How we built the new Home screen, by the people who got us here

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In a previous post we shared an update on the new Home screen. Now we’re sharing what went into the research, planning, design and build that took this from an initial idea to putting it in the hands of more than 8 million people.

Connor - Product Management

Connor Pinches

We’ve been working on this for over a year now. Carefully experimenting with various changes, running lots of customer research to understand if we were heading in the right direction and listening closely to our awesome Community members feedback too.

A lot’s changed since the last redesign. We launched Monzo Plus, Monzo Premium, Monzo Flex and Instant Access Savings Pots, expanded our budgeting tools with Trends, and a lot more customers are managing their non-Monzo accounts in the app now. That’s by no means everything but it’s enough to make my point: the app needed redesigning to work best with our evolving products and features.

The new experience better supports all the things our customers do with Monzo today as well as carving out space for the future.

Lee and Sam - Product Design

Sam and Lee

Our app had outgrown its own design and architecture. It was way too hard for customers to get the most out of Monzo because they couldn’t discover things or easily see their full financial picture.

We’ve heard from more than 1,000 Monzo customers throughout this project. It was always important that this insight guided the design process. In particular, it was crucial customers could stay on top of their main jobs and actions. Things like viewing balances, copying card details and searching for transactions.

Finally, we wanted a simple design. Simplicity isn’t the absence of things, it’s bringing order to complexity. And that’s what we’ve aimed for with this new Home screen design.

Liam - User Research

Liam Everett

We didn’t always get things right early on. A lot of the early feedback we got said that some of our initial ideas were overwhelming and confusing... the opposite of what we were going for. We learnt that customers wanted the option to control what they see on their Home screen, and that’s how we ended up building the customisation element of the new design.

That’s just one example of how this design was built on customer input. Right from the beginning, we framed our entire research plan around understanding customer problems deeply and made solving those problems central to our design process.

Dylan, Luke, James, Theo, Tulara, Ivan and Robin - Engineering

App Evo Engineers

Before we started, the app was built in such a way that it was difficult for teams to build new features because they had to implement everything from scratch each time. We wanted to resolve this as well as ensure the best experience for customers. 

In the code we’ve worked together as backend and frontend engineers to guarantee a consistent, high-quality experience for all our Monzo colleagues using this new framework. Using a server-driven architecture for this has given us a lot of flexibility and efficiency, but we’ve made sure that this doesn’t come at the expense of delightful user interactions like spotlights (and many more to come).

Sarah - Quality Assurance

Sarah Byng

I feel really lucky to be involved in this. I joined Monzo 4 years ago, just as we were finalising the previous app design. In that time, Monzo and its customers have changed, and the new look reflects that shift in what information is most useful to everyone.

My job was to assist the team in making sure we tested the new layout and features we developed, as well as helping to find and diagnose any bugs or unexpected behaviours.

We converted all of our existing internal tests to run for the new app layout, while continuing to test the old version that lots of customers were still using.

Katherine - Data Science

Katherine Bryant

We had a really clear vision and mission statement and my job was to translate that into tangible metrics so that we could understand how customers were using the new Home screen.

We’ve run 4 major and 2 minor experiments over the last 7 months, separating out new and existing customers, who have different needs and should be measured with different metrics.

We had to make it easier for our customers to find all the products and features we’ve built over the last couple of years, while keeping it simple for them to do all the core banking jobs you’d expect from the app. We’ve worked closely with User Research to understand common feedback themes or pain points, build components to fix this and then monitor the impact that has.

We’re not finished yet, but by establishing our new baseline we’re able to set ourselves ambitious goals for the future.

Dani - Product Marketing

Dani Shipp

Don’t tell the others but I think I have the most exciting job in this whole project: deciding how we talk to customers about the new Home screen.

We learned tonnes from the experiments we ran and all the feedback from customers who took the new experience for a spin. Big thanks to the Monzo Community in particular – your input has really shaped the direction we took.

One important thing that we learned was how to introduce the new Home screen to customers for the first time. It’s tricky to find the right time to introduce a new design, but we learned that interrupting customers when they enter the app to do a task is something to avoid. 

We decided to offer customers the chance to ‘snooze’ upgrading their Home screen if we’d enrolled them at a time that didn’t work for them, and then prompted them again later at what was hopefully a better opportunity.

Getting the new Home screen into customers’ hands is something I’m super proud of but it’s not the end. We’ll carry on improving it as part of our mission to make money work for everyone.