Monica Crusellas | Designing the future of banking at Number26 (2015)
I’m Monica, a product designer from Barcelona with a focus in UI and interaction design. Finding user-centred solutions to solve real problems for people it’s something that makes me really happy. While I’m not designing I’m learning code, practising German or reading books.
product designer, UI designer, interaction designer, prototyping, UX designer, visual designer, technology, startups, Barcelona, Berlin, Europe
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Designing the future of banking at Number26 (2015)

Last update January 2016
NUMBER26 is a startup founded in 2014 that is building the most complete online bank account in Europe and it is the first one that can be managed entirely over the smartphone. With more than 70 employees in the headquarters of Berlin, NUMBER26 is an international Internet company which is growing very fast and revolutionizing Banking. Its vision is to make Mobile Banking easy and customer-oriented.


The Challenge

We wanted to reinvent the banking experience by building a complete digital bank focusing on the user experience. The goal was to create a competitive product that offered a simple, transparent and modern way to open a bank account and manage your money.
After launching the product, we rapidly got the attention of students and young professionals, who were the people who felt less represented in the rigid and old fashioned banking world.


My role

I joined the team as UX/UI designer. The product team was 8 people when I started, and for a few months I was the only designer. My main responsibility was to design new features for the mobile app, but since we were lacking design resources, I also worked on the webapp and the public website, as well as marketing. I worked really hard on keeping consistency and communicating the values of the company across all platforms.

Before leaving the team, I spent a few months mentoring new intern designers together with the other senior designer. While I worked on my own projects, I also helped the younger designers in theirs too.

Design Process and Goals

We worked Agile, so we were releasing an app update every Friday, for both iOS and Android apps. In order to keep up with our competitors and provide the best banking experience, I worked very close with project managers and developers to define the project specifications from the beginning, helping with feature ideation, building prototypes, getting constant feedback, doing user testing and hand overing specs and assets to the devs.

When the product team grew enough, we could build different teams by project. A team would have one designer, a front-end, a back-end dev and a product manager.
Designing for iOS and Android
At the very beginning we designed the same flows and interfaces for both iOS and Android. Luckily, the company was growing very fast and new designers joined. As a result of this growth we continued working to keep parity between features on both devices while making sure that experience felt native, yet uniquely NUMBER26. In this article written by my colleague Caro Hardy you can read how we turned the design of the Android app to Material Design.


The Success

When I joined on April 2015, N26 was a young digital bank startup with 30.000 customers and 3 main features: ID Now, that give the user the chance to open an account via video-call from their smartphone or laptop in less than 10 minutes; MoneyBeam, which is a system to send money in real time by email or SMS; and the possibility of withdrawing money worldwide free of charge.

On December 2015, N26 had reached over 100.000 customers, was launched in 6 other countries and the app was listed as one of the best apps of the year on Google Play and featured several times on Apple Store.

Regarding the features, the account has now the option of setting up an overdraft that you can switch on and off whenever you want. N26 also launched CASH26, a feature that gives the option of withdrawing and deposit cash from more than 600 partner stores such as supermarkets. And the company is about to release a savings and investments plan for all kind of users.


N26 bases its model on user behavior in order to provide the best user experience and create an accurate smart account.

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