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ARIANA KOBLITZ
experience design
a case book on my approach to uncovering, exploring and tackling needs

design better experiences | akoblitz.com


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The end user is at the core of
everything I do. I believe experience

HI! extends beyond digital, and in user


research that creates an impact
beyond incremental improvement. I
took my design degree from
Stanford University and have applied
I’m Ariana. I help dig up, connect the dots on, and answer questions related to: it working in design agencies as well
as within design teams at large
corporations.

experience

It’s not a linear process, and in a


perfect world, needs & feasibility are
weighted more heavily, with business
facilitating the go-ahead to try. But
that isn’t always how internal (or

business feasibility
arguably market) forces allow
progress. And so our job is to keep
pushing

Case studies span:


Education sector / tech space
Social innovation / agriculture business
Health industry / disease management
design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2018
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EDUCATION SECTOR / TECH | THE CHALLENGE:

HOW EMPOWER STUDENTS ON FINANCIAL


AID TO GRADUATE COLLEGE?
Of the 57%1 of first-generation students that graduate,
only 11%2 are first-generation, low-income*— Yenko set
out to change that (and in doing so found a viable
solution for anyone who has to deal with financial aid in
college). The habits that ensure passing grades are habits
many first-generation college students simply never
learned. Personal development is a long road and
personal counseling has a proven track record. We
wanted to find a way to scale this type of effect to reach
all the students in need.

This is when I was at:


BlueRidge Labs, an incubator
focused on gathering
entrepreneurs with an eye to
solving the needs of those most
overlooked by technology. I
worked as a designer in residence,
supporting Margo Wright and her
team throughout the initial 3
months to demo day.

*source: 1: http://www.cic.edu/Research-and-Data/Making-the-Case/Pages/First-Generation-Students-Graduation-Rates.aspx
2: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED504448.pdf
design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016
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EDUCATION SECTOR / TECH | EMPOWER STUDENTS

Understand how first generation, low-income students


prepare for class work and retain their financial aid today
Students walked us through their day to day,
juggling school, job(s) and often extensive family
responsibilities. School resources are not clear to
students, especially given the limited amount of time
they spend on campus.

map of student study experience

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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EDUCATION SECTOR / TECH | EMPOWER STUDENTS

Explore how students can better manage


their financial aid / graduation requirements
An insight we had:
information of what’s needed to keep financial aid is not making its way to
students, resulting in losing eligibility

students + bridged gap in information + directed suggestions => planned


actions
Translating research findings into a user behavior flow helped make the
connection between qualitative research and design elements more tangible.

map of data ecosystem App flow — from most necessary out to nice to haves, future features

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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EDUCATION SECTOR / TECH | EMPOWER STUDENTS

Keep students engaged in a digital study aid


The road to a first design that did not try and cram every single wishful nice- Design principles at work:
to-have was a constant back and forth between having an idea, and asking tie daily work to longer-term goals
whether that idea is, in fact, grounded in an insight we had from students. visualize changes to facilitate decision making
tie intangibles (study habits) to tangibles (grades)
We introduced an early prototype to two Brooklyn English college courses,
and touched base with the students regularly.

Yenko founder Margo Wright storyboarding, realizing it’s back to the drawing Screens from the prototype we piloted with two Brooklyn English college courses
board for a particular interaction

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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SOCIAL INNOVATION / AG BUSINESS | THE CHALLENGE:

HOW EMPOWER FARMERS TO


ADVANCE THEIR FARMING?
Lors Thmey is a subsidiary of iDE, a social enterprise focused on market-based solutions that empower
communities around the world to generate value and invest themselves out of poverty. Lors Thmey
hired inCompass to work with farmers recruited to promote new technologies, who have trouble
introducing drip irrigation kits in rural villages. How do these recruits guarantee a return on
investments which are perceived as risky by their peers?

This is when I was at:


InCompass, a human-centered
design research center within iDE
in Phnom Penh that partners with
international foundations as well as
local organizations, supporting
introducing new technology and
services through a design research
approach.

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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SOCIAL INNOVATION / AG BUSINESS | EMPOWER FARMERS

Explore how farmers adopt new technology today


We spent 2 months meeting with members of villages in two different provinces
and multiple villages. We heard from farmers, their families, as well as other roles
in the villages (such as the village chief, and vendors at markets).

Project plan included going out into the field a second time, presenting farm
equipment along with programs / messaging ideas generated in earlier synthesis.

Beyond selling product, Lors Thmey’s underlying mission is capacity building in


Cambodian rural farm communities. Ravaged by a decade of the Khmer Rouge,
the country is learning how to walk again

Synthesis with business advisors, Cambodians


who are trained in new farm technology

Nadia runs an interview at a farmers’ home


design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016
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SOCIAL INNOVATION / AG BUSINESS | EMPOWER FARMERS

Understand how business advisors serve early adopters


Driving insights:
There was no one best path to purchase. what provided proof of ROI to
some appeared a waste to others
Barriers to farmers purchasing and seeing a return on their investment
included a perceived challenge with the increased produce that resulted
from these improved farming techniques

in-person sorting activity to hear the why behind the choice frameworks used in strategy presentation

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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SOCIAL INNOVATION / AG BUSINESS | EMPOWER FARMERS

Socialize ideas in a de-centralized organization


Lors Thmey invited inCompass to strategic board meetings to
expand the role description of farm business advisors to include
post-harvest sales channel development / infrastructure.

