UIX opinions

I was interested reading this post and wanted to reply, but didn’t want to take that thread down a rabbit hole. It just goes to show how people see things very differently when it comes to the user interface experience.

Over the past years I have used Starling, Monzo, Revolut quite a lot. For me, the UIX needs to work for me if I am going to continue using it beyond the first five minuets of play time. In my book it needs to tick a good few boxes to stand the test of time. I’m going to provide my own opinions about three specific products: Revolut, Monzo, and Starling. They are just my opinions.

The app works well. It’s quite fast. But it’s god-damn awful on the eyes once the sun has set. I understand they’re working on a dark-mode which is good as that sea-of-white is just painful during the evening. It has lot of graphs. It also includes a lot of little animated graphics for their products and features. Most other stuff is simply text and numbers.

But boy does it have features… lots of them. I think it’s already quite unwieldy; and that “Dashboard” navigation button is as long as your arm unless you turn off some of the items. Kudos for building the features, but it’s definitely time for an overhaul.

This, like their community, is a bit marmite-esque. I joined Monzo (then Mondo) back in 2016, and the app actually hasn’t changed all that much since then - it’s very recognisable. Too recognisable. They have added lots of options here and there, but using an outdated design.

Back in it’s prepaid-card days Mondo was great. It was groundbreaking. But now Monzo is a fully-fledged grown-up bank, with lots of complexities, and as new things have come along they’ve just kinda been slotted in somewhere. Anywhere. Frankly, it’s a bloody mess. So bad in fact, that I closed my account permanently at the weekend, never to return. Bye bye Monzo.

I didn’t like the Starling UIX at the beginning. It was a bit boring. But it has certainly had a few facelifts and tweaks over the years, albeit incremental ones. It feels grown-up. Much more professional than fintech rivals, and more professional than the big banks too.

What I find interesting that they obviously have road-map into which products and features will eventually be plugged. So once you get the basics (i.e. tap top-left to select the account, tap top-right for the ‘add-ons’ of the chosen account, and tap the bottom navigation for the core stuff) it makes quick navigation sense. Things aren’t buried too deeply. And as features are added, they just appear where they should without too much thinking; I like that. I also like the logic of the payment flows, iconography, and stylish use of graphic touches.

Of course the account selector gives them lots of opportunities to add different types of products in the future without a whole new redesign of the app, nor indeed squeezing things haphazardly. It feels polished and designed with intelligence. I don’t want to go on an in-app treasure hunt to find out how to do something: it should be obvious and consistent.

The fly in the ointment however is their ‘pulse’. They need to do something more with it: I actually don’t care what, just anything.

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You should look at the Revolut Beta, it is a reworked UI for their new features and tries to organise them more logically. It is still quite bright, but it’s a grey background not white. It’s subtle but it does help.

I’ve not used Starling, but with Monzo I quite like the UI but I think that’s because I use it so rarely. I don’t think I would like it if I used it more often as I think, like you, I am not exactly sure where things are.


They still have one that’s available?

I agree with most of what you put tbh.

Like you I also move bank if I can’t enjoy the user experience after that first initial look around.

I also found Revolut messy but the beta irons every fault our that you mentioned imo.

Monzo I guess has same “style” but to me they streamlined it and it looks somewhat more polished.

Taking away Revolut as they don’t have banking license.

My favour towards Monzo over starling UI wise is the fact that to me starling started to change but stalled at some point. I’m a designer so it does bother me that there are the below things that makes it seem not polished.

  • the app icon and logo don’t match the redesign to the new card

  • to me all the pages seem more modernised but the home screen is unchanged and still purple.

  • joint account card identical to personal

  • the settings button should be on every page imo you have to navigate to home to get back to it.

To me the app just doesn’t flow well.
Monzo felt more polished.
Revolut beta seems to be the real deal
Starling if it did a nice 2020 overhaul would have my custom back.
I’ll stick with Monzo until Revolut has U.K. banking license or starling starts to finish its refresh.

I think you raise a valid point though that each person has a very different experience and that shapes who they prefer design wise and as a bank in general.

Great to read another’s thoughts on it though :+1:t2:

If you’re on Android you can just join on their Play Store page. I’m not sure how to join it on iOS. The v7 beta just launched.

version 7 is not available on TestFlight. in fact the beta version available on iOS is the same as the released version on the App Store.

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Starling’s the UI I have most exposure to. I like it, but there are some things that don’t work so well and some things that were clearly an afterthought.

