Steve Pole

Engineering Lead at TransferWise


Platforms not conventions: delivering a consistent user experience across autonomous teams
Thursday 15:00 - 15:45
User Experience
Organisation Design

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TransferWise is a collection of vertical autonomous teams trying to solve customer problems. This flat structure gives us great focus, and allows us to iterate fast, but makes certain things more difficult. How do you drive a consistent experience to customers when there is no single owner to demand it?

In this session we’ll talk about the difference between a convention and a platform, and how effective platforms can drive consistency through self-interest. Reducing both technical, and design debt, and raising the overall quality of the customer experience.

We’ll look at practical steps, including the adoption of a style guide, component libraries, and an internal open source model.


Steve Pole is an Engineering Lead at TransferWise, the international money transfer platform.

TransferWise is the low cost and fair way of transferring money internationally. Using peer-to-peer technology and without any hidden fees, it makes sending money abroad up to eight times cheaper compared to using a bank. TransferWise customers send over £800 million every month using the platform which already attracted $117 million from investors such as world’s largest VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson and Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal.

At TransferWise, Steve focuses on customer experience and front end quality, customer communications, and API strategy. Prior to TransferWise, Steve was a founder and CTO at Alchemy Social, the world’s first 3rd party platform for managing Facebook advertising. Alchemy was meanwhile acquired by Experian in 2011.

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