Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Jessica Lascar (Product Designer) 🖼

Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:


Welcome one, welcome all. Forum friends and family, it’s your favourite time of the week!


Crowdfunding has officially begun for existing investors. We’ve already raised almost £2million at time of writing! You can follow along here and it’s going to be fun to see how fast it grows tomorrow, when the investment will open up to many more people! We’ve had a range of different articles in the press since the announcement, that have caused a lot of debate. Debate is healthy. Just please don’t call us a hipster bank.

I googled the phrase, and came up with this.


It’s my utter joy to tell you that I don’t know anybody at Monzo that looks like this.

Myth well and truly debunked. :muscle:

Anyhoo, let’s get on with the show!

As Yoda might say : “read first all the previous Q&A’s, you must”

*Click here to see all previous Q&As*

Week 1 : Chris MacLean, Customer Operations & Vulnerable Customers :santa:t2:

Week 2 : James Nicholson, iOS Engineer :green_apple:

Week 3 : Tara Mansfield, People Operations Manager :woman_technologist:t5::man_technologist:t3:

Week 4 : James Routley, Backend Engineer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 5 : Hugh Wells, Customer Operations :policeman:t3:‍♂

Week 6 : Naz Malik, Technical Specialist :computer:

Week 7 : Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain (Calls & Social Media) :telephone_receiver:

Week 8 : Emma Northcott, COps Scaling Team :balance_scale:

Week 9 : Jarno Wolf, COps Financial Crime Specialist & Squad Captain :wolf:

Week 10 : Maria Campbell, Head of People :woman_office_worker:t2::man_office_worker:t4:

Week 11 : Jim Amey, Night COps Captain :bat: :crescent_moon:

Week 12 : Richard Cook, Online Community Manager :man_cook:

Week 13 : Beatrice Borbon, Content & Press Manager :newspaper:

Week 14 : Tom Blomfield, CEO :crown:

Week 15 : Ella Johanny, COps/Hiring :handshake:

Week 16 : Harry Ashbridge, Writer :writing_hand:t3:

Week 17 : Beth Scott, Overnight COps :cat2:

Week 18 : Georgie Parmenter, Executive Assistant to the Founders :blonde_woman:

Week 19 : Vulnerable Customers Team :sunflower:

Week 20 : Leah Templeman, Interim VP People :sun_with_face:

Week 21 : Daniel Chatfield, Backend Engineer, Fincrime & Security :closed_lock_with_key:

Week 22 : Valerio Magliulo, Product Manager - Revenue Team :money_with_wings:

Week 23 : Sam Watkin, Operations Analyst :thinking:

Week 24 : Kieran McHugh, Backend Engineer :desktop_computer:

Week 25 : Jonas Huckestein, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer :computer_mouse:

Week 26 : Annual Report Edition with Tristan Thomas and Julie Oey :calendar:

Week 27 : Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer :pencil2:

Week 28 : Richard Dingwall, Payments Engineer :moneybag: :wrench:

Week 29 : Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering (Reliability Report Special) :watch:

Week 30 : Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager (Scalers) :balance_scale:

Week 31 : Dillon Van Auken, Remote COps Team Lead and Vegas Project Team Lead :first_quarter_moon_with_face: 🂡

Week 32 : Rhys Davies, COps Cardiff Office :dragon:

Week 33 : Emily Parrett, COps Call & The Gang :phone:

Week 34 : Liam Houghton, Ops Fixer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 35 : Frances Coyle, Legal Team :scroll:

Week 36 : Shak Welch, COps Fincrime Specialist :police_car:

Week 37 : Sarah Allen, People Operations :woman: :man:

Week 38 : Simon B, COps Community Specialist :globe_with_meridians:

Week 39 : Natalie Price, Visual Designer :paintbrush:

Week 40 : George Webster, Night Cop :crescent_moon:

Week 41 : Brenda Wong, COps, Call & The Gang :telephone_receiver:

Week 42 : Niamh Power, Mobile Engineer (Android and iOS) :calling:

Week 43 : Vuokko Aro, Lead Product Designer :paintbrush:

Week 44 : Meri Williams, CTO :computer:

Week 45 : James Clyburn, COps Activity Lead :chart_with_upwards_trend:

Week 46 : Jacq Bridge, Ops Support Analyst :handshake:

Week 47 : Naji Esiri, Community Manager :tada:

This Week, in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ we have… Jessica Lascar, Product Designer! :framed_picture:


So let’s find out more about her.

Jessica joined us in March 2018.

She’s currently working on :

“Making Monzo a better current account”

Fun Fact About Jessica!

“I have a Bachelor Degree in Japanese language and culture :jp:

And her favourite thing about working here?

“Being able to make a positive impact through our work on people’s lives”

So… get your questions in, Jessica will be here later this week to answer them all! :raised_hands:t4:


Hi Jessica!

What design process do you use from the point of receiving a brief, to the end product?

What inspires your creativity?

What’s your favourite go to snack?

Thanks! :star_struck:


What are some of your favorite aspects about Japanese culture?

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Hello! :wave:

A few questions if you don’t mind:

Are there any parts of the app that you’re really keen you get your hands on to redesign?

What’s your favourite upcoming Making Monzo Christmas update?

Android or iPhone? :wink: :iphone:

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Keep the questions coming folks, Jessica will be here to answer them tomorrow

You are a product designer, so if we want to see your mark at Monzo app or Website where should we look?

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Hi Jessica, in what ways are you working on making Monzo a better current account? Any exclusives :grin:?

Also, what’s your favourite thing about Monzo?

Hi Jessica, I’d be intrigued to hear about your transition from Japanese into design as a career :slight_smile: What’s your journey looked like so far?

