Interaction Design Lead / Design Researcher


Plan and execute ethnographic research in Brazil in order to find out what kinds of products and services Brazilians want and need in the personal finance space. Create design concepts that fit their needs. The project was executed in collaboration with a Strategy Lead.


Based on desk research and competitive analysis from Brazilian and international intelligence, we defined the target audience—a wide net of people with various unmet needs, in order to explore a few different offers. We then designed the discussion guide, planned Portuguese-English translation, defined research team roles, planned the travel and budget. Given I was born and raised there, I acted as both a fixer, researcher and designer, sourcing translation and recruiting.

Research Execution

We interviewed 30 people in their homes, for almost 2 hours each, in 2 major cities, over the course of 2 1/2 weeks. We had informal conversations with the subjects, and also did card sorting and sentiment analysis exercises. Most of the time, I conducted the interviews in Portuguese, which were whisper-translated simultaneously in English to other team members. Talking to people about their money quickly slipped into hearing about their personal lives, desires, issues. As we approached the middle of the research, needs and goals became very clear, and we started narrowing the research and even testing a few concepts.

Synthesis and Conceptual Design

As a team, we arrived at personas and possible business models by cross-analyzing the desk research and the interview material. We facilitated collaboration sessions with the client to define the direction to be explored in conceptual design, the business model, and a recommendation for a roll-out roadmap. I facilitated conversations to define user flows and create designs for them, which could also be used to prototype and test the concept.


Grão (previously known as Diin) was launched in 2018 with the goal to help middle class Brazilians who have difficulty saving money for their goals. As of January 2020, it had secured 10,000 active users who had deposited an average of R$200 per person in savings. It has recently secured a second round of funding to help achieve its goal of 1mi users. (source)

Interview Setup with Translator – São Paulo, Brazil

Interview Setup with Translator (pictured using a radio device to translate, while the picture is being taken by a team member listening to her) – São Paulo, Brazil

Synthesis Workshop – New York, NY