nextLevel® by Growth Operators

Enabling HR & Finance consultants to rapidly provide unique value to customers through deep insights and education.


Lead Product Designer

Rest of Team

Product Owner, Project Manager, Strategist/Support Product Designer, Lead Engineer


Growth Operators engaged with us to gain insight into potential digital solutions that will create a better customer service experience and optimize their employee experience with the nextLevel® assessment tool.

About Growth Operators

Growth Operators was built on the vision that too many companies were constrained by under-developed finance, accounting and human resources capabilities. Growth Operators are executives and managers who created a new kind of advisory firm, backed by their collective expertise, that works to transform finance, accounting, and human resources issues to help their clients generate maximum growth.



We conducted a workshop with a group of product champions (both users and stakeholders) from Growth Operators. The workshop focused on identifying the objectives that the nextLevel® assessment tool must achieve and understanding the requirements needed to make those objectives a reality.

Workshop goals included:

  • Align on definition and purpose of the nextLevel® assessment tool
  • Identify motivation, goals, and pain points for product users and stakeholders
  • Evaluate assumptions related to hypothesis
Discovery Research

After the workshop, we tested stakeholder and product champion assumptions through a series of user interviews. This enabled us to understand where additional alignment would be necessary for adoption. I planned, conducted, and synthesized the stakeholder interviews at this stage.

Discoveries included:

  • Existing solution is a roadblock for producing deliverables
  • Assessment tool is disconnected from day to day activities
  • The final report lacks the level of detail and effort that went into the assessment

The work done in the workshop and the discovery research were synthesized into an Insights Document that guided the next phase of the project, including design and build of the app.

Guiding Principle

HR & Finance professionals equipped with expert methods and practices are able to rapidly provide unique value to customers through deep insights and education.

Product Vision

nextLevel® captures expert findings and transforms them into meaningful guides that assist companies in achieving maximum growth.

Mapping the UX

User Flows

We ideated on potential user flows for consultants to complete an assessment and generate reports. We knew that we needed to be able to generate 2 report types: one being a diagnostic report and the other being a progress report. We considered 2 potential paths for doing so: (1) create assessments specific to each report type or (2) the assessment acts as a single source of truth that either report can be generated from. We ultimately moved forward with option 2 since it allowed for the potential of additional report types in the future.


Sketching out the main screens of the user flow helped us put things into context and think about the design in greater detail. It became clear to us pretty quickly that Growth Pros are going to want to jump around the assessment and fill out information as they receive it, rather than a more linear flow. For this reason, we began iterating on a “spreadsheet” inspired design for the assessment.

Rapid Prototyping & Testing

Before investing too much time into designing an interface, we decided to do some rapid prototyping that we could use to gather feedback on our initial direction. I designed the assessment prototype and conducted a portion of the interviews, taking notes for the others, and synthesized findings with the other designer on my team.

Study goals included:

  • Test workflow patterns for ease of use and task completion
  • Identify any pain points or necessary adjustments to the interface
  • Gather feedback on the concept and value
  • Gather user input to more deeply understand the goals and needs of an Administrator role

Prioritizing Insights into Actions

I took our synthesized findings and turned them into actionable next steps, and prioritized using the Now/Next/Later framework. This allowed us to see what is necessary for an initial release, what is a fast follow, and what is out of scope at this time, but should be considered in the future.

Design Highlights

Component Library

In order to move quickly, but maintain consistency (and make our engineers lives easier), I built out a component library. This made it easy for myself and the other designer to collaborate and iterate as we explored solutions.


Based on user feedback during product testing, we maintained the "spreadsheet" style design. We added additional navigation options that will help Growth Operators as they jump around an assessment, such as column filtering and improved hierarchy. We also believe that the search functionality will be especially beneficial when it comes to power users.


The customer-facing reports is Growth Operators opportunity to put their best foot forward. We wanted the design to be professional and polished, and reflect the amount of work put into the assessment while not overwhelming readers with information.

Collaborating with Engineering

We used "just enough" design documentation to align with our engineer. While we regularly communicated with our engineer in stand ups and sprint planning/demos, some amount of documentation proved useful. It gave us a single source of truth as decisions were made throughout the design phase and into the engineering phase.

Conclusion & Considerations

The product was launched with a test group of consultants in Q1 of 2024. Initial feedback has been positive, and users are excited about use cases including scaling companies and preparing for acquisitions.

We are currently planning for the next phase of the product, weighing options for a customer login or an AI recommendations assistant. Once the Growth Pros have had their hands on the tool for a few months, I hypothesize a Kano analysis would be an effective tool in gathering more info on their needs and desires.