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Northwestern Mutual /LearnVest

Background

Over the two years I worked at Northwestern Mutual/LearnVest, I oversaw multiple teams and projects. I focused on fostering a culture of cross-disciplinary collaboration, modernizing and consolidating outdated and disparate products, and driving design system adoption.

Goals & Challenges 

At Northwestern Mutual, a 160-year-old insurance company, product and engineering teams have been empowered to drive innovation, and have been given autonomy to accelerate digital transformation and adopt the latest technology.

​However, in the years leading up to when I joined the company, siloed cultures and processes that discouraged collaboration between disciplines, teams, and departments had developed in the product development process. A system of...

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solutions & outcomes
In-House

Multiple teams

our contribution
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration process

  • Centralized and transparent project info hub for all product disciplines

  • Connected disparate features and products (SaaS) in one platform and implemented a cohesive user experience

  • Design system online guidelines and resources

  • Design system contribution process and communication strategy
     

Here are quick summaries of some of my team's impact:

Creating a Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Process & Project Info Hub

During the first nine months, I built an integrated product design process in partnership with over fifteen key directors, leads, and ICs in engineering, product management, and design. These key partners and I conducted group learning sessions with broader audiences. We also created a centralized hub with standardized project information templates including project briefs, requirements, roadmaps, important project decisions, and relevant links to other applications such as Jira and Trello.

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Driving Unified Design System Effort and Improving Design System Adoption

I co-led an effort to unify the design system in partnership with the branding and marketing team to draw a high level roadmap, consolidating systems into one and aligning it with the brand. To improve adoption, we created online design system guidelines and resources, implemented transparent communication to build trust with engineer and designer users, and structured the contribution model and process.

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Modernizing & Connecting Disparate Features & Products in One Platform

With a collaborative culture and facilitating tools in place, we were now able to modernize legacy products, connect disparate features and products into one platform, and integrate research and data into our products. I oversaw multiple design teams in making products and features for financial reps, underwriters, and support staff.

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case study

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