An initiative I led to help my teammates empathize with our customers through discovery interviews and a “Use The App Game” and how it led to more user-centric product features.
I love to create. It started when I was a kid – building LEGO towns, stitching cross-stitch patterns, and writing books about my hamster. That desire to make things transformed into a career focused on solving human and business problems through creative, compelling, and inspired design.
My journey to product design took a fun route through local journalism and then into marketing and communications. Each position successively pushed me to focus on the end user, understand how they might perceive a design, and use that to drive my decisions. Now, after five and a half years of product design work, I have a deeper appreciation for what it means to understand the mindsets and needs of the people I’m creating for. Because while I love to create stuff, it’s so much more rewarding to intentionally create a solution that serves another.
It’s no surprise that I’m drawn to YNAB!
In mid-2021, I challenged myself to consider what might be next in my career, whether that be influencing change in my current position or a new venture altogether. I wrote down must-haves for the work I do:
• User-centered problem solving
• Clear vision and a defined “why”
• Learning stipend or support
• Remote first structure
• Healthy approach to time off
YNAB’s mission to help every customer gain financial control is one I’ve experienced personally. I adopted an every dollar budget almost four years ago using software that I could access for free. The basic motion of tracking my expenses helped me see where my money was going. But it wasn’t until I started using YNAB and learning its method that I actually gained control and began budgeting (rather than expense tracking). Success of YNAB’s mission doesn’t come simply from building features into a product – it’s the result of a team‘s dedication to their foundational “why” and the users it serves. I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to work with a team that has such dedication and focus.
Why hire another Hannah?
It’s undoubtedly clear from the job description that YNAB is very serious about finding the right fit for this position – in design perspective and work culture. I believe my experience in user-centered product design, my default to listening and learning, and my desire for diverse and cross-disciplinary teamwork are in line with YNAB needs.
Here are some examples of my experiences and projects and how I believe they align. Each is linked to my portfolio so you can learn more.
Holistic problem solving: sprints - nursing prototype
Collaborative work: interactive case study
User-centered: Use the App >> activity tracker
If you’re the product designer we’re looking for, you have experience designing great interfaces and experiences for most of the platforms listed above. More importantly, you’re a designer who views your job as that of a problem solver. You have a knack for interaction design and love logical UI patterns, but you also foster a deep empathy for people. We design our software to fit our customers more than our fancy, and you enjoy digging through (and conducting!) research that leads the way in the design process. You’ve been around the block a few times and know what it means to design a mature, evolving product.
Success of a designer at YNAB hinges upon the ability to approach design as holistic problem solving for both customer and business goals. We work collaboratively here and you’ll listen to ideas, questions, and critiques from teammates with grace and patience. That said, you know your stuff and can eloquently and logically explain design decisions. You see this type of exchange as critical to the success of yourself and our product: it is through sharing ideas and being open to the brilliance of others that we arrive at the best solutions.
We think it’s important to be helpful and teach one another. You know, lend a helping hand, and look to ease a friend’s burden. When you’re friendly,I guess it means that you take an interest in others, and tend to listen more than you talk. If you (gasp!) change your mind, we think that’s cool, because…well, there’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. When speaking of others be kind. Is what you’re about to say true, kind, and necessary? We love humbly confident people who are proud of their craft, and stay humble so they don’t stop learning. You know what makes life great? You assume good intentions, and give others the benefit of the doubt. Even then, you may still disagree—a healthy problem to have between two people that listen, and then listen more. With all of that said, the disciplined and relentless pursuit of important (sometimes scary) things is awesome. And my heavens, if you have a sense of humo(u)r, we want you around (because you’re hilarious).
Design thinking note
When done right, design thinking will help you understand the mindsets and needs of the people you're creating for, surface opportunities based on these needs, and lead you to innovative new solutions starting with quick, low-fidelity experiments that provide learning and gradually increase in fidelity.
Explain interactive case studies
• start with user, understand problem – interviews
• look for similar solutions – lightning demos
• prototype idea
• test with users, get feedback
Didn’t just happen – learned along the way
• Design sprints
• Meds Milk – too perfect before release – could have iterated into more features
Develop empathy – especially since we’re so far from use experience
• Discovery blitz
• Use the app game
Led to activity tracker – habit tracker
Why do I want to work a YNAB?
• Design thinking and focus on the user
Want to print your doc? This is not the way.
Try clicking the ⋯ next to your doc name or using a keyboard shortcut (