Jason Glastetter
I am a UX Design leader based out of Scarsdale, New York with over ten years of experience working in the fields of edTech, finTech, nonprofit, and cybersecurity.


Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners started out as an organization that brought in-person financial coaching to the underprivledged citizens of New York City. As they grew in size, we worked to serve low-to-moderate income workers across America by connecting them with financial coaches. However, we quickly learned that a model with extensive human interaction may not be scalable. As such, we looked to expand the offering of our TrustPlus app to provide online tools that went beyond scheduling and credit pulls to be able to solve workers financial problems without the need for one-on-one financial coaching.


I partnered with a Product Owner and gathered a cross-functional team to help plan our solution. This included input from our Data Analyst, Developers, and Financial Coaches. With our collective knowledge, we built out a user persona. While always keeping this person in mind, we brainstormed idea for self-service tools before we grouped them into categories and mapped them on a scale of impact and effort.

We theorized that we'd be able to create a self-service tool for tackling their collections within our app as a reasonably high impact/low effort task based on quantitative and qualitative data. We then generated a few user journeys for disputing or paying collections. Ultimately, we prioritized focusing on disputing a fraudulent or incorrect collection.


Once we had a journey, I mocked up a quick wireframe was and built a rapid prototype. This allowed us to get feedback from internal stakeholders, identify any usability issues, and run some initial user tests.

As a result, we discovered a few usability errors and scaled back the scope due to developer feedback.


Once we were confident in the wireframes, we could apply visual styles from our library. Development had already been able to get a jump on their part of the work due to seeing the wireframes early, and the first iteration proved to be relatively successful -- around 50% of those with collections on their credit report used the tool to dispute something. We have since gone back to revisit and iterate to improve the tool even further.


Upon joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the former Scholastic design team was thrilled to be working with a dedicated user testing team. As we worked on Ed: Your Friend in Learning, our scrum teams of Product Owners, Designers, and Engineers soon found things we wanted to test for usability. We submitted questions to the user testing team and waited…and waited.

We waited for about five months.

In that time, we were able to use quantitative tools built into the site to help answer questions. Many of the things we had questions about had become moot points. We got snippets of videos from people using our software, but it already felt out of date and not very helpful.


I had been working on a few wireframes of the Assignments section of HMH: Ed, and I began speaking with a Product Owner who had done a few focus groups at the start of the project. We began discussing how results from the User Testing team took a long time to get back. I had been familiar with a few unmoderated sites for user testing (such as validately.com and usertesting.com). We decided we’d set up a free trial account and see how quickly we could get results back.


We already had a list of questions we wanted answered when it came to usability. I took the wireframes and created a prototype while the Product Owner wrote a script for the user test. We then worked together to make sure they flowed well together.

After putting it front of a few members of the internal team, we put it up on usertesting.com in search of teachers willing to give us feedback.


Within one sprint, we create the test. A few more days, we had our results back. Not only did we reduce the amount of time for running a user test, we shared the results with our developers; they could see people interacting with our designs fully for the first time. Further, we could watch the videos and see not only about usability issues we asked about, but also ones we didn’t!

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