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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HEALTH SPACE / DISEASE MANAGEMENT | THE CHALLENGE:

HOW SUPPORT HIV PATIENTS LIVING


WITH THE CHRONIC DISEASE HIV?
A pharmaceutical company has had an HIV pill on the market for over a decade. Chemically, nothing
will change. Their particular configuration, they knew, is good for certain patient profiles and segments.
Their sales reports showed, however, that physicians were not prescribing their medication necessarily
by those segments.

This is when I was at:


Design Concepts, a design
consultancy out of Madison, WI.
It was hard not to walk into this
project with the cynical biases
against pharmaceutical companies
front and center. The folks we
worked with, who traveled with us
and sat with us as they listened to
patients’ stories, blew me away.
They had been there in the 80s and
90s, saw the impact this type of
medication was able to have. They
were driven, truly, by the patients
who now have increasing access to
treatment.

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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HEALTH SPACE / DISEASE MANAGEMENT | SUPPORT PATIENTS

Understand how patients come to make decisions


regarding their medication
We spoke to patients, physicians, and nurses in 4 countries (US, Mexico, Germany and France) over the course of a month. Interviews
focused on the life of an HIV patient more generally, diving into how a patient thinks about making decisions related to their disease, how
other aspects of the lives have changed, and what their relationship with their physician / primary medical advisor is.

Reputation
Taxonomy of side effects is a clear distinction patents learn over time
It is difficult to ask a patient break from that mental model

Maintenance medication: pills Education


Adherence is the biggest issue — it spheres of influence exist in a
is important physicians, nurses patient’s history, community, social
better understand root causes circles
competing messages in clinics,
doctor’s offices

physician’s office patient type


Sales Experience
physicians have seen HIV morph patients have a vastly different
over the years, have their own experience of HIV, depending on
strongly held beliefs about what their ecosystem of support (or lack
types of medication works best for of one) and their previous
different patients experience with HIV/AIDS

Fun fact: 

Decision: I got to make use of my mother
physicians and patients both have strong influence on the ultimate decision tongue! While I traveled to the US
medical “best fits” are not the only, or the highest, priority cities for the interviews, a couple
interviews in Germany needed a
German moderator. I was more than
happy to oblige remotely.

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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HEALTH SPACE / DISEASE MANAGEMENT | SUPPORT PATIENTS

Explore how a pharmaceutical company can play a role


as a third party not directly involved
In an industry as complex and as entrenched as this, it was imperative we Agenda — and impact
included the business and institutional knowledge of the folks we were going Storytelling: videos of all three interview groups
to ultimately present to. Directors began citing quotes they’d heard in the field to
further flesh out and ground activities later
Friction mapping: pointed collecting of insights related to pain points
During later brainstorms friction points were brought in
organically, to help articulate how a given idea would solve one
or multiple issues
Agents were able to give insight as to the back-office processes
that resulted in certain administrative pain points
Agents were able to connect the dots between assumptions
they were making in their role and the reality of patient’s lives
and decision-making
Directed ideating with larger thematic buckets we had prepared
during initial interview synthesis
those who had been out in the field with us / listened into
interviews brought along the debrief exercise sheets we had
provided and were able to make use of thought starters they
had jotted down

schematic of 2-day workshop with stakeholders at the pharmaceutical company

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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HEALTH SPACE / DISEASE MANAGEMENT | SUPPORT PATIENTS

Communicate the journey a patient takes to manage their disease


The journey map that consolidated our findings and was used to drive strategy and implementation decisions
depicted the moments of realization a patient has from before she knows of HIV all the way through initial
physician interactions, and how she handles the medication over the long-term, including later complications.

due to NDA confidentiality, schematic of delivered patient experience of living with HIV
identifying
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Many frameworks apply:

Case studies showcase how I’ve used what’s in our toolbox: Abstract

interpretations directions

Analysis Synthesis

observations solutions

ethnographic research Concrete

articulating design
journey mapping
principles

competitive
exploring empathetically assumptions
analysis mapping

usability testing user narrative building (Damien Newman’s squiggle lives


on…)

refining iterating Design Thinking exists to ensure


rationally creatively the process fully embraces the
prototype narrative of product discomfort of the unknown, and
testing experience / user flow that we follow through and identify
new patterns, break stereotypes,
sidestep bias, and convince each
other & the powers that be to take
defining product defining MVP & the risk (& fail forward)

ecosystem driving strategy

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016


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Check out my LinkedIn for a


full download on where I’ve
worked

Let’s play!
ariansky@gmail.com check out akoblitz.com for:
work samples
artistic pursuits
design manifesto

design better experiences | akoblitz.com | ARIANA KOBLITZ march 2016