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Hi! Thanks for your questions and I’ll try to answer as best as I can!

What design process do you use from the point of receiving a brief, to the end product?
I always start by defining the problem we’re trying to solve in order to understand why we’re focusing on certain problems instead of others. Defining the why helps establishing how I can do my work and also what solution I’m going to produce.

I write down the key points in a document and, when possible, attaching some people’s feedback from either the community (from the forum, social media, or feedback we got in-person) to emphasise better with the problem at hand. I’ll then share this document with the rest of the team to open the conversation and start collecting everybody’s input. This helps a lot when it comes to formulate possible solutions.

I’ll then go away and design some the solutions that make the most sense and share regular updates with the team. The best ideas get also shared with the community to gather feedback.

Once we’re happy with one solution we release it internally and iterate according to feedback. When we think an implementation is good enough, we ship it, either to everyone or to a percentage of our user-base or ends up in Labs! :slight_smile:

What inspires your creativity?
Everything that surrounds me inspires my creativity. Sometimes it’s the sea breeze, other times it’s the shape of the clouds after a storm, the landscape I see through the window while travellling on a train with the music in my ears or the smell of something familiar. I also randomly see faces in places :eyes:)

What’s your favourite go to snack?
Since I’ve been raised in Italy with mostly bread and pasta, my go to snack is definitely bruschetta: cherry tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil :ok_hand:

If I’m craving something sweet, then a slice of bread with Nutella :yum:



I’m a big fan of Japan and there’s something incredibly fascinating about their culture:

Politeness and respect
Japanese culture emphasises politeness at all times as well as placing heavy emphasis on respect. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you’ll know how important it is for them to bow to show respect to other people.

Japanese people are also super polite and won’t think twice about going out of their way to be helpful. During my stay in Kyoto I once got lost and asked for directions and the guy walked me all the way to the address to make sure I got there!

Everything is cute in Japan. I like the fact the you’re literally surrounded by “cuteness” everywhere you go and that even government fliers, or other things that are considered “serious” in Western culture, are presented in a cute form and make you wanna smile :smiley:

Even the religious statues in temples are cute:
Image result for cute jizo

Japanese food is very simple as it usually consists of a combination of only a few items. Choosing high quality ingredients is then crucial.

Japanese food is also as much about the preparation and presentation as it is the food itself.
This is especially true for sweets (wagashi) which are beautifully confectioned, so you feel guilty about unwrapping them :heart_eyes:

Public transport is always on time in Japan. There was only one incident a few years ago, where the train company deeply apologised to its passengers for the severe inconvenience of a train that left 20 seconds early.


Are there any parts of the app that you’re really keen you get your hands on to redesign?
Yes! I think every designer gets excited about the opportunity to redesign something from scratch. In my case, I’d really like to get my hands on Summary as we’ve received a lot of feedback on it and I just can’t wait to make it better.

What’s your favourite upcoming Making Monzo Christmas update?
I don’t want to spoil the surprise, so keep you eyes peeled for new exciting updates :see_no_evil:

Android or iPhone? :iphone: :iphone:
iPhone :green_apple: Once you go iPhone you never go back.


You are a product designer, so if we want to see your mark at Monzo app or Website where should we look?

I work in the main account team, making sure that Monzo is the best possible current account. Since design is different from art, and that the most important thing about design is that it involves people, I’d like to think that my mark is everywhere and nowhere.

Hi Jessica, in what ways are you working on making Monzo a better current account? Any exclusives :grin:?
Also, what’s your favourite thing about Monzo?

In a recent blog post we talked about how we were working towards making Monzo a better current account. Our goal is to make money work for everyone, so, when the quarter started, we used the feedback we’ve received from the community and made ourselves a smaller list of all the issues we wanted to address. It’s really great to have such an amazing community here, as it really helps designers!

Since we’ve received a lot of feedback on Summary, we’ve introduced more flexible periods to improve budgeting periods and also added more frequency schedules to Standing orders and subscriptions. There are still some areas that need to be improved with Summary, so I’ll make sure to post new updates here as I did already when working on more flexible Summary periods.

We also made some progress on Payments, specifically payees and the ability to add a new one without having to pay them first and the ability to add multiple account to a payee :point_down:


My favorite thing about Monzo is knowing that, through my work, I can really make a positive impact on people’s lives. This happened for example when working on the gambling block: it was a feature we worked on during “Monzo Time”, a time where people in the Product Team spend one day each month working on projects and ideas that aren’t in the roadmap. Two months ago, the BBC covered an article about a guy who was gamble free thanks to this feature. My heart skips a beat whenever I know that something I’ve contributed to made someone else’s life easier and I have to thank Monzo for that and all the amazing people who I’ve been lucky to work with :heart:

Hi Jessica, I’d be intrigued to hear about your transition from Japanese into design as a career :slight_smile: What’s your journey looked like so far?

My design career started as a hobby. Since I was a little child I’ve always been into drawing and actually wanted to become a comic artist. I thought about going to Japan, learning Japanese and then becoming a famous manga artist. Many years later, I eventually ended up studying Japanese at university and living there for 3 months.

After graduating from university, I had the opportunity to design the interface for a Japanese Grammar Dictionary application that my boyfriend developed. It was during that time that I discovered that design was more than just making nice stuff.

Before that moment, I’ve always thought that design was pure art, and that’s when I decided to study to learn more about it. While studying, I started freelancing and I eventually got my first job in Germany for a very-early age start up. It was really a good experience and I learned so much. After that experience, I decided to move to London as it is considered the home of the best European startups.

And now I’m working at Monzo making money work for everyone :smile:


Thanks @jexyla for a great Q&A :grinning:


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