Design Director

Design lead with a passion for social impact, tech, and elegant design.

Amha

Experience

Work Experience

The following timeline highlights two themes that characterize my work experince: experience design and technology. Experience design helps frame larger social problems and technology is a tool that articulates creativity and creative solutions.

Mastercard, Foundry
2021 - Present
Director, Product Experience Design

Building on my experiences with Mastercard Labs, I joined the Mastercard foundry which aims to de-risk products and services. In this role, I have led experience design across commercial payments and consumer innovation. The commercial work focuses on B2B payments and SME use cases, while consumer innovation addresses use cases in retail and new payment experiences. I work on both early stage concepts as well as later stage products. In terms of interests, I find myself being drawn to the non-design factors that drive and/or hinder product success.

Mastercard, Labs
2017 to 2021
Director, User Experience Design

Mastercard, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, opened a Lab for Financial Inclusion in Kenya. In the director role, I was responsible for developing the experience strategy and design for new products in emerging markets. I reframed business opportunities through human-centered lenses in Agriculture, Small & Medium Enterprises, and Education. To deliver value in emerging markets, partnerships are essential. These partners (e.g. UNICEF, Government, FinTech's, Regulator's, Bank's, etc..) helped me develop a more holistic understanding of problems and ecosystem design.

Mastercard, Digital Payments
2015 to 2016
User Experience Manager

I joined Mastercard to work on products that that have achieved global scale. Scale is important to be because without scale (in business, design, or technology), impact will never be achieved. In the manager role, I was responsible for designing products and collaborating with business units across multiple regions.

Isobar
2010 to 2015
User Experience Designer

I landed my first design role with a digital agency based in NYC & Chicago. What was great about this experience was having access a wide range of design problems, across industries as varied as Finance, Entertainment, Law, Mergers & Acquisitions, Pharmaceuticals, Transportation, and Healthcare. Design sprints were fast, projects were tactical, and products were mature. In the spirit of experimentation, I helped establish a team focused on innovation.

Human Rights Watch
2004 to 2008
Web Coordinator

Interest's technology and social impact led to a role at Human Rights Watch, a global human rights organization comprised of journalists, researchers, and lawyers. In this technical role, I developed applications in Perl, Python, and JavaScript. Front-end limitations helped me realize my goal was to create or design experiences that were as important, serious, and meaningful as the human rights content we published.

Ideas

Recent Highlights

A collection of highlights and/or talks I have given recently:

2022: IXDA Panel Discussion

During a recent Interaction Design Assication of New York meeting, I was on a panel where I spoke about design culture at Mastercard, scaling products in emerging markets, and financial inclusion.

2019: ID4 Africa Conference Presentation Conference

ID4Afirca is a conference that fosters collaboration between government and the private sector. I spoke about use cases for digital ID in agriculture ecosystem.

2022: Agriculture featured on CNN

CNN ran a segment on the Mastercard Farmers Network (MFN) which is a digital marketplace that helps farmers access markets, get fair prices and benefit from financial services. I helped scale this product from 100 to 500k users.