Kristy Knabe

 

UX Strategist

Doylestown, PA (Philadelphia area)

Kristy Knabe

UX Strategist

Doylestown, PA (Philadelphia area)

I have been a leader in defining and measuring the user experience for products and services for over 30 years. I was lucky to start my career at Apple Computer as an intern while in a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon and then took a full-time job at Apple immediately after graduation. During my time in Cupertino in the 1990s, when personal computing was an emerging technology and the internet was barely on the horizon, I learned the basics of User-Centered Design — a methodology that continues to be a best practice for creating designs to match the needs of the target users.

After 3 decades in this field, I remain a passionate advocate for the end user, always stressing the needs, wants, spoken, and unspoken desires of the user in creating and implementing solutions. The technology we use in UX has evolved and supports the research in new and interesting ways, but there is still no substitute for meeting with users and watching them use a product when it comes to innovation and evolving design.

Recent Work

  • Competitive Research Program for a Financial Services Team — I developed and implemented an ongoing research program for a large financial services client to provide insights into the overall sales experiences of both competitors and companies in other industries that are offering similar options for digital engagement (like upselling or bundling products, offering support packages, etc.). This research has allowed our client to keep their finger on the pulse of digital innovation and understand the gaps in products and services that can be opportunities for their business.
  • Design Thinking Training for Management Teams — A large, global consumer products team contacted us to deliver training to the business unit leaders on Design Thinking as a way to kick off a year-long initiative to help them develop strategies to make their business more environmentally responsible. I designed the training materials and co-led the training where we took the management team through the basics of Design Thinking and taught why it is critical to understand their consumers’ needs and goals before making any product decisions. They all actively participated in developing prototypes and testing them with consumers as they put the Design Thinking methods to practice.
  • Design Sprint Facilitation for a Pharmaceutical Team In 2020, I co-led a 5-day design sprint with a team at a company that manages clinical trials. The sprint initiated an overhaul of outdated tools and processes for assessing clinical trial site feasibility. In these 5 days, we led the team through the process of identifying the biggest pain points, aligning on the top targets, designing potential solutions, prototyping the solutions, and then testing the prototypes with end users.

Past Experience

  • Life at Apple. When the first George Bush was President, I was involved in setting up Apple’s usability labs and establishing the user research program in the Instructional Products group. I consider myself very lucky to learn user-centered design principles as they were being established in the industry. I was a charter member of the Usability Professionals Association (now known as the UXPA) and regularly attended early conferences and seminars.
  • Many industries, many projects. I have worked with diverse types of companies, including financial services (Vanguard), pharmaceutical (GSK), healthcare (Inventiv Health) and energy (Direct Energy) companies. I have also worked on a variety of digital projects including websites, mobile apps, help systems, online forms and patient support materials. While the focus of each situation is unique, the UX research tools are often the same and we gain efficiencies from mastering the research protocols and applying them often.

Education

  • M.A. from Carnegie Mellon University in Professional Writing
  • B.A. from University of Arizona

Outside the Office

  • I’m a proud mom of 3 adult children: a software designer, a tattoo artist and a US Marine! Family gatherings are never dull!
  • I enjoy spending time in the Pocono mountains in northeast PA with my 2 energetic dogs.