From our brightly lit office space to the typeface choice on our website (Pilat and Sohne), every detail at Monograph becomes an opportunity for a considered design project. As a founding team of trained designers we bring our experience from having worked in offices all over the world to our San Francisco studio. With both a rigorous and playful approach to design thinking, we move well beyond the visuals – designing everything including marketing, our sales process, and even our internal APIs.
Our lead designer, Sid, joined Point after working at Apple as an interface designer. Sid works alongside our engineers to brainstorm solutions to different user experience problems (like our onboarding flow, which is quite complex as we require an ID and SSN to open a bank account with Point) and ensure our app matches up with mockups.
Banking and card products don’t have a reputation of providing great user experiences. We believe that in this regulated and commoditized space, design has the potential to be a key differentiator.
The physical debit cards serve as a canvas for us to lean into thoughtful design that allows our customers to express themselves with a more creative way to pay. This is why we collaborated with a talented Chicago-based artist, Laura Berger, to develop unique card designs that stand out from the crowd on any restaurant table when the bill arrives.
Beyond the aesthetics and quality of interactions, we are at our core a design-driven company.
That means that we’re intentional about everything we do. From a product perspective, we make every decision asking, “How is the user going to experience this? How will it look, feel, and sound to a user?”
Everything is designed, and when things are “designed poorly,” it is really only because they weren’t consciously designed, they were mindlessly designed. We were a design-driven company before we even hired our first designer, and we will continue to be an intentional, design-driven company even when we hire our 100th. Everyone here—from support to engineering—contributes ideas and feedback to our product design.
In a way, being a design-driven company means being a questions-driven company. Most companies are started with a specific product in mind—an answer (I want to make this tee shirt). We actually started this company with a question: “How can we empower everyone to build the internet?” We tried many answers until we got to the right one.
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Since the very beginning of Labelbox, we’ve had a design-oriented culture. When we brought on our Head of Design David from Dropbox, he helped bring a more methodical approach to how we do design at Labelbox. (David said they’d sometimes do 100 iterations before moving forward with a design at Dropbox.) Like most early stage startups, the question of “how can we go faster?” comes up often. To us, it is much easier to make 10% better decisions than making engineering 10% faster. We invest a lot of time in designing things the right way before and will do a lot of iterations before we write a single line of code. (Maybe not a 100, but still a lot!)
We recently did a design sprint where five team members set aside four entire days to just focus on how to improve labeling speed. The team's efforts are now powering a new strategic direction and we are optimistic about doing more design sprints.
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