Maria is a product designer at the disposition team at claimsforce. She is passionate about solving problems as a team. How that translates into her daily work is one of many interesting insights she gives in this interview.

1. How would you describe claimsforce in one sentence?

We create technology to make the process of claim handling simpler.

2. What role do you play in it?

I collaborate in a cross functional effort. We want to find a good product strategy that leads us closer to where we want - by discovering problems, making assumptions and testing them with users. My work includes a lot of analysis of input gathered, ideating potential solutions, challenging them with developers and prototyping feasible versions to be pushed to production.

3. What does your typical work day look like? 

Not all days look the same but bundles of around ¾ days look like this:

  1. Prioritization: What are the known problems/topics on the table? What are the more urgent ones? Which ones are more impactful? Once a problem is selected we start ...
  2. Deep dive: Analysis on how mature the problem is, how much do we know? How uncertain are we? Where and how can we learn to reduce the black box? The goal: Clearing uncertainties and confirming assumptions; defining how we want to find out and creating the format to support it; starting first prototypes and testing.
  3. Gathering insights: What data or insights need to be considered to frame the problem? Gather new input and define what needs to be done.
  4. Ideate: Define how and when, if possible pairing or in constant contact with tech.
  5. Delivery: Divide in deliverable/workable chunks or iterations, create specs and agree on an acceptance criteria, handing over to tech.

4. Which tools do you often use in your daily work?

To analyze and ideate we use Miro, Trello and Figma. For gathering insights we use Mixpanel, Quicksight and Airtable.

5. How is your team structured here at claimsforce?

We like to work in triads: one product manager, researcher and designer. Ideally we would have two designers and two researchers, but we are expecting to grow up to four of each.

6. How is your collaboration organized?

Pairing a lot. Ideally the triad or at least two of us will pair on the design process described above, shaping the progress from multiple supporting perspectives, and I will also constantly collaborate with tech to build the best possible solutions together. 

7. Which project are you currently working on?

Our principal effort is to bring insurers to the web. At the same time, we consider what we learn from Third Party Administrators so that we can create a flexibe solution that works for all of our client groups.

8. How did your career go so far, including your studies/training and previous jobs?

I got a major degree in Graphic design specialized in multimedia design.

While a student I worked as a community manager and designer for a startup that was acquired by a bigger corporation. The marketing team was established in San Francisco and the product and tech teams were established in Guatemala City, my country. They welcomed me as a student UI designer. It was pretty much a new field everywhere so we all learned product design on the go by practicing, reading, exchanging and going to conferences. That's how I got involved in a product team for the first time around 9 years ago.

9. What are the skills one should have for your job?

Communication, creativity, problem solving, empathy, activating people, analysis, strategy, and curiosity.

10. What makes working at claimsforce special for you?

The people! Especially my team (triad and tech) and the passion we share to innovate and solve problems.