The pulse is useless in its current form. All it would take to fix it would making the period for which it shows spending selectable (daily/weekly/monthly/annual) and setting a day of the cycle on which it would select. Bosh, done. - But they wont do that, because that’s not the way they want you to use it.

The ‘action button’ (on android) that brings up your ledger is an inappropriate use of that particular UI element. They won’t admit to that, so just get used to it.

Perhaps the ledger display aught to be integrated into the ‘spending’ screen, which I don’t really use in its present form.

Other things have got messy over time as features have been added. For example your main card is in ‘card’, from the menu… but your connected card is buried in the goal. Also while we are at it, why are goals (savings) and loans (the exact opposite of saving) lumped together? It’s not as though having a separate screen and menu item would have cost them any more to do properly.

Revolut was pretty nice when I joined in Dec 2017. Since then they’ve been slowly degrading it.

First the God-awful spending graph that took up half the screen (glad that’s disappeared), oddly placed buttons, and now a very stark colour scheme.

The menu system also leaves something to be desired. Insisting on a bottom bar with only five spaces means they’re left with lumping everything useful into ‘dashboard’… which translates from Revolutese to ‘Everything we’ve got in one long, confusing line’.

Monzo is not one I go into often, but I had a look…

Again, not a fan of the bottom-hugging menu bar. This one’s got only three things on it, so the over-spill is actually at the top of the screen, in a different menu system - which seems unnecessary.

Things seem a little hard to find, but everything’s there. I’d probably get used to it.

Starling wins for me out of these, but it’s horses for courses, I guess.

You just reminded me that they have their settings menu in a settings (profile) menu.

The dashboard has gone! Here are two of the five tabs now…

Edit: I imagine these actually show something useful if you actually use these features.


Great post, @Rob, pretty much word-for-word in my book. I’m a Starling chap, and as far as that blot on the landscape is concerned (the pulse), it’s become something I just flick up to get to my feed.

I’ve long since stopped sweating over it. It could have gone long ago, but I’ll not diss the Starling development methods - at 99% good, that’ll do me :grinning:.

Loving the new Revolut beta screenshots I’m seeing. Would love to get access.

I would love to use starling as it’s the first fin tech I used and had as my main account for almost two years, but for me too much stuff annoys me on there, small stuff too like the sole and joint account card being identical.

I’m picky and hate cluttered accounts. I’m not great at juggling multiple apps hence me choosing of what works best across all.

I might give starling a go for a month and see how it compares experience wise

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Starling is currently working on the card similarity issue :slight_smile:

Revolut is also looking at acquiring a banking license, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue in 2 years or so thankfully

If starling ironed out those issues I would move back across.

Looking forward to Revolut banking license though.

I found there instant access vault for metal customer with 1.35% interest quite competitive

Just remember you need to keep approx £8,900 in this account for a full year just to recoup the cost of your annual Metal subscription before you’re any better off than using a free savings product like Marcus.


That assumes that the only reason for getting Metal is the savings account rate.

For @Recchan it might be a metal card, for most it will be the interbank FX or other genuinely useful features.

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7.0 beta is now on TestFlight. It’s a really nice UI, but one small detail that would have been nice, would be to swipe left and right to switch between the top menu screens. It’s a little annoying trying to reach them on a big phone.

This looks to be 1.05% now?

Though I agree with cap, you wouldn’t get metal just for the savings, so you have to consider the additional value (that is actually made use of)

Unfortunately this seems to be full?

No idea. Like Monzo, Revolut started showing up for me in TestFlight just because I had the app installed. I hadn’t tested Revolut in TestFlight before now, but I was able to join and download version 7 this morning with no issue. TestFlight does have limited number of invites, but I’m not sure if that includes users that are auto-enrolled from having the release version of an app installed.

Yes it does. But obviously no-one is going to do that. My point was just to illustrate how much you need stashed away and for how long before it becomes particularly attractive. For those who already find value in the Metal account, it is (was?) a good rate.

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Currently the rate is still 1.35%. It goes to 1.05% at the end of this month, I believe.

Ahhh did not realise it’s going down but,
I had 20k in when I was actively using the account and use metal for many things.

Travel insurance, fx fees, stocks, cheaper phone insurance ect. My fiancé is based in China and I travel there often.

It was nice pull back some of the fee through metal vault interest.

Shame it’s going down really.