Counsyl Genetic Testing Service

2012 - 2016

I'm the Director of Product design at Counsyl, a DNA testing and genetic counseling service. We look at people's DNA, tell them if they're at risk for health conditions – like childhood diseases and cancer – and help them understand what they can do to get ahead of it.

The work shown here is just a small sampling of the public-facing project my team has shipped. It is meant to give you a sense of the projects we've tackled, but is in no way comprehensive.


Credit for work goes to colleagues and former colleagues, including: Cavan Riley, Matt Maher, Abi Kelly, Allison Kuperman, Kaitlin Sullivan, Sam Colley, Alok Jethanandani, Albert Treat, Juliana Linder, Trish Ang,  Scott Duncombe and Alex Cohen. I have led the team to produce much of the work below, and have noted places where I am directly responsible.

Design's role

“The team that makes doctors and patients fall in love with Counsyl.”

While design has many responsibilities, we can distill our organization impact down to the following:

  1. Design understands our users and acts as advocates for patients and providers within the organization.
  2. Design differentiate the company in a crowded market
  3. Design shares processes to facilitate work, connect employees with the company meeting, and create a culture willing to take reasonable risks.

Design Methods

How we approach the design process

Quantitative Research

  • Patient and provider surveys
  • Website analytics
  • Satisfaction metrics like NPS
  • Business metrics

Ask Questions

  • “What problem are you trying to solve?”
  • “What does success look like?”
  • “How can we measure that?”

Qualitative Research

  • Phone calls
  • Physician and patient relationships
  • Sales team relationships
  • Field travel

Case Study: Cost Transparency Service

I co-led development of this project with Technical Product Manager Ellen Zwickl. Juliana Linder and Abi Kelly are responsible for UI and UX. Prescribe Design did a case study on the ROI for this project. The slides below walk you through the details of what we built, why we built it, and how we measured success.

Case Study: Test Kits

The most iconic part of the testing experience. It has evolved over time to keep pace with our evolving brand and product line.

Counseling System

We worked with our clinical team to make a first-of-its kind online genetic counseling service to help patients learn about how to interpret their results. 


The Counsyl website contains a full list of recent press coverage. Highlights are listed below.

Fast Company cited the strategic importance of the design work my team does when covering Counsyl in one of its annual design issues.


Robots are key to Counsyl’s strategy. Just as important, though, and maybe more revolutionary, is its user experience. Innovation, in genetic testing, can be as simple as treating your patients like humans.
— FastCo | 2014 Annual Design Issue

MIT Tech Review named Counsyl one of the 50 Smartest Companies in 2015.

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