"Welcome to SaverLife"

I started at SaverLife, a nonprofit that helps low-income Americans save better, in March 2020. That week, the COVID-19 pandemic put society into quarantine. Two weeks later, we built and launched an emergency cash grant program that allowed us to reach our most vulnerable members. I collaborated with our internal stakeholders and engineering team daily resulting in:
  • Successful collaborations with Wells Fargo, MetLife, Prudential, Target, and Humanity Forward (Andrew Yang's nonprofit)
  • Dispersed over $2 million
  • Reached almost 5,000 families in-need

Here's your reward!

From those efforts, we realized we had introduced a new core functionality. By allowing members to choose how they received our cash rewards, we no longer had to support other payout systems to meet the non-traditional banking needs of our members. I designed a single end-to-end payout UX with my PM and engineering team resulting in:
  • Only 3% of payouts going unclaimed compared to 39% with the other payout system
  • Giving members a choice between using their bank, PayPal, or Venmo to be paid out
  • Further refining our notification UX

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A system we can build on

Around the time I started, I also recognized another important need for a foundational design system. If we were going to build and ship fast, I did not want our site to have its typography, colors, and layouts all over the place. In collaboration with our engineering team, we established a minimally-viable design system that resulted in:
  • A modern and consistent site experience that improved usability and reduced new users asking "if we were legit"
  • Improved dev-handoffs which benefitted our weekly release schedule

A process we can rely on

As time went on, I noticed we did not have a mechanism in place to support a typical design process. This meant some ideas we were pitching, or being pitched, were not always guided by goals, or research. In collaboration with the VP of Product and Marketing, we created a simple Google doc template dubbed a "Design Brief". We've seen it:
  • Immediately improve collaboration within and outside of the product team
  • Reinforce quarterly product team goals
  • Channel relevant insights into our "How might we" questions and prototyping ideas

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Investing in UX research

I also recognized a long standing need to ramp up our user research efforts. We were not talking to our most engaged members about how they use SaverLife and why. I asked for a list of these members, created an outreach strategy, and carried out several interviews which resulted in:
  • A better understanding of which features were resonating and why
  • Our first journey mapping exercise which I led within the product team
  • Weekly user interviews with different member segments
  • Monthly internal check-ins on what we learned and presenting on other UX research/testing methods we should be using

Being a leader

As COVID-19 disrupted our members' lives, our roadmap, and how we worked together, stories like these showed how I helped the team march forward. Throughout 2020 and 2021, we relied on these efforts to revamp our dashboard.
Learn more

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