• Summary

    I’m focused on growing companies through building products that engage and retain users. I use my background in cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, and game design to:

    • Create products to help people become happier and healthier through behavioral motivational tools.
    • Apply psychological research to motivate and engage users and provide emotional satisfaction.
    • Structure and manage teams to build high-retention products with enduring behavioral impact.
  • What I can do for your team

    Turn your ideas into products

    • Define product goals
    • Maintain product focus
    • Design for testable hypotheses
    • Outline scope
    • Spec projects

    Engage and retain your users

    • Product design UX
    • Game design
    • User psychology
    • Feature design
    • Create psychological triggers

    Structure product pipeline

    • Create product plans
    • Plan sprints
    • Manage artists and developers

    Test your product

    • Paper prototypes
    • Mockups
    • Iteration based on results
  • Skills

    Product Management

    • Product strategy
    • Defining scope
    • Creating product plan
    • Defining product goals
    • Maintaining focus
    • Project management/Game production

    Cognitive Science

    • Behavioral psychology
    • User stories
    • Case studies
    • Personas
    • Scenarios
    • Stickiness 

    Educational Consulting

    • Curriculum design
    • Educational game design
    • STEM learning
    • Socio-emotional learning

    Behavior Change

    • Behavioral psychology
    • Psychology of engagement
    • MDAO framework
    • Self Determination Theory

    UX and User Testing/Research

    • Designing product features
    • User Flow
    • Wireframes
    • Mood boards
    • User testing and QA

    Retention and Engagement

    • Game design
    • Psychology of engagement
    • MDA
    • Needs Satisfaction
    • Art direction
  • Released Products

    THRIVE

    A clinically validated prescription digital therapeutic applying evidence-based, multi-modal and reinforcement therapy, comprised of a patient-facing smartphone application and clinician-facing web interface. It provides real-time interventions targeting positive symptoms of schizophrenia including hallucinations and delusions, and also provides support for schizophrenia-related mood disorders.

     

    reSET & reSET-O

    Prescription digital therapeutics for substance and opioid use disorder. These interventions have been clinically validated and FDA cleared to be used in conjunction with standard outpatient treatment.

     

    HABIT MONSTER

    This game is aimed at getting fitnessphobes off the couch, walking, and having fun.

    TAPTALK
    The fastest way to exchange photo and video messages with your family and friends. TapTalk focuses on being personalized, instant, and real. All connection, no artifice.

    brainLENS APP BASED ASSESSMENT

    Working with researchers at UCSF, I designed an interactive assessment for preliterate children. It predicts future reading difficulties, so that parents and teachers can intervene before the reading problems themselves surface. 

    MULTI STEP OBJECT BASED MATH
    This was the highest performing game in the Agnitus App. Average play sessions for this game are twenty minutes long - five times longer than other Agnitus games.
    OBJECT BASED MATH
    This game is aimed at building an understanding of numeracy and teaching addition through the use of manipulatives.
    NUMBER SEQUENCE
    This game is aimed at teaching the order that numbers appear on a number line.
    COUNTING UP AND DOWN
    This game creates an incremental understanding of numbers on the number line and has students conceptualize adding and subtracting as incremental movements on a number line.
    OBJECT BASED DIVISION
    This set of games builds from the idea of creating equal sets to numerical division.
    NUMBER TRACING
    Drawing numbers in a honey comb is a fun tactile way for children to practice writing.
    PROFESSIONS
    A mix and match style game that teaches children different professions by correctly identifying their outfits.
    SALON DORE

    The Legion of Honor opened a gallery for the public to watch the 18 month restoration of the Salon Dore period room. To draw attention to this unique viewing opportunity, I created an iOS puzzle game which tied into the gallery.

  • Experience

    Pear Therapeutics,

    Product Manager, 2017-2018

    R&D lead, Gamification, and Virtual Reality

    • Designed and implemented new VR product line, new game product line, and game-based feature improvements in core app. 
    • Led research efforts into, and implementation of, features for engagement and retention.
    • Recruited for, organized, and ran in-person user studies and remote SME interviews using a combination of Invision and Lookback.
    • Helped optimize process through promoting and transitioning the company from Trello to Aha!
    • Read latest research on behavior change, and trained product teams on this information.
    • Collaborated with Compliance to implement QMS and improve control/review process.

    Roostify

    Product Manager 2016-2017

    Strategic Partnerships Lead

    • Implemented seamless third-party purchasing experiences to the home buying process. 
    • Product management, product design, conversion strategy, and partner management.
    • Vetted and sought out partners and worked with them to identify and build requirements. 

    Platform Lead

    • Led a team responsible for making integration with our platform seamless for our customers.
    • Worked directly with our second largest customer on customization.
    • Reduced the bug backlog from 100 stories to 5, while meeting feature deadlines.
    • Build system for Director of Customer Successes to document and prioritize feature requests resulting in request backlog to shrink at a rate of two a month.
    • Collaborated process optimizing and streamlining workflow with engineering leadership.
    • Worked with Security leadership to plan and implement new infosec processes and ongoing maintenance policies which came out of our SOC 2 report.

    WCAG compliance Lead

    • Overhauled our product to meet WCAG standards within regulatory deadlines.

    Red Lozenge

    Head of Product 2015 - 2016

    Red Lozenge builds apps that promote fitness and healthy behavior. Red Lozenge’s current apps, Habit Monster and FitQuarium, focus on walking as a fitness goal.

