In August of 2015 it was announced that the CEO of Travelers was stepping down due to illness. The incoming CEO, Alan Schnitzer, was taking over for a beloved leader and wanted to show that he would continue a tradition of honest communication.


Reinvent how employees interact with the CEO.

The Story

I was selected to lead the design of the product. We kicked off with a discovery phase that included interviews with Alan, executive leadership, and employees. Since time with the CEO was limited I had to make every interview count. We got straight to the point talking about goals for the product and what he hoped to achieve as CEO. As an added benefit the interviews doubled as reverse mentoring time. I was able to help Alan understand technology capabilities and how user-centered design can improve results.

Illustration of the personas created after discovery

The result of discovery was an understanding of what Alan was hoping to achieve and employee expectations for communication. I used this information to scope the product and determine goals. Additionally, the discovery phase helped show risk-adverse stakeholders the risk of not allowing employees to have an open communication channel back to Alan.

Wireframes of the project

A user testing the prototype

Next, I explored solutions to solve the problem. This exploration took the form of creating example content for wireframes and mockups. I got the solutions in front of users and iterated for a week while my development team got the environment set up.

Since the focused was narrowed through discovery and framing, the team was able to build and release our first iteration of the product in three weeks. This speed and focus allowed us to release the product to a small group, get feedback, and iterate quickly.


The product met the goals found during discovery. Employees have noted that they have more access to the CEO than they expected. Alan uses the product on a daily basis to share what he thinks is important.

My efforts on the product were rewarded by Alan. He presented me with the CEO award at the 2016 Annual Shareholders Meeting.

Learn more

Want to learn more about the team dynamic, workshops I ran with stakeholders and users, how the IA was determined, or how my mindset around interactive product management changed after this project? Please feel free to email me.