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Blackbaud Outcomes

Circa 2014

The Opportunity

MicroEdge was acquired during my tenure and I was lead designer over their entire portfolio of products. I was responsible for teams that were not only recent acquisitions by Blackbaud, but also new to agile software development and the UX process.

The Process

Introducing the teams to product discovery techniques helped to create a vision for the future of their products by uncovering the needs of their customers. Then leveraging my experience and connections to the design system team allowed the developers to rapidly adopt the new tech stack and design libraries in order to quickly bring the vision to fruition.


Leadership was pleasantly surprised to see these new teams join the fold and integrate their products so seamlessly into the overall product portfolio. The teams themselves went from fearing layoffs to being embraced and feeling necessary to their new company.

What made this project special?

From a product perspective, it was fun to introduce discovery and validation to the team because it reinvigorated them to new ideas on legacy products (including one facing the looming shutdown of Silverlight). This also helped engage the customers in a new way that created good will and helped improve the product direction.

From a perspective of team dynamics, to be successful it had to be aware of the elephant in the room for these acquired groups. Their small company was just acquired by a much larger organization that was situated in a completely different state. The feeling of unease and uncertainty with regards to their job security was palpable – but through the efforts leveraging the Blackbaud platform, they demonstrated their ingenuity and quickly felt like part of the company.

What about me?

Activities performed

  • Collaboration with other designers, product management, engineers, and QA.
  • Product discovery with customers.
  • Axure prototypes for testing.
  • Fireworks for high-fidelity mockups.
  • Usability testing and site visits with fund managers and administrators using our products.

Things I loved

The leaders supported their people identifying new ideas and methods and allowed them to be responsible for seeing them through. There wasn’t a culture of “stay in your lane” that can stifle the innovative spirit of development teams. Feeling good about helping nonprofits to maximize their mission was pretty great, as well!

About the company

Blackbaud supplies software and services specifically designed for non-profit organizations and employs over 3,000 people. Its products focus on school management, fundraising, website management, CRM, analytics, financial management, and ticketing.