Hi! My name is Alex, and I'm the Founder of Better With Age.
Better With Age is a force-multiplier for startups in aging and health. As a Human-Centered Design Consultant, I help tech startups pursue their passions and create meaningful and useful products and experiences.
I focus on supporting startups with lean user research and human-centered design. Rather than revamp a team’s current process around user research, design strategy, and product management, I learn where each team is as a baseline, and identify and leverage opportunities to bolster that process in lightweight but powerful ways. Without imposing a start-from-scratch approach, I support teams by optimizing the utility of the time currently being spent and the processes already being employed.
As a collaborative consultant and coach, I influence change as it fits within the context of a team’s unique process. I strive to make user research accessible, impactful, and continuous for fast-moving startups that may have limited resources.
Startups in aging and health can achieve a variety of benefits from working with me.
- Improve product / service offerings and user experience
- Refine design and product strategy
- Gear up with lean research plan and stocked toolbox
- Contain, reduce, and recover from failures
- Cultivate strong relationships with customers
- Hone prioritization and decision-making capabilities
- Design processes with intention
- Boost operational efficiency and spend time in the most valuable ways
- Incorporate HCD principles and mindset into daily activities
- Stimulate shared understanding and team alignment
- Elevate collaboration between product development and customer-facing teams
- Mobilize non-product teams as user researchers and product informants
- Achieve product-market fit
- Draw attention of potential customers, partners, and investors
- Build traction
- Fulfill startup mission and improve customers' lives
I help teams with a variety of product development and startup activities:
- Customer development
- Product discovery and UX design strategy
- Product validation and customer feedback
- Prioritization and product roadmap
- Shared understanding and team alignment
- Translate customer interactions into lean research opportunities
Human-Centered Design and Lean UX Research tools in my toolbox:
- Customer interviews
- Personas, journey maps, and empathy maps
- Ethnographic observation and contextual inquiry
- Ideation and low-fidelity prototyping
- Concept and prototype feedback
- Prioritization exercises
- UX critique
- Usability testing
- Role-playing exercises and "contextual pilots"
- Competitive research
I specialize in consumer and business technologies in health, wellness, and aging.
- Social engagement
- Financial wellness
- Mobility and lifestyle
- Brain health and dementia
- Care coordination
- Transitions, decisions, family dynamics
- End of life
- Senior housing operations
- Home care agency operations
Validately is a comprehensive solution for user research that includes a dedicated testing platform, recruiting services, and automated reporting.
Mimi helps families find assisted living homes for seniors.
"I cannot underscore [the impact of working together] enough. Working with Alex, we've learned to incorporate users early in the process which has enabled us to iterate in design well before we've committed significant time or resources. The end result has been a dramatic reduction in rework and headaches."
Founder, Mimi (www.mimi.care)
Workiva created Wdesk, a cloud-based platform for enterprises to collect, manage, report, and analyze critical business data in real time.
I use a human-centered approach in my work with teams to help them understand their users, make strategic decisions, and design meaningful and useful products and experiences. Before Better With Age, I led UX research activities with product teams to develop enterprise software at Workiva. I have 8 years of research and design experience with small startups, mid-sized teams, and large global companies in the aging, business reporting, healthcare, wellness, sports and outdoors, and leisure industries.
Why aging and health?
Arthritic hips, a peripheral nerve condition, and chronic illness have characterized a health journey that has guided me to focus my work in the aging and health spaces. An inner connectedness with the experience of aging sparked my passion for helping innovators create meaningful experiences for older adults and people who support them.
- Along my health journey, I’ve learned to adapt to new realities invoked by the loss of activities that I once identified with. I’ve experienced sadness and isolation, which has provided me with intuitive empathy for the losses that accompany the the process of getting older.
- Navigating health challenges without clear guidance has come with fear and frustration, but has also equipped me with motivation, tenacity, and resilience. This has given me an inside perspective on the ambiguity and apparent lack of control associated with aging, which I channel into designing meaningful experiences and activating strategic capabilities among innovators.
- Finding meaning and purpose in my life keeps me going, and I’ve found that purpose in the aging space. My adamant focus in this niche industry speaks to my passion for and dedication to supporting innovators in the space -- to fulfill their missions, and to improve the lives of the people they serve.