Poised - Inspiring Clear & Confident Communication in Online Meetings For Career Professionals

Leading Poised through a strategic pivot from a broad generative speaking assistant to a focused verbal communication tool, I guided our ensemble, which included a PM, four engineers, a product designer, and a content designer, while keeping our CEO aligned with our strategy. In conceptualizing and directing a four-phase strategy, we refined our feature set and bolstered our user-focused approach, producing significant outcomes: a two-fold increase in user retention, a 40% rise in free trial conversions, and a noteworthy #3 spot on Product Hunt, thereby enhancing both user engagement and team morale.
Staff & Lead Product Designer
5 months (Jun - Sep '23)
Core Responsibilities
Lead design team of 2, product strategy, research, IXD, visual design, illustrations/icons, front-end dev

Problem & Insights

Professionals and job interviewees struggle to consistently apply feedback on their communication, leading to habits like rambling

Though Poised illuminated users' communication habits, such as the use of filler words (i.e. "um), many users were disappointed in their growth due to the reasons below. Crucially, speech coaches identified a gap: tangible improvement necessitated efforts outside of meetings, a component our tool initially lacked.
Repetitive, vague, and non-actionable feedback
Being unprepared impacts clarity in meetings
Causes desensitization and affects motivation
Due to being too busy or overlooking details.


Refocusing Poised: From a sprawling feature set to specializing in clear verbal communication

Leadership's pushed for Poised to be a "meeting assistant," in which it generates suggestions, such as brainstorm ideas, on what to say in the middle of the meeting. Challenging this, I redirected our team towards a concentrated emphasis on facilitating clear verbal communication. Guided by user feedback and recognizing a team morale dip due to an overextended feature set, I organized a four-phase strategy that streamlined features, amplified off-meeting support, consolidated our tools, and facilitated user adaptation to our redefined platform, concurrently uplifting user engagement and team spirit.
Inaccurate features marked in red


Providing AI-driven, personalized and actionable guidance for clearer communication in online meetings

As I directed the product and content designers, our collective efforts pivoted Poised from a passive homepage to a dynamically active, user-centric interface, intertwining continuous personalized suggestions with substantive feedback. My strategic emphasis shifted from a purely metrics-focused approach to one that harmoniously melded immediate feedback with anticipatory tips and a balance of qualitative and quantitative insights, thereby notably enhancing user engagement and efficaciously enabling them to refine their communication skills.
Shifting from Poised being passive to action-oriented
Homepage + site architecture
Passive when it comes to inspiring users to improve their communication
Ability to review past meetings right away, see relevant suggestions on how to improve, and prepare with ease
During your meeting, only you can see the notes you've prepared. I introduced "meeting karaoke" where detected topics get crossed out, helping you stay focused on the next point and remain on track.
Shifting Poised from short-term to continuous personalization
Real-time feedback in meetings
Shows feedback and suggestions within short intervals
Personalized suggestions, derived from past-meeting feedback, appear at meeting start and during preparation to facilitate easy feedback implementation.
Cluttered interface tracking numerous communication types


Culminated in a 200+% increase in user retention and a 40+% jump in free trial conversions, further cementing our #3 position on Product Hunt

Feedback from users paints a vivid picture of the impact: many laud the revamped UI for a smoother user journey, while others highlight how Poised has bolstered their confidence in public speaking, transforming them from meeting bystanders to active contributors. A recurring sentiment is the newfound ability to navigate conversations with clarity, minimizing common pitfalls like hedging or rapid speech, and truly capitalizing on the essence of communication.

Strategic phase 1 of 4

Simplify Poised's feature set to increase team morale, increase feedback accuracy, decrease technical complexity

I initiated a team exercise to refine our feature set, spotlighting those that were anchors to the user experience. In collaboration with our PM and engineering team, we meticulously evaluated each feature, considering user engagement, technical complexity, and financial implications, leading to a strategic 75% feature reduction. This tactic guided our Product Designer in reshaping the product’s information architecture, crafting a streamlined, intuitive user interface, simultaneously reducing engineering efforts by 10% and decreasing operational costs.
Shifting from a cluttered, inaccurate feature set too a streamlined one
Post-meeting feedback details
Cluttered interface tracking numerous communication types
Our other Product Designer removed tabs to quickly simplify the information architecture

Strategic phase 2 of 4

Provide actionable support outside of meetings to improve habit-building, drive user value, and increase user engagement