    • Created a product around testable hypotheses, product outcomes, and market viability.
    • Iterated product through rapid prototyping.
    • Lead a team of 5 through a pivot based on behavioral principles.
    • Responsible for active use and retention.
    • Integrating principles of motivation to increase engagement.

    GlassLab, Inc.

    Product Designer 2014 - 2015

    GlassLab is an educational non profit funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates and the MacAurther foundation. With a team of 5 I created an interactive mobile Math assessment in conjunction with EkStep India.
    • Worked with a team of contractors to design and build assessment.

    Taptalk

    Consultant 2014 - 2015

    Taptalk is a instant mobile photo messaging app.
    • Consulted on product direction, features, and onboarding.
    • Trained the founding team in behavioral design principles.
    • Conducted user research to improve first use and on-going retention, which was integrated into 2015 product features.

    Agnitus

    Product Management and Design 2012 - 2014

    Agnitus is an educational game company making casual puzzle, strategy, and sandbox-style games for mobile ages 2-7.

    • Designed and produced Math product line.
    • Shipped to 1.4 M users.
    • Increased time spent with product 10X.
    • Created requirements in line with national standards.
    • Concurrently managed four off-shore production teams, six direct reports.

    Consulting and Contracting

    Product Design 2011 - Present
    • University of California San Francisco—I designed a tablet game for Laboratory for Educational Neuroscience to assess the potential for future reading difficulties in pre-literate children.
    • University of California Berkeley, The Big One—In collaboration with Greg Niemeyer Social Apps Lab at CITRIS, I developed a collective narrative game on Twitter that demonstrated public health concepts to a university class. This class won an innovation in teaching award, for which this game is credited.
    • BigLeap, Purloin the Pearls—Lead designer on a playground game to promote physical activity and build executive function for 8-14 year old students. This game was submitted to the BigLeap competition run by Bunge Lab at UC Berkeley and ThinkFun games.
  •  
     
     
    It was a pleasure designing games with Heather over the past year. It is so rare to find an educational game designer like her, equally proficient playing, thinking of, and designing games across media, who also has a wealth of educational experience teaching in classrooms. This, her professionalism, her passion and her strong grasp of learning theory make her an ideal candidate for any serious games project. I highly recommend her.
     
    Lance Vikaros, Creative Director, Agnitus

  • Talks and Publications

    MDAO: A FRAMEWORK FOR DESIGNING MORE EFFECTIVE SERIOUS GAMES- Chapter in publication for "Gamification in Clinical Practice."

    GAMES ARE LESSONS- talk at Educating for Careers 2013, Sacramento, CA, March 11, 2013

    Games are pedagogy. And here are five reasons why games are the best pedagogical approach for classrooms:

    1. Games are inherent teachers
    2. Games drive engagement through voluntary participation
    3. Games help learners create their own learning
    4. Games have built-in assessment: Winning is the test
    5. Digital game making is the best way to bridge STEM skills learning with artistic STEAM projects
  • Community Service 

    Come Out and Play

    Executive Director 2011 - Present
    Come Out and Play is a yearly street games festival in San Fransisco and New York. In my work with Come Out and Play, I have curated, run, and designed games, managed the artists and game designers who have submitted to the festival, coordinated volunteers, directed fundraising, and organized fundraising events.

    Parikrma Humanity Foundation

    Middle School Math and English 2010 - 2010
    Parikrma's vision is that we can create a sustainable Model, a clear way for under-served children to transform their lives through top-class education, and in the process be a catalyst for effecting fundamental change in the way we educate our poor and the marginalized.

    Sholai School

    Elementary Math and English 2009 - 2009
    Sholai School is a Krishnamurti style school that offers international baccalaureate programs.

    Hui Malama Learning Center

    High School Math 2007 - 2008
    Hui Malama Learning Center was created to address the academic needs of local youth. Hui Malama served primarily teen mothers, who dropped out or were expelled from public school.

    Hui Malama has grown to provide a wide variety of educational alternatives and academic support services to over 20,000 children, families, and adults in Maui County. Programs include a full middle school and high school program. They also offer GED prep classes, tutoring services, and enrichment programs. Hui Malama’s integrative programs have helped students of various backgrounds to realize academic and personal success, and improve their employment opportunities.
  • Education

    Schumacher College

    Psychology of Pedagogy, Gaming and Motivational Psychology, Masters of Science 2010 - 2011
    Thesis: “Games as a Pedagogical Approach for Teaching Compassion: A Holistic Scientist’s Inquiry into Creating Social Change,” focusing on how games function as pedagogy and create deep learning.

    Games have been shown to create a lasting effect on the behavior of players; this has implications for their effectiveness as useful mechanisms for social change. By changing attitudes and behaviors, games have the potential to change the way we relate to each other, create connections between people, and build community. Strong communities serve as support networks for the individuals in them, so that healthy communities lead to fulfilled people. Fulfilled people consume less and have a smaller effect on the planet. In this way, games can help to alleviate the environmental destruction that we see around us.

    Hampshire College

    Cognitive Science and Pedagogy, Bachelors of Liberal Arts 2002 - 2007
    Using research from Harvard's Mind, Brain, and Education school, I conducted a study which involved creating a 12th grade physics curriculum and analyzing the cognitive developmental level of students' concepts of energy as related to a bouncing ball.
  • Let's Chat!

    Email
    LinkedIn
    San Francisco Bay Area