Monzo and Starling Bank have designed two of the largest mobile-only banks in the UK.

Having tried both, I’m interested to know which features people find the most useful.

Secondly, I’ll be looking for features users feel are missing.

I’ll take their suggestion and frame my design challenge around it.

What makes these mobile banking apps popular?

Real-time notifications

Get notified as soon as you make a payment.

Spending insights

Whether categorised by type or merchant, monthly targets can be applied so you stay within your budget.

Fast customer service

Support provided through an in-app chat feature.


If you have lost your card, you can lock the card in-app instantly.

What’s missing?

Following these interviews, users then shared what they felt these apps were missing.

I’ve summarised and crafted this feedback into three design questions to create focus but still allow for creative exploration.

The design challenge

How much do I have left to spend today?

What’s the impact I’m trying to have?

My focus is to improving savings for users.

As banks typically make their money through lending, saving features are not prioritised as strongly as spending.

With this in mind, I want to design features that encourage users to be more effective in saving and investing.

Possible solutions to this problem

To calculate a daily spend, I’ll need to capture the user’s regular income, recurring expenses and savings.

Using Monzo’s data, I could identify the average money in, average money out and then capture the amount they wish to save.

As a user spends, this daily budget will decrease. Users should also be able to see the impact of spending over consecutive days.

This will naturally encourage positive emotions when they see spending less accumulates more money for tomorrow.

Outlining a user flow

As a starting point, I’ve outlined the user flow into basic steps and actions.

  1. Do you want to calculate your daily budget? User selects Yes/No
  2. What’s your monthly income? User defines monthly income amount
  3. What’s your monthly outgoings? User defines monthly outgoing amount
  4. How much would you like to save? User defines saving amount
  5. Calculate daily budget amount User sees graphic of daily budget

I’ll use Monzo’s current app as a framework to incorporate and refine this flow.

Incoroporating steps 1–4 within the ‘Targets’ view seems to be the best solution.

  1. On the ‘Spending’ view, user selects ‘Target’
  2. On selecting ‘Targets’ user defines amounts
  3. Back on the ‘Home’ view, user sees new daily budget display

Sketching designs

As I now have a refined user flow. I’ll start to sketch ideas for the new ‘daily budget’ display.

Here, I’m exploring variations using graphs and pie charts.

High fidelity designs

Taking these basic sketches and screenshots from the app on iOS I’ve increased the fidelity of the possible solutions.

Working prototype

Following user feedback and refinement of the designs, I’ve produced a final click-through prototype for users to get a better sense of the user flow that was defined earlier in the process.

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