gretchen kish


    strategy + design





  • hey-oh


    i am an experience strategy, service design, and product design expert. i lead teams to push designs further through a holistic, well-defined process.


    innovation is driven by deep understanding of full customer context. i inspire with empathy and strategy to bring humanity to new technology.


    i solve for complexity, and help organizations build simplicity as a capability.


    well-designed products + services show tremendous respect, and create great outcomes, for the humans who use them.

  • co-create and collaborate

    ideas become more powerful when built upon by others




    experience lab

    empathy map

    mental model

    systems thinking

    ecosystem map

    breakdown to breakthrough

    journey builder


    direct observation

    extreme user research

    business model canvas

    design sprint

    hero's journey

    5 e's


    super powers


    experience design and implementation
    cross functional alignment
    workshop design and facilitation
  • get visual

    bring ideas into the real world for testing

    visualizations are an important

    communication tool:

    inspire, pose important questions,

    exchange knowledge, empathize,

    enable ecosystem thinking,

    solicit feedback from diverse groups.

  • xlab methodology

    product-driven companies sometimes struggle with experience design innovation. internal resources may focus on delivering products, while experience design, far less tangible, may not be as intentionally designed.


    to help teams navigate, and create a framework for success, i designed the future state experience lab methodology. this multi-step process enables all stakeholders to envision the target state ecosystem to effectively plan and implement great experience outcomes.

    compelling story

    for change

    technology innovation brings with it change management and new experiences to design. xlab starts with a compelling story for change: a new product implementation, a necessity for behavior change, an organizational challenge, a reason to operate differently in the future.


    step 1: bring teams together and share the story.

    peer to peer support

    cross functional alignment

    create a framework within the organization for cross-functional peer to peer support through the process. use stakeholder mapping, set clear expectations, create shared goals, and expected outcomes. co-design cross functional support and set realistic milestones and timeline.


    step 2: create a framework for the project.

    future state

    direct observation workshops

    hold a series of workshops. cross functional teams run through the new functionality in a myriad of contexts. create imagined future journeys validated by product teams. run journeys through happy and dark paths with teams. mess up the user journeys. kick the tires through direct observation and extreme user research. iterate.


    step 3: predict user confusion and frustration to pre-solve prior to launch by testing.

    co design

    pain relievers and gain accelerators

    once you understand future pain points, co-design solutions. work with content teams test instructions, messaging, and to take your customers on a seamless journey from initial trial to habituation. hold a workshop with messaging in place to make sure users are able find help in real time, rather than simply front-loaded.


    step 4: pain relievers and gain accelerators to refine. test and iterate for a seamless experience.

  • cloud-based SaaS in hyper-growth

    change management

    customer first framework

    this connected planning company is looking to propel itself to high growth targets. in order to achieve this, a customer-centric mindset is the first goal for employee across the globe. 10 steps to creating a customer first DNA blog post.


    with a robust calculation engine and multi-dimensional planning capabilities this is complex platform and some degree of change management is required at each customer to implement and adopt the platform.


    as a result, there is a laser-focus on continuous improvement of customer outcomes. deep customer listening drives insights for innovation.


    initially, we started with company values. then we trained employees to be customer first. next we looked at organizational gaps and enablement. now, every customer meets a trained, empathetic, knowledgable employee during every stage of their journey.

    • cultural development + values
    • work life balance study and implementation
    • customer research and interview program
    • persona-based service blueprints to understand process architecture and enablement
    • xlab methodology for innovation 
    • workshop design and facilitation training course
    • empathy training for all employees
    • customer journey mapping and touchpoint experience design
    • onboarding process redesign
    • ecosystem mapping, for customers, partners and employees
    • stakeholder mapping and alignment for scale and speed
    • data hub customer data change management
    • customer CoE discovery and design
    experience strategy principal
    ipo october 2018






  • biometric


    at speed and scale







    biometric technology




    a large financial institution was rolling out new authentication technology. by using a fin tech vendor with an aggressive testing schedule we were able to move from PoC to launch in only 9 months for 70 million customers.



