Design process and strategy at Notabli

Facilitation, Strategy, UX Design, UX Research


Notabli, a start-up that is helping parents automatically organize and privately share their kids’ childhood, needed to rapidly expand its product capabilities to include a fully-featured web app and more mobile app features. When I joined as a part-time UX Designer, there was not quite enough design process, UX knowledge, or collaboration between design and development teams. I was there to help. I was the Team Glue.


On a small team of UI-centered designers, I served a few complimentary functions:

  • Increased team communication through increased conversation, co-working and whiteboarding sessions
  • Created order out of chaos by diagramming processes and visualizing complex flows and situations
  • Led design team meetings and helped create a supportive, creative, fun team culture
  • Did UX research with users to assess validity of future product features and usability of existing products
  • Encouraged prototyping at many levels of fidelity; the team started using Invision, which was a great internal and external tool for design communication
  • Wrote detailed specs and helped mentor the rest of the team on writing and thinking through scenarios and states (via Trello cards – these guys called me Trello McCardy, the Distiller)
  • Served as the UX ‘Critical Eye,’ reviewing prototypes and comps for usability issues, and partnering with designers to work through features and product concepts
  • Helped manage and plan team workflow from week to week (using Trello,) and helped manage our product roadmap (with TeamGantt)
  • Helped implement user-centered design by creating a ‘How We Work’ internal process document that reinforced our design process
  • Wrote and edited copy for UI and marketing purposes


One important result of my working with this group of fun folks was better communication with developers, which means fewer questions, less QA, and increased collaboration. The team now prototypes extensively and writes detailed user stories, and the designers spend lots of time co-working with devs. It’s beautiful.

Though I am no longer working with my friends at Notabli, I hear that my spirit takes over the bodies of my former co-workers and causes them to diagram on whiteboards. And write very clear specs. And perhaps even demand validation for product ideas.

Just diagram it