Kristin Zibell's portfolio includes over 14 years of UX experience. She's seen the practice morph from companies rushing to getting their print materials online to today's digital product design. Through it all, her lends has always been focused on the user, designing for their humanity and not for the technology.  

Kristin's talent lies in finding a path for the project when the way is unclear.  She can jump in, conduct an audit and analysis,  set strategy based on data insights and opportunity, set form a clear design vision, and then lead cross functional teams to act. 

Kristin has done work for or with these companies: Google, CA Technologies IBM, Dell,  American Express, Informatica, EMC, FoxSports, Nestle, MillerCoors, Kraft (now Mondelez), and GE Medical Systems.

Kristin brings a full view of users into the project through user research methods, both quantitative and qualitative. She begins with three questions:

  • Who are the users and what do they do today?
  • What problems do they have and what are their pain points? 
  • What solutions are they currently using to address those problems?

She leans upon her research and data analysis background to find the best methodologies and techniques to answer these core questions. Kristin has mined website and marketing analytics, designed and run on-site visits, launched user surveys, conducted interviews and focus groups, validating prototypes, and in- person and remote usability testing.  She is creative in her recruitment and has often worked with user advisory boards to create relationships with users with whom to gather regular feedback. Merely providing the data is not enough; Kristin uses her data analysis and strategy skills to pull out insights about user behavior that can inform UX strategy and product decisions. 

Kristin brings personas to life with data, user-centered workshops, and purpose-based design-thinking. She reviews market and user research, industry trends, best practices, and works closely with teams of stakeholders and users to define:

  • who the users are
  • what their responsibilities, motivations, and environment are,
  • what is success for them, and
  • what information and functionality is critical for their success

Kristin runs day-long workshops where she leads teams through persona development and design concepting that leads teams to an actionable list of MVP requirements based on the persona needs. 

"The project is a new portal, replacing a 10+ year old system, and the audience was 30+ people.  I was concerned that the size of the team would be an impediment in getting anything accomplished, but Kristin is so good at what she does, the workshop was a resounding success.  Kristin did a wonderful job and all participants were just gushing with praise for her, the content and the exercises she ran." 
- Laurie T, VP of IT at enterprise software company

Kristin starts every project a complete analysis to make sure that the user experience has users at the center AND is considerate of business goals. She interviews stakeholders, reviews analytics and market research, and understand the technology and marketing plans to complete the picture of what the product UX needs to accomplish and how to measure it.  Her strategy document - what she called the UX Brief -  informs the entire user experience and also serves as a design brief and foundation for functional and technical requirements. A team uses it at every review to ensure that the users will achieve success, accomplish their goals, and do so in a feasible and strategic way.

Kristin has defined the UX Brief process as:

  • Lead the stakeholders by identifying personas, what success is for them, and what information they need to achieve success.
  • Conduct a full analysis of the "current state" of the website including reviewing web site analytics, heuristics, and competitive and industry leaders
  • Gather content, design, technical, and marketing requirements
  • Pull insights from the analysis to identify UX and design opportunities
  • Recommend design strategy and high-level user experience including content strategy
  • Lead and manage ux and designers to bring the strategy to life with Agile processes and prototyping


See a case study that illustrates digital strategy by focusing on the buyer's journey>

See a case study that shows UX strategy by mapping out the user journey > 

Read more about how I grew a product lines business using marketing and product strategy >

As a director and UX leader, Kristin leads teams through the design of UX deliverables user flows and information architecture/site maps. Since the beginning of her career, she has created user flows for personas to chart their UX to meet their goals and created large-scale web site and app information architectures.

As a UX practitioner for 14 years, she has a large amount of expertise is designing and delivering these artifacts to serve as a foundation for visual design and development. Her wireframes and designs  are always technically feasible and support user and business goals. As a director and UX leader, Kristin leads teams through the design of UX deliverables like user flows, information architecture/site maps, and annotated wireframes. 

Below are examples of mobile product design, SaaS product design, and website design.

Kristin bring product strategy and an exceptional, valuable user experience to life through product management expertise. She accomplishes this by writing clear user stories or functional specs - sometimes drawing entity diagrams and drafting data tables to describe the functional and data relationships in the design, and determining MVP requirements and KPIs based on user value, risk reduction, and growth opportunities. Her designs are often a way to validate or describe the MVP features and functionality, so she makes sure that they consider and clearly communicate data values and functionality to the development team.

She's led the UX and product management of a community website and email program in the Netherlands, designing and then leading a development team in Pakistan to launch a product and marketing channel MVP to determine whether or not users are engaging with the brand and site. 

Most recently, she's served as Product Director - Healthcare Solutions at Akili Interactive, Inc. Starting from scratch, Kristin conducted all the initial user research and product discovery work, relying heavily on her qualitative and quantitative data analysis skills to create a product strategy and roadmap for three digital healthcare products. Kristin then iteratively designed the user experience from sketch to high-fidelity prototypes with the help of users, the business, and the technical teams. She then managed vendors to conduct usability tests and complete the final visual design. Her designs are currently in development for beta test. 

See another example of Kristin's leadership and product management skills>