Led design strategy and project management of first mobile app for low-income, single mothers participating in Silicon Valley’s WANDA non-profit program.
Creating Product and Design Strategy
When I was invited to join the WANDA pro bono project, the general product needs had been determined, first-round high fidelity mockups had been designed, and the engineering team had already begun both front and back end development to build the existing design specs. However, my product manager, design partner and I soon realized that the project lacked long term goals, strategic direction and UX guidelines. While the engineers continued development, we focused on creating and documenting a product and design strategy that would provide the project with a multi-year feature roadmap and a design thinking foundation that could enable consistent, sustainable growth for our clients.
Tech Team Project Management
Realizing that putting structure around the development effort was more immediately valuable than creating more design mockups, I stepped into a project management role to help organize the engineers’ processes. After reviewing the technical scope of the project, we arrived at an estimated delivery date for the existing feature set which our product manager used to develop her strategic roadmap and better manage our non-technical clients’ expectations. With the collaborative input of the engineers, I also implemented casual and light-weight Agile practices that kept the team motivated and maintained consistent momentum on just 2 hours of work per week. Our continuously evolving working practices include the creation of a Kanban board and weekly standup, using structure to shorten meetings and generate actionable outcomes, and encouraging the team to consider the project as an opportunity for personal development of new, cross-disciplinary skill sets.
Participant and Admin Empathy Research
We conducted empathy interviews with the two primary user personas of the app: current WANDA participants and the non-profit’s admin staff. Our research results were instrumental in helping us understand that the primary problem our clients wanted us to solve through the app was not directed at the participants, but rather the automation of administrative tasks which would enable WANDA to scale beyond the capacity of the one, tenacious admin who was valiantly running the entire program on her own. This key finding drove us to flip our original timeline and take an admin-first approach to developing each feature before creating an effective participant experience which would meet the needs of the admin staff.
Product and Interaction Design
Coming in 2019!