    bridgecrest medical

    the future state


    this required a lot of change management both internally and externally. stakeholder alignment and communication required precision. deep understanding of adoption hurdles and customer context was key. extreme user research and direct observation was helpful to the team as we tested and iterated.


    experience lab is still in use at the on new technology implementations


    outcome: adoption rates beat expectations and resulted in reduced customer friction and increased loyalty among mobile banking customers. this in turn droves significant cost savings as call center use was reduced.


    service design lead

    large FI

    san francisco, ca

  • IoT, wearables, service design

    preventing accidents before they occur.



    fatigue management solutions




    a gold mine in argentina found 60% of accidents were caused by worker fatigue. the open pit site is located at 15,000 ft elevation: a low oxygen, high altitude environment that affects worker health, safety, and productivity.




    bridgecrest medical

    research to close the empathy gap


    we learned about mining operations and culture to design and implement a new system for fatigue management, using real-time health data.


    we designed a choreographed alert system that was empathetic to workers and effective for medical staff and management, service design and IoT brought together to increase safety.

    health advisories 

    via wearable and smart phone alerts



    miner sleep metrics and heart rate are now tracked with wearables. smart watch, mobile, and dashboard alerts are automatically triggered if worker fatigue thresholds are reached, before a shift begins and as shifts continue.


    workers, supervisors, and medical staff are alerted. workers are given the opportunity to sleep or assigned less dangerous tasks.


    workers become partners in health + safety



    we recommended a mobile data tracker for miners to monitor and manage their own health data in real-time on their smartphones. miners are provided training in healthy habits and sleep, enabling a healthy habit partnership with their employer.


    lead product designer

    bridgecrest medical

    san franccisco

    acquired by ability wearables

    june 2017



  • e-boo​k search

    ux for a.i.

    contract assignment


    stealth ai project, smart website for an online library of digital content, show c-level executives what is available and provide visual of books, ability to create custom book lists, personal library, wish lists, save for later, history, favorite books, authors, subjects.

    exploring classifications

    key features: infinite scroll, single call to action, search by title, author, subject, isbn. conversational tone, browsing feature, sliding tools follow browse, binary fiction/nonfiction multiple categories, preferences, history, and exclusions to aid search optimization.


    affordances and

    information architecture

    translucent book information window animates over homepage on book click, book details, another click takes you to ebook or synopsis, sliding toolbar stays with you to jump to search, settings, or book lists.

    removing distractions, 

    clear call to action

    cover art remains as you read details and synopsis of books for constant visual reference. call to action is clear, and draws attention.

    removing distractions, 

    clear call to action

    cover art remains as you read details and synopsis of books for constant visual reference. call to action is clear, and draws attention.

  • the future of philanthropy

    social platform start-up leads the drive

    to a more compassionate world

    product design lead


    landing page

    from the earliest concept to latest landing page design. language, tone, photography, logo and branding, iconography, ux, ui.


    the promise of the site is connected giving. donors can connect to their values and longterm goals, donation history and join a platform for positive change; fundraises can develop long term relationships, promote expertise and impact, and communicate directly to interested donors, and shift their focus from fundraising to measurable impact.

    early sitemap and problem statements

    how might we lead the drive to a more compassionate world?


    how might we enhance communication between donors and non profits, especially around impact?


    how might we leverage donor and non profit networks to increase reach and positive change?


    how might we make it easier for donors to be strategic and mindful about giving?


    bridging the empathy gap between donors and non profits. our research showed people really want to see who the non profit partners were, to decide whether to join sumbon.

    tablet donor landing page w/scroll

    custom icons, bright colorful branding. value propositions for donors.

  • cure for technology overload

    and urban stress

    adventure society

    "if you think adventure is dangerous,

    try routine; it's lethal"

    paulo coelho


    our research showed people want

    a greater connection to nature,

    to the larger world, and to each other.


    if you were to redesign your life,

    might it include

    more exploring, more play,

    less screen time?


    adventure! play!

    find meaning and fulfilment!

    keep adventuring.

    gain the perspective you seek.


    design the life you want.


    global service jam sf 2015

  • you're awesome

    let's keep in touch