Today, we're excited to announce Third Street – a new design system that marks an important milestone in Ivella's journey inspired by the location of our first office on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.

Over the past few months, we’ve been aggregating insights from our users to rethink how we can deliver the Ivella experience in a faster, cleaner, and more delightful way. The culmination of that is Third Street, and it’s the product of roughly two months of work between our design and engineering teams.

With such a drastic update, we wanted to take some time to highlight some of the product and design challenges that we were working to address over the last couple of months.

Third Street

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, our goal is not just to serve couples that are interested in programmatically splitting expenses, but instead to serve all couples with financial products designed for various relationship stages. In order to realize this goal, we needed a scalable design system that would support future Ivella products. With Third Street, we streamlined a handful of visual styles that we had pieced together over the last year to help aid in this mission.

An example of an area where our existing design system failed to meet our users' needs was in the context of drop shadows. In many instances, we used drop shadows to denote elements that were interactable. At the same time, however, we also used flat elements with strokes to denote elements that were interactable. This often led to confusion about what was a button, what functioned like a button, and what wasn’t a button.

Further, modularity was a concept that was nearly non-existent in our existing design system. As an example, when adding ATM discovery, we placed it in the settings menu because there wasn't a better way to align it with a user’s balance (where it would have made more contextual sense). With Third Street, we've done a much better job of defining various sections of the app and categorizing related features.

Profile & Connection

With Third Street, we’ve also re-introduced Profile. In the past, Profile cards were a one-dimensional feature that served solely to show you & your partner’s balance. However, in our efforts to do a better job of reorganizing various features with the app, Profile now provides users the chance to quickly glance at important aspects of their balance and their relationship, such as account & routing numbers, low-balance alerts, Split Ratio, etc. directly from the Dashboard.


When redesigning transactions, we set out to make the experience 1) more modular, 2) more intuitive, and 3) more cohesive. Over time, we'd periodically added transaction types to support disconnected partners, card funding, wire payments, referral bonuses, etc. and all of these transaction types had taken on various information structures. The most obvious example of this disarray is that our transaction screens used ~5 different header layouts depending on what type of transaction was being displayed. This was a clear failure in being able to organize information in a consistent and predictable manner.

With Third Street, we've adopted one consistent information hierarchy, and sections were then added or redacted based on necessity (e.g. ACH deposits have a status tracker and instant card funding shows a section regarding fees). This concept is similar to the idea written about Sections in this article about Airbnb’s Server-Driven UI.

Further, we fundamentally changed the look and feel of the ratio slider to be one in which users could push & pull the ratio of either partner and the alternate slider would adjust accordingly. We believe that this change will improve the clarity that these sliders are adjusting the payment obligations of both parties bilaterally.

Connect to Partner

Outside of registration, Connect to Partner is one of the first flows users complete on Ivella. This may be the first time users realize Ivella is truly a multiplayer experience as opposed to a single-player one used by traditional banking experiences.

In addition to highlighting the importance of this flow, we wanted to make it more playful and experimental for couples. One approach we've taken was shifting away from users setting their own profile photos and instead, having their partners set it for them. From our understanding, this idea was first popularized by Tuned (the Facebook NPE app) before they shut down.

Over the next couple of releases, users will see further changes to this flow that have the goal of both increased account activation and product delight.

Safe to Split

Before Third Street, we had three separate ideas around balance:

  1. My balance - the balance in your account.
  2. Partner’s balance - the balance in your partner’s account.
  3. Shared balance - an aggregate of these two individual balances.

While "My Balance" and "Partner's Balance" were relatively straightforward, the concept of “Shared Balance” led to some confusion regarding the user’s spending power. Even though this balance is just an aggregate of the two individual balances, users can’t necessarily transact against this full amount unless both parties have sufficient balance to split all transactions.

In response, we created the concept of “Safe to Split” to accurately depict to users the greatest value that they can split between them at any given time. Safe to Split takes in the two individual account balances, the given account ratio, and calculates the maximum value a couple can spend before one user’s balance zeroes out. For example, if both partners had $100.00 in their account and a Split Ratio of 50/50, then their Safe to Split would be $200.00. However, if one of the partners had only $50.00 in their account, then their Safe to Split balance would be $100.00.

This is just a glimpse into the way we think about product at Ivella and we hope you enjoy Third Street half as much as we enjoyed developing it. While this new design system won’t solve all of our future product challenges, it will serve as an instrumental piece in launching joint accounts over the next few months. As always, our user base is growing rapidly, and we’re expanding our team across design, engineering, and marketing. If you’re interested in joining us please send an email to with your resume and the most interesting thing you’ve done. We’d love to have you join the ride.

Hi, I’m Eric Jubber, and I recently decided to leave my software engineering job at Amazon and join Ivella. I’d like to tell you a little about what led me to make this decision, and why, after only a couple of months, I know that it was the right one.

Hi, I’m Eric Jubber, and I recently decided to leave my software engineering job at Amazon and join Ivella. I’d like to tell you a little about what led me to make this decision, and why, after only a couple of months, I know that it was the right one.

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I worked at Amazon for just over a year, helping build the Trade-In platform. During my time there, I learned from some very experienced people (both engineers and non-engineers) and tackled problems that affected millions of customers. For an engineer looking to understand how big companies operate, Amazon was a great place to work.

After leading a few projects, I felt like I was ready for something new - something smaller, where I could have a bigger impact and learn/grow quickly.

What I Was Looking For

Amazon lives on one side of the development spectrum - hundreds of teams, thousands of engineers, and hundreds of billions in annual revenue. I knew I wanted to move to the opposite side of the spectrum. Still being early in my career, I thought that the best way to learn and grow would be to do something completely different.

A few criteria I had when considering this new role were:
• Fewer than 10 people at the company
• A strong engineering team that was working with a modern tech stack
• A role where I could help make key product and engineering decisions
• And, most of all, a company developing a product that solved a real problem

With these criteria in mind, the set of possible companies was reduced. At the same time, there were so many small teams building exciting, new products - how would I find one that was a mutual fit?

Why Ivella

Ivella stood out to me for one main reason: Ivella was solving a problem that I, along with dozens of my friends, consistently experienced: managing finances and splitting expenses in a relationship. I realized there was no great product to help partners in a relationship manage their finances, especially for those couples who are not ready to open a shared bank account.

Interviewing with Ivella only made me more excited about the opportunity. While the team was working on its first product, the Split Account, they had a suite of products in mind to decrease financial friction in relationships. Each of these products was associated with a specific problem associated with couples’ finances.

Ivella checked off the most important criterion on my list: building a product that solves a problem I experienced. What about my other criteria?

With only two engineers on the team (me joining as the third), I knew I would have the opportunities to build entirely new products, help make key decisions, and create the foundation of what could become a large, complex architecture in the future. I wanted to architect a product from the ground up, and I’d have the ability to do so at Ivella.

The team worked hard, got along well, and thought carefully about the details. During my work trial, we alternated between hours of focused work and impromptu, long product discussions that sprang out of nowhere. I loved being able to write thousands of lines of code and then debate and discuss whether partners in a relationship should earn points together or individually. Though many of our questions led to more questions, I could tell the team thought critically about everything - every assumption was challenged and no suggestion was out of the question. Outside of work, the work trial was a blast. We played Catan (our board game of choice), ate some great food in San Diego, and I got to know the team really well.

Tech-wise, the Split Account is a mobile-first banking product built with Swift/SwiftUI, GraphQL, and Node.js, deployed and scaled with a serverless infrastructure on AWS. The stack is modern and very fun to work with. The engineering culture struck a nice balance between rapidly iterating and designing with scale in mind. I was most excited to learn more about iOS/Swift and build out the GraphQL endpoints and infrastructure.

Beyond the product and tech stack, Ivella felt like a great fit. When I told them that I was only interested in joining if I could make key product and engineering decisions, they told me that that was a requirement.  

My First Few Months

So, a few months into my journey with Ivella, how is everything going? It couldn't be better - joining Ivella was the right decision. Working at Ivella, or any early-stage startup, is a lot of work - but it is a different type of work from what I was used to before. There is a strong sense of ownership and a shared set of goals that we’re all constantly thinking about and working towards.

In my first few months, I’ve done a whole lot. I’ve rebuilt a number of core workflows with SwiftUI (registration, login, connect to partner, activate new card, etc…), deployed a dozen Lambdas related to card activity and transaction processing, built out a scalable in-app notifications system, written integration tests, and thought about how we are going to build a scalable and enticing points/rewards system.  I’ve loved deepening my knowledge of card and transaction processing, making a number of high-level engineering decisions, and getting ready to onboard our first users.

I’m very satisfied with my experience so far and I’m excited for the future of our company. Although I’m currently working remotely, I recently got back from an awesome off-site in Palm Springs with the team, and am looking forward to heading back to Santa Monica in a few weeks and to our next off-site in Yosemite later in the Spring!

If you’re looking for a new role and anything I wrote resonated with you, please feel free to email me at We’re currently hiring across engineering, product design, and marketing, and I would love to tell you more about my experience at Ivella!

Join the thousands of couples using Ivella today.