Product Designer Jessica Kress combines art and science to drive better customer experiences.
Equal parts mechanical engineer and visual artist, Snapsheet product designer Jessica Kress doesn’t necessarily fit the traditional tech-minded mold — yet that’s precisely why she’s perfect for the role. Driven by her personal mission to make the Snapsheet user experience easy and fun, Jessica seeks innovative ways to design more intuitive products and take the stress out of the insurance claims process. Here she explains how.
What excites you about working at Snapsheet?
There is so much I like about working at Snapsheet, especially from a user experience (UX) design perspective. As a product designer, my role is to be an advocate for our users and design a product that really helps them. Whether our customer is someone who has been in an accident or is an insurance adjuster, my goal is to remove the stress of the claims process and make it a happier experience. Part of what makes my UX design work so enjoyable and interesting is getting the chance to virtually meet and shadow actual product users to understand their pain points and what we can do better. Plus, I really like the startup vibe and knowing that my creative and strategic contributions will influence product decisions and help make an impact on the direction of the company.
What impact do you think your role will have on Snapsheet?
Ideally, a big one. User-centered design in the tech world has resulted in better software.
“It’s not about making what you think customers need — but making what they really need.”
How does product design work in conjunction with other roles across the organization?
I’m a part of the Product Team, but I work with everyone across the board. I meet with people on the strategy, implementation and account management teams to discuss our users. I meet with our business team to understand their vision. And I meet with different engineering teams to offer them guidance.
Why is cross-team collaboration important?
It’s critical that I talk with everyone early in the process when ideas are first generated. Talking with sales helps me understand what customers really need and communicating with engineers ensures any technical limitations are addressed. Once I have an overall understanding, I’ll mock up a plan reflecting how customers interact with digital products and what we can do right now, based on best practices.
Why is good product design important for an industry like insurtech?
If you’re claiming to be a tech-savvy company, and your product looks clunky and old, it erodes trust. Even more, is the issue of usability: Are you actually saving people time? If you’re not designing your software intuitively, you’re creating difficulty for users. And that’s a problem, especially today when everyone is interacting with software all the time.
Where do you see product design evolving in the mobile space?
Generally, the movement today is about leveraging technology to make things more intuitive. Some people say, “the best interface is no interface,” meaning eliminating as much interface as possible to create an experience that mimics the real world with direct, immediate and natural actions.
What inspired you to become a product designer?
I was an engineer for six years, and while I loved technology and problem-solving, I wasn’t totally satisfied. Having always been passionate about visual art, I started questioning how to incorporate my love of visual art into my love of technology. Once I learned about UX design, I started taking classes to see if it would be a good fit — and I was hooked.
What’s something you plan to do in 2021 that you couldn’t do in 2020?
I’m really excited to finally see the Snapsheet offices!
Are you ready to create solutions that matter? Learn more about Snapsheet careers.