We've Added Some New Categories

(Hugo Cornejo) #82

That’s very kind of you. As we’re saying, we know there’s room for improvement and we might end up having custom categories if we were to find the right solution for it. We don’t think that’s the case right now.

I think that’s exactly my point. This whole thing is harder than it seems.

(Edward) #83

It’s tolerable for YNAB’s mobile app because there is another method to add categories, and if I were to try and use YNAB as a mobile-only app it would be similarly nonfunctional as Monzo’s current implementation. Monzo have explicitly rejected both desktop clients and a web interface, so have rather painted themselves into a corner when it comes to some very basic aspects of usability that are trivial for other services to provide.

(Gareth) #84

In an ideal world, you should rarely need to set a category so it makes sense to keep the options broad, and I hope tags get more integration for us that like to be more precise.

Either the same place you hid it (settings?), or “More”. For what you lose in an extra click, you gain estate removing categories that are unlikely to be clicked - e.g. how many Amazon purchases are Finances or Tesco shopping as a Bill?


@hugo would you not consider this in future to make tags work better…

(Hugo Cornejo) #86

Of course we would! This is an iterative process and we aim to improve things constantly.

Only caveat though is that we’re a small team so usually we need to focus on an area for a fixed amount of time and then move on into something else. It’s a bit of a whack-a-mole game with new features vs iteration of things that could be better :hammer:


Or employ more people?

(Only available in amateur ) #88

They are https://monzo.com/careers/

(Peter Roberts) #89

I disagree with you there Hugh :stuck_out_tongue: - from the user perspective it’s most definitely a bug. Don’t ask the user to customize something that you know won’t actually do anything… it’s as broken as can be in terms of user flow… regardless of the reason on the backend :wink:


Where do you stop?

And often throwing more people at something doesn’t make it happen quicker (the proverbial nine women can’t have a baby in a month :wink:)

For me, and my personal use case, I’m really just missing Housing and Charity as categories. I’m getting around Housing by using Family (feels odd, but I’m going with it) and trying to use tags for charity.

For me, focusing on the problem that we’re trying to solve, rather than debating a category list, is probably the way to go.

Thinking from first principles, I want my charity donations to be readily accessible for my tax return. I make monthly direct debit payments as well as ad hoc donations throughout the year (sometimes through the donate via text message system).

So while a charity category would be fab, I’d get the same outcome by being able to pre-set direct debits with notes / tags (so I don’t have to do it monthly) and by being able to split a transaction and tag a portion of it separately (as the SMS charity donation in this example isn’t all of my bill).

Similarly, my need for a housing category would go away if my housing direct debits could be auto-tagged.

(Tom ) #91

You’re holding it wrong!


Funny how things come around… Card declined at Next (online)

If you can’t maintain your existing features and build more at a competitive rate then you are insufficiently resourced.

The whole system is modular - Hugo appears to be saying they switch their limited resources around the various modules. I’m suggesting they add more people so they can work on more modules (or features) at the same time.

(Robin Zaragoza) #93

Super excited about this! Has been very difficult to track expenses for my daughter to date, so the family one will be very useful. But I’m not seeing these changes on my app (Android). When will they be visible?



I’d argue that this isn’t what’s happening here. Maintenance (to my mind, at least) is not improvement. It’s making sure that things are working, squashing bugs etc. While I applaud the sentiment, it’s impossible (with limited resources) to be continually iterating every (micro) service.

It seems to me that this is a clear trade-off of development effort. More engineers might be helpful generally but I don’t think you can reach the conclusion because we don’t have the feature you personally want (and who doesn’t?) that Monzo is under resourced.

(Zac) #95

Being able to set holiday periods would be a great feature - you’d just still want to be able to select things as being part of that category outside of that period. E.g. buying insurance or flights before should be selectable.


Have we all got new categories? Mine haven’t updated :pensive:

(Kenny Grant) #97

A long list is not breakage, it’s just a long list, this doesn’t seem a compelling argument to me against adding categories, but I do see there are tradeoffs and you’re trying to choose the right ones, the balance just seems off at the moment in favour of categories being far too broad (and thus not very useful). I’m not convinced Monzo are taking the tough decisions here, because no decisions have been made on categories in a long time, but it’s good to hear the door is open to more changes at some point.


Oh yes, I meant to mention this! It’d be super helpful to see into for all trips/holidays, but being able to factor in things like flights paid for before the event.

(At the risk of repeating myself, though, I wonder if there’s a better / different approach that could be used to solve this problem. I’m not a category would solve all of this problem…)

(Alex Sherwood) #99

It’s often harder to keep a design simple than to add more things.

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Steve Jobs - source.

Obviously simple should also meet users needs too & getting there is a process.


I’m not, Hugo did.


We might have to agree to disagree but that’s not what I understood from Hugo’s post.

You said

My point was, differently expressed, that Monzo are maintaining their existing features and are building more at a competitive rate (we know, for example, that joint accounts are on the roadmap which I imagine is of significant effort).

While we might all want additional categories, I don’t think that this because Monzo isn’t properly resourced. (I mean, they might be, but I don’t think the conclusion flows).

Anyway, that’s my view. Whether I’m disagreeing with you or with Hugo, I’m not sure. :wink: