Championing Visibility and Reducing Uncertainty with Effective Product Design

Kooper Macleay

Event Marketing at Signal Sciences. Studied Journalism at Pepperdine University, passionate about security, privacy, freedom of speech/press…and dogs.

Sean Dillingham, Director of Product Design at Signal Sciences, has a mission: to make the best application security dashboard on the planet. Conversely, he believes a successful design outcome is sometimes one where our customers don’t need to log in to our dashboard at all.

DSC07687Sean joined the company in 2016 and has seen the product grow in breadth and depth since then with new integrations, features, and more that are rolled out on a consistent basis.

“I’m really proud that we integrate well with tools like PagerDuty, Datadog, Splunk, etc.,” said Sean. “That’s part of a product philosophy that says, ‘We get that you don’t have the time to babysit your security systems, and you need all your tools to talk to each other.’”

He has also seen the company triple in size, but he remembers his decision to join Sig Sci fondly:

“There was a sense of maturity and mutual trust that seemed to be ingrained in the culture. I believed the mission was important and worthwhile, which is essential to get me excited about joining a company. Everyone is trusted and can make a huge impact.”

Design principles that combine company identity with customer values

Early on, Sean established a set of design principles: Champion Visibility and Reduce Uncertainty. The team uses these two principles to evaluate design quality and guide decision-making.

Sean’s design philosophy is influenced by Dan Saffer, an author and designer at Twitter, who has said, “there are three great design themes: making something beautiful, making something easier, and making something possible.”

He cares deeply about our users and makes sure to be consistently engaging in one of those design themes.

Design culture that transforms data into a meaningful narrative

Sean has instilled a design culture in which designers here work to transform data into a meaningful narrative. By doing this, Signal Sciences users can take actionable information and form a clear set of priorities. To Sean and his team, developing a point of view, and putting conviction and informed opinion into the product is fundamental.


“Designers can help make new things possible for our customers and our business that haven’t been imagined yet,” Sean said.

Part of Sean’s vision goes far beyond simply product design: his dream is to do something analogous for the industry we serve.

HTTP requests / responses and WAF detections / decisions are the raw, underlying materials we work with at Signal Sciences. However, Sean aims to “layer on innovations that radically change how application security works.”


Signal Sciences is looking for more employees like Sean—dreamers and makers. To view open positions across our team, visit