Get to know Wheel Senior Manager of Product Design, Adam Zabel-Wirdak!
What’s your role at Wheel?
I am a Senior Manager, Product Design. While my job has changed over the two years I’ve been at Wheel, my focus within the R&D organization is to make sure that the Product Design and Research teams have the support, focus, tools, and prioritization that they need to design and build the best products we can for our clinicians. While each day is a little different, a normal day would generally involve reviewing product plans, designs, and prototypes with our Product Designers, meeting with our researcher to plan for upcoming usability tests, prioritizing upcoming design work with our Product Management and Engineering Managers, and spending a bit of time creating or updating our design tokens and components in the Wheel design system.
What’s your professional story?
I was one of the lucky ones who knew what I wanted to do from an early age. After taking a few classes in high school, I decided to go into the graphic design program at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to start my journey into the world of design. After graduation, I worked at a digital marketing agency for 6 years in both California and New York. I worked with multiple clients like Apple, Samsung, and AT&T on projects that ranged from websites to native apps and everything in between.
After making the decision to move away from the agency space, I started my journey into the world of startups and haven’t looked back. I’ve been lucky to be part of both smaller and mid-sized startups focused on everything from dogs to influencer marketing. I did a brief stint in the crypto world, online training, and now healthcare. While the markets have been wildly different, my focus at each company has been similar – build an empathetic and talented team that gets it done (and has a great time too)!
Outside of work, I enjoy all kinds of DIY and house projects. We recently relocated from Denver, Colorado to Portland, Maine so my wife and I are enjoying exploring our new city. When I’m not at home ripping out drywall, you can probably find me fishing, surfing, or walking our 4-year-old dog, Theo, on the beach or some of the local trails.
Why did you join Wheel?
One of the best parts of working at Wheel is the people. I was lucky to reconnect with both a previous coworker and one of Wheel’s first hires when they started looking for a lead product designer. I've worn many hats in previous roles and after hearing about the team, plans for growth, challenges within the healthcare space, and vision for the future, it was hard to stay away.
If anything is consistent, it’s how much has changed over the past two years. When I started as the sole designer on the team, I was responsible for design and research across all three of our products. Today my job focuses more on team management as both the Product Design and Research teams grow.
What’s your favorite Wheel moment?
One of the many incredible parts of my job is interacting with the clinicians on our platform to solicit, record, and share feedback on how our digital products are impacting their lives. The Research and Product Design team recently conducted a series of usability tests where we walked clinicians through new workflows and prototypes in an attempt to improve the consult documentation process while maintaining the highest level of clinical quality. As always, our clinicians provided thoughtful and detailed qualitative feedback that the larger team was able to incorporate into upcoming features and continue to improve the way we treat patients virtually.
What does the future of healthcare look like?
Joining a company focused on improving healthcare through telehealth in the midst of a global pandemic has given me a pretty interesting perspective on the benefits and areas of improvement within the healthcare space. As we look forward, I’m excited that our team is focusing on more holistic, integrated, and longitudinal care paths that extend the impact we’ve already seen with episodic telehealth services. As we continue our work to ensure the best experience for both the clinician and patient, I’m excited that we are focusing on long-term ways to bring value and preference to the experience through communication and data.
Do you have a fun fact?
I used to be allergic to cold water!
Interested in joining our team? Check out the latest career opportunities with Wheel!
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