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Act II: Newtown and the Tiger team

Build the post-login web experience for Thrivent Clients with the tiger team. Do it fast, be scrappy, and set up the Servicing team with a web app that they can iterate upon and ship to.


Tiger team
4 Developers, 2 Designers, 1 PO

Servicing team
8 Designers, 1 Usability researcher, 12 Developers, 2 POs, 2 PMs, 2 EMs
~6 weeks of initial design, 4 months of design support to engineers

2 quarters of design and research


What’s happening in web?


No in-house engineers.
Design spinning its wheels.

Nothing got built. We still haven’t launched any web experiences.

No one knew how to build anything.


Q1 2022

We finally have some engineers, but they don’t know they should be building.

We haven’t set up the org properly. 

So they just started building out the mobile app designs for web.

Q2 2022: Tiger team

We gotta build something that future teams can actually ship updates to. It’s the first iteration; it was never meant to be the best experience.

“A tiger team is a group of experts brought together to solve a specific problem. Tiger teams disrupt how your business is typically organized by putting cross-functional specialists in the same room—so you can remove silos and approach critical problems from multiple perspectives. This type of team is small and nimble, so the group can act fast and come up with novel solutions that more traditional teams couldn’t manage. “  –Asana, What is a Tiger team?


So we built the whole dang thing, really, really fast.

(while trying to build out  our UI library too...)
View your insurance accounts, view your investments, make trades, change your profile settings, donate money, see your tax documents, add a bank account, select dates, etc.

A little room for exploration, but mostly trying to make sure the components were responsive and well constructed.
We knew someone would pick this up eventually
A lot of time went to exploring different paths and usecases

As we neared the first milestone of having a functional web app, something happened...


Framing the design problems, its implications for users, and convincing our stakeholders why we need to fix things

Between me, our lead content designer, the other design lead from the servicing team, we had to come up with a gameplan for how to scope out the improvements that needed to be made to the web app.

Prioritizing and scoping our design issues
Raising the flag to stakeholders during quarterly planning
Design critiques

Passing on the baton to the next team

How did this app continue to evolve?

I can’t take credit for the work that was done beyond this point.

Here’s how I continued to support the work behind-the-scenes as 
I shifted my responsibilities over to building the design systems team.


We aligned Design System resourcing to aid with work


Framed the problems with their lead designer, which they continued to frame & reframe with the servicing design team.


Set up weekly studio hours for informal critiques to happen more often


Helped our Content design lead with setting up lo-fidelity libraries and helped norm the practice of designing in lo-fidelity


Coaching designers how to deliver files to developers and how to huddle with stakeholders for feedback

Component support 
Typography fixes through the design system

As the team grew, we finally expanded into more usability research. Here’s a selection of some findings.

So what was happening simultaneously as this was going on?

Read Act III: Design System and the 6 product teams