22 Mar 2018 • 7mins •

Your new topbar: How we're building Yolt together with our community

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At Yolt, we want to empower people to do more with their money. To make that a reality we need to know just what our community needs to take control and make the most of their Yolt experience. That’s why we’ve been user-centric from the very beginning.

Since we launched our closed beta to 2500 beta testers way back in November 2016, we’ve been encouraging all of our users to tell us what we could do to make Yolt even better. To date, we’ve had over 15,000 suggestions for improving our features along with lots of cool new ideas for us to think about. Without our users, features like our new spending history graph and account recovery never would have happened! Our community has also helped us improve some of Yolt's original, core features – but more on that later.

If you're curious about how we develop Yolt and its features -- from the new to the improved -- read on to learn all about how we work with our epic community!

How we work as a team

To learn about how we work with our community, you need to understand a bit more about the Yolt team! Yolt is divided into several teams in London and Amsterdam. When a user gets in touch, they’re usually talking to someone from the User Engagement team here in London– they work to represent the voice of our users and champion the community above all else! Together, they work to keep a record of every single suggestion, big or small. When they spot a trend, they share their findings to the teams in Amsterdam to turn our users’ visions into a reality.

Over in Amsterdam we have lots of amazing developers who focus on transforming our user wish list into brand new features and app improvements! You can read all about our tech team and how they work here. Countries and teams aside, in most cases, our various teams are all working together, joining forces to deliver a product our community loves.

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Learning about and from our users

At Yolt, we also believe our team exists beyond the confines of our offices and extends right out into the community. We want to reach all corners and make as many of our users as happy as possible, so we make sure to work with our users across a lot of different touch points. Here’s how we make it happen:

Regular surveys

Before we get started on anything new, we need to get to know our users better first – we use anonymous surveys to reach as many people as possible, across the UK. Everyone’s opinion is valued and it gives us a chance to use the results to think about new features we’d like to bring out in the future. We’ll ask users how they’re getting on and sometimes we’ll even ask about general money habits too! Our surveys are all reaching as many different users as possible, so keep an eye on your email inbox!

In-app functionality

We’ve built user-engagement right into the app, so it’s easy to request new banks and features while you’re on the go. When a user gets in touch, a member from the User Engagement team will respond as quickly as they can to get you up and running or answer any questions. This is a great way for us to spot any errors and gives us the opportunity to catch up with the development team. This way they can perfect the app to make your experience as smooth as possible.

User testing meet ups

We also like to meet our users in person! Every few months, we invite a handful of people to come in and test out the app, so we can listen to their suggestions and chat about future features over a slice of pizza! It’s also a great way for our developers to find out what people really think and even get a few final tweaks in before releasing a new update. Sometimes we’ll even give users early access to new features to try before they hit the shelves. (If you want to get involved in our next testing session, shoot us a message).

Celebrations

We believe in celebrating our successes and milestones, so once we’re ready for a new release, the User Engagement team gets back in touch with each and every person who helped make it happen! We’ve even been known to celebrate with a community party once in a while, like our Beta Thank You party last year!

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We reach out to and learn from our users in all of these ways so that we’re confident we’re making as many people happy as possible. As we said earlier, it’s this very process that leads to new features and improving core parts of the app, for example, our newly re-imagined topbar. If you’ve been part of the topbar discussion, we can officially share that as of March 22nd, 2018, it’s undergone a major makeover! You can read all about the big changes – and see how our users made it happen – below.

User testing in action: Our new topbar!

The Yolt community has been divided on our topbar since day one. While some have really enjoyed and benefited from having a monthly payday countdown and seeing their predicted debits in one place, it was clear that these features needed to be more flexible. Everyone’s different and we wanted to meet as many needs as possible.

There have been a lot of requests, suggestions and ideas on how to make the topbar really work, so we kept track of every single comment – good and bad—about the Yolt dashboard. ‘Left to Spend’ and ‘Smart Balance’ came up a lot, and we decided it was time to make some exciting new changes to the topbar as a whole.

These changes include….

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New ‘Total balance’

You can now view your overall balance at the top of your dashboard – you no longer have to navigate to the Accounts tab. But that’s not all, you can also pick and choose which accounts you want to see in your new total balance - perfect if you like to hide specific accounts from your spending! For example, if you use one of your current accounts for savings, you can remove it from your ‘Total balance’ for a more accurate picture of what you have to spend.

New ‘Left to Spend’ tile

Worried about ‘Left to Spend’? With the new topbar change, we’ve moved our ‘Left to Spend’ feature into its very own tile. This comes with two key benefits: You can now set your own monthly start date (it no longer has to be the first of the month) and you can decide how much of your income is included within that period. So, if you get paid weekly, biweekly or by the end of the month, it’s easier to factor that in to your overall spending for the month.

More control over upcoming debits

Your direct debits will no longer affect your ‘Total Balance’ unless you want them to. You can select to include them or not – the choice is yours!

We really hope you enjoy the new improvements we’ve made in this update as much as we do. There’s still so much more to come in the next couple of months and we’re super excited about working on them alongside our community. Thanks again to everyone who helped bring our new topbar to life!

If you’d like to share your thoughts on these new features, join the conversation by tweeting at @getyolt! Or if you’d like to get involved in our future user testing events, feel free to drop us a line at hello@yolt.com!