  • “Select date for vault expiry” - Confusing phrase in my opinion. If it’s a vault, maybe ‘Select open date for vault’ or similar phrase that will indicate that sesame will open on that date and make funds available. :tada: In general, throughout explanation of vault, repeated use of word ‘expire’ makes me panic a bit (I had traumatic experience with SSL certs expiring, so now I totally hate this word, it’s very negative, while opening vault means HOLIDAYS!, as example.).

  • I’d like to have more vaults than three, is there any particular reason why only three would be available? Some people might set vaults on a very granular level, for example 4 vaults for flights/accommodation/food&booze/transport, to feel sense of achievement. Other people will just go for ‘holidays’.

  • As a project manager… I love milestones. Milestones for vault every 25%? :joy_cat:

  • Or mix milestones with option to add sub-vaults. Holidays are £2000 = £200 sightseeing + £300 food/booze + £1000 flights + £500 accommodation. Saving one sub-vault is now a milestone with notifications like “Grats! You saved enough for ‘sub-vault name’.” This seems quite complex now though. :wink:

  • I know videos are just prototypes, but throwing some edge cases to prove that your concept works might add extra benefit. For example, Figure 1 video, has all figures pretty close to each other. How it will look if I buy single bus ticket and… order three WD Red 3T drives from Amazon (£300)?

(Alex Sherwood) #10

This is by far the longest list of brand new feature ideas / enhancements that I’ve seen from a single person & it’s accompanied by beautiful designs! Amazing work.

My only criticism is that you’ve not acknowledged the reasons why Monzo haven’t built custom categories yet.
It’s one thing to design a user interface to manage them but as I’m sure you’d agree, it’s more important to rationalise the design decision first. You’ve explained why users would want this functionality but not why it would be a compromise by Monzo.

Custom timeframes tor the targets are also on their way.

Aside from that, there’s a lot of new ideas for Monzo users to consider requesting here :heart_eyes:

And it’s great to see that Monzo’s work so far is inspiring such awesome projects from users!

Edit - it’s great to see that Jonas (one of Monzo’s co-founders & CTO) is a fan too!

( surohpotsirhC) #11

This is seriously impressive work.

(Connor) #12

Cheers Toby, appreciate the compliment. I think pool could be really cool for lots of things. Plenty room for people to be creative with the functionality. It’s like mini/contained crowdfunding amongst friends.

(Connor) #13

Hello Simon, I did indeed put a lot of effort into that but i had so much fun vectorising all the GUI’s and getting them to do stuff. I basically have the entire application mocked up on my laptop in Flinto. I appreciate your kind feedback and I look forward to hearing what the design team thinks!

(Henry Pedro) #14

super slick. as mentioned before, youll need to adjust the video height so that the visuals can be properly appreciated.

(Connor) #15

Hello Marta,

Thanks soooo much for the lengthy feedback. I really appreciate all your insight. I’m gonna respond to all points now:

  • Videos - Yeah they are huge. I’m gonna fix them today. They’ve all been optimised for retina display out of Flinto so they’re like x2 pixel density, but have come out looking like x4 for some reason. Vimeo seems to be using their true size.

  • Initials - If two members of a pool have the same initials you could always use the next letter in their first name to coincide. eg if I (CG) was in a cool with Catherine Gray, then my name would appear as CoG and she would remain CG i guess. Lots of ways to work around.

  • Vault Expiry - Now that you’ve mentioned it expiry does sound like impending doom. Vault-Open sounds so much more positive!

  • Number of Vaults - I’m not sure why I chose 3 as the max number of vaults. I guess I was skeptical people would want to use more than that, but the feedback here indicates otherwise. UNLIMITED VAULTS! Well as many as the developers would see fit. My programming skills are average(maybe), I have no idea how hard that would be to implement.

  • Milestones - I also love milestones. A milestone push notification to every member of the group could be really cool. The sub vault thing is brilliant actually. In words it does seem a little bit complex, would be easy for people to comprehend with a little GUI mockup. Might do that today…

  • As for your last point, the values of those bars would be really different heights if you displayed then on a linear scale. Logarithmic scaling would still show you’ve spent waaaay more on the drives, but would keep everything at an aesthetically pleasing height.

Once again thanks for all that feedback. It’s all going in my thesis.

(Connor) #16

Hello Alex,

That is so so amazing to see and to hear. I’m absolutely blown away by the positive and constructive feedback i’ve received from everyone. Glad to hear custom time frames are on their way! Will be really cool to see how that works. Cannot believe that Jonas shared my article on twitter!

As for custom categories, I read that post a while back but for some reason I omitted my explanation as to why weren’t implemented already. It makes perfect sense though. BUT… I still think it would be more beneficial to the user’s personal experience if they were to categorise things with slightly more flexibility, rather than being confined to a few set categories and receiving a spending report telling them “hey, people similar to you are spending a 20% less on this category than you”. Getting them to work in tandem somehow would be amazing.

Anyways, thank you so much for the feedback. Super grateful.

(Alex Sherwood) #17

Thanks for the feedback Connor :slightly_smiling_face:

I agree!

(Fin) #18

That’s one hell of a job application Connor! Really liked your ideas, and clearly you have put a lot of thought and hard work into it. All the best with your Master’s :+1:

(Daniel Gray) #19

Amazing work Connor. Seriously impressive — I’m reluctant to detract in any way. The UI work is great, and features are very well thought through.

My only comment is that I think a non-fixed savings product would be more attractive — and more in line with Monzo’s goal of putting you in (educated/informed) control of your finances.

I’d love to have something like the vault as you have described, but with the date lock optional. I’m eager to save more, and doing it natively in Monzo would be fantastic, but my lifestyle is a bit too changeable to be comfortable locking that money away. That said, I’d be very tempted to have a second locked saving vault timed for say… when tax is due. The ‘Vault’ name an icon work either way — it discourages people from dipping in when they don’t really need to.

Additionally — though this is really expanding beyond reasonable scope — I think if Monzo gets serious about saving they have to offer plans with an ETF element. Consumers aren’t just learning the importance of saving, they are learning that they need to make that money work for them.

All in all, I’m really excited for Monzo’s future, all the more thanks to your post.

(Leonard) #20

Connor this is seriously impressive work - really hoping Monzo take on board these ideas. Really excited about your Vault and Pool mock ups!