With a first-iteration MVP, Mirza's Founders needed to level up their product in order to land their first pilot customer and secure seed funding.

"The feedback we received from the dashboard that Marielle helped us bring to life has been powerful in driving results, and we are scheduled to launch a paid pilot with our first customer in January. Marielle's business acumen, as well as her ability to constantly bring the focus back to the customer and help us design features more holistically was a huge value add."


Build trust with users, help employees maximize company leave policies, level up the product, prioritize next features


Product Design & Strategy –
UX Audit, User Stories, Customer Problem Statements, Wireframes


Large client won, product validation, product roadmap clarity


Founders Mel Faxon and Siran Cao approched me with an app that helps soon-to-be parents project financials and create childcare plans.

Mirza is on a mission to close the gender pay gap and end the motherhood penalty. Their vision is to become the ultimate retention tool to help employers support high-value employees & generate valuable data to create workplaces that support women.

They came to me looking for a strategic design partner to help them bring their B2B product to life.


Mirza had a pre-revenue, first-iteration MVP and needed guidance in design and product direction

While Mel was great at getting feedback from customers, neither Mel nor Siran had experience building B2B products or translating customer requirements into potential design solutions.

They had some very talented Visual Designers, Product Managers and Developers on the team, however being able to focus on the desired experience for the customer (in our case, an employer), and prioritiZe features accordingly was something that was was lacking at the time of my arrival.

Additionally, Mel and Siran were looking to use this new version of their product to launch with their first pilot customer as well as raise their next round of funding.


We began building out the product requirements for a true V1, translating the employer’s biggest pain points into product features for an early working prototype.

Our goal with the redesign was to build much needed trust with employees while helping them to maximize their company benefits and leave policies. I first performed a UX Audit to pinpoint some of the issues users were having with the current product. The many, unclear courses of action made it difficult for them to interact with the product, and gave us a clear starting point for the redesign.

I met with both Founders regularly to understand the vision for the product, which I was hoping would also tie into the vision for their fundraise, and thus help inform the redesign. I pushed the team on their value proposition in order to get a better understanding of where they saw the product fitting into the market.

When I was satisfied with my answers, I moved onto the employer requirements. Working closely with Mel, we determined that we needed to tailor our efforts to increasing benefit awareness and utilization.

Our in-depth meetings were the right kind of framing for me to think bigger picture. The questions that Marielle asked were a bit of a wake-up call. Even now, as I go back into my product meetings, I try to constantly bring my team back to key business drivers. Things like, “What do we actually need here that will help us meet our goals?”

Mel Faxon

COO/Co-Founder, Hey Mirza

What does success look like for your project?


With my support, Mirza was able to refine their product vision, validate their product through user testing, build out a V1 Employer Product, and secure their first paid pilot.

The wireframes contained ideas to test and get feedback on. In conducting interviews, Mirza was able to quickly validate ideas for where to grow their product. In addition, valuable ideas and insights were captured about prospective features and directions the product could take.

Immediately following the engagement, Mirza’s product team used the wireframes to demo a prototype of the product to one of their investors. They have since kicked off their fundraise and received commitments from several prominent investors.

Mirza is also in talks with one of their customers about launching a paid pilot this year.

Keeping both your customers and users in mind at all times is critical for any business. Marielle’s business and enterprise acumen was something we really needed on our team. Her ability to constantly bring the focus back to the customer and help us to design features more holistically was a big value add.”

Mel Faxon

COO/Co-Founder, Hey Mirza