Incorporating the Fogg Behavior Model and motivated by user feedback, we implemented a behavior-change loop strategy to enhance communication habits and user experience in Poised.
From our beta testing, were recognized our initial approach to providing goal-based suggestions during meeting prep was falling short; they were too generic and misaligned with the users’ rapid, free-form preparation style. Our PM proposed relocating our goal-based suggestions from the meeting prep phase to the post-meeting feedback, thereby enhancing their relevance and impact.
Relocating goal-based suggestions
From meeting prep to post-meeting feedback
People weren't inputting meeting goals. If they did, goal-based suggestions were too generic.
Automating goal-based feedback by inferring goals from meeting transcript. Option to edit included.
This adaptation allowed us to refine and enrich both the meeting preparation and real-time feedback experiences, ensuring users received contextually apt, automated feedback, while concurrently reducing manual user effort and increasing the efficacy of our communication tool.
Suggestions based on past meeting feedback
Make it easier for users to prepare
Suggestions at the start of the meeting
To help users set intention and implement feedback

Strategic phase 3 of 4

Unify Poised’s ecosystem of communication tools to drive cohesion and engagement so users can improve over time

With an objective to craft a unified and action-centric experience on Poised's platform, I spearheaded a brainstorming session, ensuring we enhance both homepage actionability and site structure. Mockups are ideas — meant to mirror users' routines and encourage users to take actions like prepping or reflecting — generated from the brainstorm.
Before - Homepage
Led team brainstorm with PM + Eng
Not actionable, sometimes feedback appeared
Themes revolved around redesigning homepage to be action-oriented
Centralizing feedback, upcoming meetings, and notes
To encourage users to take action
Centralizing feedback and meeting context
To refresh a user's memory when they visit a past meeting
A redesigned, engaging design style was introduced and seamlessly executed by our other Product Designer — ensuring engineering efficiency and a cohesive design system. Through rigorous user testing and a shift from a passive interface, we achieved a coherent aesthetic across the platform, with optimized site architecture that prioritizes user actions and streamlines their journey through preparation and feedback.

Strategic phase 4 of 4

Seamless onboard new and existing users to new ecosystem to drive user adoption and activation

With an upcoming Product Hunt launch, our focus was a swift yet comprehensive introduction to Poised for new and returning users. In close collaboration with a content designer, we curated clear and engaging onboarding content that underscored the platform's core features. Rather than opting for time-consuming interactive demos, we chose a straightforward onboarding approach to ensure readiness for the launch. Our other Product Designer adeptly crafted the onboarding flow, which, aligned with Poised's rejuvenated style, offered users an efficient gateway to our enhanced platform capabilities.
Onboarding questionnaire with new design system
Designed by our other Product Designer
Onboarding tour to introduce new feature set
Our content designer designed the copy

Soft launch & Iterations

Harnessing feedback from soft launch to refine Poised's user experience

Our soft launch aimed to gather crucial user feedback on the renovated Poised. Users lauded the goal-based feedback, valuing the insights into the “why” of their behaviors. However, some users found it challenging to locate the option for manual recording and to navigate past feedback, upcoming meetings, and notes in a unified view. In response, I enhanced the discoverability of the manual recording feature and segmented past feedback, upcoming meetings, and notes into distinct tabs, streamlining user navigation and prioritizing feedback review.
Increasing discoverability of the option to record manually
Before - Difficult to locate recording functionality
Users wanted this ability to practice anytime
After - Recording is more discoverable
Makes it easier to practice or try the product
Improving navigability of past feedback, upcoming meetings, and notes
Before - Timeline view was confusing
Users stated this seemed disorganized
After - Organize into distinct tabs
Makes accessing post-meeting feedback more accessible

Future steps

Navigating towards personalized progress insights and enhanced adoption

Although we've made significant strides, only 30% of users complete the onboarding tour, indicating an area ripe for enhancement. Initial user interviews reveal that while we have solutions to their challenges, many are unaware, underscoring the need for better educational content tailored to specific use cases. Moving forward, our vision encompasses a more personalized experience based on user roles, and a richer display of progress, emphasizing growth and offering more intelligent insights over time. In addition, automated feedback was too costly due to volume of GPT tokens. We decided to automate for the first 5 meetings and discussed the potential of being more intelligent about which meetings to automate.
Improving adoption with personalized onboarding
Hands-on interactions for professionals and job interviewees
Qualitative progress
To motivate users while providing clarity on their growth


Becoming a more team-oriented leader and embracing failure as part of the process

At Poised, I discovered the multi-faceted power of design. It wasn’t just about shaping interfaces but reshaping our company culture. When our goal-based feedback faltered in its initial stages, the emotional investment felt heavy. Yet, in steering it towards our post-meeting framework, I saw firsthand how repurposing could turn setbacks into successes. This experience was more than a product pivot; it was a personal lesson in resilience and adaptability.

But growth wasn’t limited to design choices. In spearheading brainstorming sessions and deep-diving into one-on-ones, I realized the profound impact of truly listening and empathizing with team members. Our vibrant design discussions weren't just about features—they revived morale and painted a clear picture of our shared mission. And as feedback highlighted the positive shift in our company culture, it became evident that my role as a designer had transcended its traditional boundaries. At Poised, I learned that a designer, armed with passion and purpose, can be a potent force for organizational transformation.