Product Design is Michael Zimmer’s bread and butter. “Good product design,” he says, “includes the product’s performance, how it looks, and most importantly, the customer’s experience interacting with the product. My mission is to design products that are easy to access and built to aid the human brain in decisionmaking.” This week, we sat down with Michael – the lead designer for Betterview – to discuss his creative process, and what role design plays in a company like Betterview.
How did your early experiences prepare you for what you do at Betterview?
You might say I am an evangelist for a high-performance design culture, including best practices and standards. I started out working as a graphic designer for award-winning agencies helping biotech, finance, healthcare, and fitness clients define their brands and communicate more effectively with B2B clients.
Living in San Francisco, there are a lot of FinTech and Insurtech companies designing and building their products here. I moved from the agency world to FinTech startup Credit Karma. When I was hired, I was the only designer. I worked on all aspects of the business from new business pitches to advertising and product design. My passion is product design. Over the 7+ years I spent at Credit Karma, I built a team of 10 incredible product designers who helped make Credit Karma a #1 app and household name.
Why did you decide to join Betterview?
I was impressed with the Betterview team, especially their laser-like focus on customers and on the customer interaction with Betterview’s technology platform. The people are brilliant. Their commitment to their values spoke to me. In terms of interpersonal norms and intellectual rigor, they “talked the talk, and walked the walk.” Customer insights are at the core of Betterview’s product design process, and Betterview’s leadership keeps us aligned to that principle.
I think of myself as an “outsider.” What I mean by “outsider” is that I do not come from the InsurTech or insurance world. I bring domain knowledge of User Experience (UX) design having lived through the process of transforming Credit Karma from a fledgling FinTech company into a successful “unicorn.”
Betterview products are already great. The tools are complex and powerful. The user interfaces make it easy to approach this complexity from different levels of focus. I felt my UX experience with design thinking, marketing, and best-in-class user interaction patterns would bring a fresh perspective to the Betterview B2B SaaS world.
What is your mission at Betterview?
I want to make the user experience as focused and productive as possible. Basically, I see myself digging deeper into the details to find insights that can generate real innovation. At Betterview, we differentiate ourselves by investing in the customer experience. We want to transform our customer’s daily work experience into a streamlined workflow on our platform.
Instead of the spreadsheet mentality, I see a web portal for clients, one that presents the products in a more engaging manner, bringing the important data to the attention of the user. To help underwriters know where they need to focus attention by narrowing down the data field.
What do you mean by ‘narrowing down’ the data field?
Finding the needle in the haystack. It is a major challenge with technology products. Betterview’s flagging system offers underwriters a way to search for that needle – i.e., identify the properties in the insured’s book of business that present risk management challenges. Underwriters can search for properties or buildings with a specific type of risk and then, with a click, receive focused alerts on what properties need further investigation. It is a monitoring tool with the addition of a “push” approach to alerting underwriters to potential risks.
Outside of work, what do you do?
I devote most of my free time to my two daughters. I have a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old. I love to cook at home, and whenever possible, love to travel, sail, ski, and scuba dive.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I have been a Board Member of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco for the past 6 years. As part of a team instrumental in expanding the museum’s collection, I work with world-class curators and museum leadership to identify and fund acquisitions of works on paper including prints, drawings, and artists’ books. I also personally collect works on paper.
What is the best way to contact you?
You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn.
Betterview is on a mission to turn high-quality data into actionable insights for the P&C insurance industry. We foster a collaborative environment, working together to find the best solutions for our customers. If you are interested in joining a strong, innovative team, head over to the careers page on our website or contact us directly.