– a new website for foodies

23 Nov

Over the past few weeks, Colin, Joseph, Julia and I have been working away on a tasty new website called I think it looks mouthwatering!

Lovefood homepage

The idea is that recipes from top chefs are collected together to form a definitive ‘Guide’ that’s full of authentic dishes, so you know they’re tried, tested and delicious.

Lovefood Guide

Giles Coren is one of the key writers for the site and recipes come from celebrity chefs, like Jamie Oliver and chefs from well known restaurants such as Henry Dimbleby (Leon) and Rene Redzepi (Noma).

As usual, we’re still working on adding to the site, agile style so it will evolve over time. Next to come is registration functionality and being able to comment on recipes.



‘How-to’ get richer

18 Nov

We’ve just launched our shiny new How-to Guides at

They do just what they say on the tin – whatever your financial aims are, whether it’s managing milestones in life such as getting married, or being able to go on more holidays, or build up some savings, there’s a guide to help you achieve it.

How-to Guide homepage

I think they look pretty enticing with the carousel for navigation. Each guide has the tasks broken down within it, so there’s loads of information here.  I even learnt a thing or two from our testing!

We’re going to add the ability for users to comment very shortly – some of the most useful tips have been from the users.

How-to Guide task

We’ve been working on some other things too, which I’ll post about very shortly.

Designed by Julia, built by Phil and coded by Joseph – excellent work guys!

Join a group on

7 Oct

Groups, our recently built page was moved from the footer into the header in yesterday’s release, so we’re looking forward to seeing lots of activity on this area of the site.

It’s supposed to work more like a community of people with similar interests, so you should easily be able to find answers to pretty much anything and it doesn’t need to be limited to personal finance….

Hope you like it – have a go! I’d be interested to hear any feedback.

Never again be a victim of keyboard hijack

15 Sep

Control+Alt+Delete to lock your keyboard is a bit of a palava and if you don’t select ‘lock computer’ afterwards, you might risk not actually locking it….

Tech team today showed me Windows+L – works a dream! Thank you!

Mortgage update: Apply for your mortgage online

2 Aug

….with our new application form!

Begin by searching

The idea is that a user can filter down their mortgage options using our mortgage search and then select a mortgage they would like.

One good thing is that we check to see if they are eligible as part of the process, so the user won’t see products that they might not be able to get (as you usually do on best buy tables).

Apply online

Once they know which product they want, they can go on to fill in an application form for that product. I outlined it on our company blog here.

The main aim with the form was to  try and make it simple to fill out because most people associate a mortgage application with lots of boring paperwork, and it’s true, there is a lot of information that’s needed. I counted over 500 fields!

So our aim was to make the form as short as possible whilst still recording enough detail.

Initially we looked at all of the information that was required in an application and removed any fields that we felt could be collected at a later stage. The credit card details information fell into this category, as these can be obtained by the mortgage advisor.

We reused as much information as we could from the registration and previous journey that the customer has taken.

So,the form is prepopulated where possible: the image below is for a non-registered user, and the the one below that is for a registered user.

We divided the form into sections and, you only see the ones that you need. For example, if you’ve worked at the same job for more than three years, we will not need to know about your previous employment.

As the form is pretty long, also use the functional navigation to indicate how far along in the process you are and avoid disorientation!

There’s also a bit of encouragement here and there on the form!

The side bar indicates what information the user will need to have to hand, to save them time.

Above this, is the “We’re here to help’ the button that the user can click on to get help at any point throughout the form. This goes through to our mortgage team who can give help on the form itself or can advise on a mortgage, whatever the user needs.

Once the user submits their application, they get an email with details of their application. The mortgage team at also get an email alerting them to the new application and they can view it so avoid asking rafts of questions and can get on with helping with the application.

So hopefully the process of applying for a mortgage is a bit less tedious than normal.

What is the Web Layer?

30 Jul

The web layer brings together the design and code instructions in a way that a user can understand on a web page. These pages are written in HTML (normally using CSS too because this enables easier control of the look of the site) and are displayed in a browser.


30 Jul

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. Charles Mingus

Sometimes projects can be confusing if they get a bit technical. As a not really very technical product manager, I’ve found out some handy bits of  info that could be useful for other PM’s and pulled them all into a glossary which I hope is useful.