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While at Intuit, Kate spent several years as business manager for PortfolioMinder, a newly developed Intuit web application aimed at helping financial advisors manage client investments. Kate conducted the initial customer research with financial advisors to explore opportunities, partnered in the definition of the product, and was integrally involved in its design. She also led the PortfolioMinder team in creating an end-to-end customer experience that delivered effectively for customers.


At Intuit, Kate conducted the initial customer research effort and was a key contributor to the product definition and design direction for Intuit's new Quicken Medical Expense Manager offering (see Business Week article). After product release, Intuit created a new business unit focused on solutions in the health care space.


While at Fitch, Kate led customer research and interface design efforts for Xigo, a Web-based service providing customizable, real-time investment information and portfolio evaluation functionality to individual and institutional investors. The team conducted focus groups to understand individual investors' information needs and decision-making process, created a conceptual model for the system, and significantly redesigned the interaction and visual design of the site. Usability testing of the new design showed a dramatic improvement in ease of use.


International Asset Systems (IAS) had an idea for an online service that would let ocean cargo companies lease containers from each other anonymously via the Internet, helping them save millions of dollars spent moving empty containers. Kate conducted research with shipping professionals to understand their work practices and needs for the system, then worked with the IAS core team to significantly redefine the original product concept. She led the Fitch design team in conceptualizing workflows of different users of the system and designing the user interface for the site. During the process, she conducted several quick rounds of usability testing and refined the design based on learnings. Individual users and key corporate decision-makers were universally impressed with the site's capabilities and design.


While at Fitch, and then at Intuit, Kate led a project to re-architect the Quicken user interface - a challenging project in that Quicken had many usability issues but also a large installed base of customers who were uncomfortable with change. The new architecture was met with highly positive reviews as well as a strong level of customer satisfaction, and has provided a platform for continued product improvement. Kate later led research and redesign for Quicken’s investing features.


Welker Consulting partnered with Masters Group International to design the private beta version of AARP's LifeTuner website, a site aimed at helping 20-30 year olds with personal-finance-related challenges by providing tools, expert advice, and social networking features. Working closely with AARP and their launch company, First 30 Services, the team helped define product objectives, collaborated on design direction, and worked closely with developers to provide interaction and visual design for the site. Design work included the site as a whole, a financial health evaluation tool (My Financial Tuner), and a set of targeted interactive financial tools.

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