Jessi O’Neill, Principal Design Consultant at Sightglass, has worked with the world’s leading workforce and HR management services companies, where she was accountable for designing, operationalizing, and scaling customer-centric product experiences.
At Sightglass, Jessi uses this expertise to help progressive leadership teams not just build things right –but to guide them towards building the right thing. We asked her to share her thoughts on why that’s so critical.
SP: Where do you find most companies struggle to design more transformative user experiences?
JO: Companies tend to look at initiatives in a siloed way. Product teams can often find themselves down a rabbit hole – unable to see the bigger picture and how to pair what they’re doing with the greater business need.
At Sightglass, we’re fortunate to work with brilliant companies – they have to be to have gotten where they are. But even the most brilliant team can get stuck in the way that they’ve always done business.
Transformation requires both objectivity and self-awareness to recognize that you’ve come as far as you can. And great leaders are the ones who can surrender to a different approach.
SP: How is Sightglass’ approach different?
JO: Our team’s diverse backgrounds bridge business, design and technology to create exceptional experiences. This allows us to stay focused on the bigger picture.
A big challenge when aligning a group of people to solve a problem is to make sure everyone is on the same page. I often look at myself as a therapist, constantly asking team members: when you say this, is this what you mean? Because these programs come with a lot of complexity.
Going through a merger, I saw how different teams would be using the same words but meaning very different things.
So I see us as injecting clarity so we can kick-start transformative change.
SP: Why did you make the move to Sightglass?
JO: Definitely, there’s a sense of control over our density and the quality of projects we work on that made joining Sightglass appealing. Even though I was on a great track where I was, this is an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of different problem spaces. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to work with really smart people every day!
SP: Because there’s been a lot of talk about the #greatresignation!
JO: In my last role, I had the opportunity to do research in this space and develop an employee experience strategy that went beyond the expected basic transactions that you need to do as an employee. In my research, I found that employees feel that there’s a lack of fairness and transparency in the workplace.
There is an opportunity here for employers and for products that want to fill that niche. The problem is that there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about the difference between functionality-led experiences that are just transactional and experiential programs that are truly differentiated.
With more companies feeling the impact of the #greatresignation, I hope to see more companies take advantage of this opportunity to design and build engaging products that facilitate and support our whole selves.