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From fintech to health: designing the everyday at Collaborate Bristol 2017

By Maria Santos

Digital Marketing Manager


“The best yet” – this is how Nomensa has described Collaborate Bristol 2017 during a quick chat with People for Research. With only one week to go until the event, which happens on 23rd June at the Watershed, we talked to the Nomensa team and one of the event speakers, Sam Michael, a Senior Designer at Monzo Bank.

collaborate bristol 2017According to Henry Carroll, who’s in charge of events at Nomensa, “this year is set to be more interactive than ever before – not only do we have our usual groundbreaking talks from industry experts, but attendees can expect lots of activities to take part in too, including virtual and mixed reality demos, plus the opportunity to win some giveaways”.

The new expert clinics happening at Collaborate Bristol 2017 are one of the reasons why interactivity will be one of the event’s buzzwords: besides the Social Media Clinic organised by Nomensa, People for Research will run its own Participant Recruitment Clinic during the day. You can book your ticket here and guarantee your slot!

One of the transversal topics at Collaborate Bristol 2017 is how great design can change the way we experience everyday tasks, such as paying bills or booking a doctor’s appointment. “We like to put together a line-up for Collaborate that brings together experts from a diverse cross section of disciplines and industries. Design shapes every part of our lives and we feel it’s important to reflect this in our line-up”, Henry Carroll adds.

With fintech becoming such a hot topic over the last few years, we asked a few questions to Sam Michael, one of the masterminds behind Britain’s mobile-only Monzo Bank.

Designing for a bank is surely a unique experience. How would you describe it?

It’s unique in that I haven’t built a bank from the ground up before. But, in all honestly, it’s really just another design problem that needs to be solved!

Fintech has been a hot topic over the last few years. Do you feel like a lot has changed in the finance/banking industry in that time?

collaborate bristol 2017Not entirely, not yet at least. I think more can be done to streamline our financial lives and hopefully with the arrival of PSD2 [the Revised Payment Service Directive that is set to change retail banking and how banks handle their customers’ details] next year we should hopefully see an explosion of innovative solutions surrounding our financial lives.

One of the problems fintech still deals with is the fact that finance just isn’t exciting for most people. Can good design fix this?

I think one of the reasons people might be disengaged with the industry is that money, in general, isn’t something we care to think about much, only at times when bills need to be paid, which is hardly exciting. I also think banks are generally quite frustrating to deal with. They should do more to make it easier to manage our money. That’s something Monzo is hoping to fix and solid design is going help us get there.

We are increasingly turning to our devices to check our balance, pay bills, etc. Do you feel like companies are doing enough in terms of design, UX and usability to attract more people into doing this and simultaneously fixing negative user experiences?

Time will tell I suppose, we recently hit 200,000 customers at Monzo with a growth rate of 4% week on week, so it seems a product based on strong design principles and user values can attract more people. Companies like Google, Amazon, Uber, Apple, Spotify and Facebook are setting the bar of people’s expectations high, so in order to gain mass adoption you need to be aiming to deliver experiences at or beyond these levels.

You are talking at Collaborate Bristol. Can you reveal a bit about your presentation?

I will share the Monzo story so far, our growing community and some of the principles we use to design a bank of the future.

Collaborate Bristol 2017 hits the Silicon Gorge on 23rd June. There are still a few tickets to the event, so if you are thinking about attending, don’t waste any more time. People for Research will be running a free Participant Recruitment Clinic during the day, so you can either secure your slot now or drop in on the day.

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Maria's signature picAbout the author: Maria Santos is the Digital Marketing Manager at People for Research. You can find her on the People for Research’s Facebook or Twitter accounts, regularly engaging with potential participants, market research experts and the UX community.

About People for Research: We recruit participants for UX and usability testing and market research. We work with award winning UX agencies across the UK and partner with a number of end clients who are leading the way with in-house user experience and insight.

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