May 14, 2016

An evening with Thumbtack’s Director of Product Design

When you’re designing for mobile – for the nooks and crannies of someone’s life – you need to have a deep understanding of who you’re creating for. For most products, that knowledge will help close the empathy gap between your team and your users. But for service marketplaces (Thumbtack, Airbnb, Lyft), that knowledge will also help you close the empathy gap that exists between your individual user groups (pros & customers, hosts & guests, drivers & riders). As design lead at Thumbtack, a marketplace that connects customers with local professionals, Audrey Liu and her team spend a lot of time thinking about how to minimize these gaps in a startup environment. She talks about common obstacles, how to overcome them, and best practices for designing more meaningful user-to-user connections through empathy.

A product design leader and director, Audrey has over 7 years of experience helping Fortune 100 companies (including Starbucks, IBM, and Deloitte) bring their ideas to life in both physical and digital form as interactive experiences. As part of her achievements, she designed and shipped SYPartners’ first self-branded digital app, Unstuck. This award-winning app, earned two Webbies and an Appy, has over one million downloads, and has since evolved into a content brand with over 100K weekly newsletter subscribers. Audrey helped to build the Product group at SYPartners from the ground up including hiring and mentoring the design team, developing and codifying the design process which uniquely blends the companies roots in consulting with the agile demands of digital design. Audrey joined Thumbtack where she is building and leading the design team there, as well as guiding the product and brand design vision.

Check out Audrey’s full talk at Manifesto here.


SC Moatti is the managing partner of Mighty Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and Products That Count, one of the largest networks of product managers, leaders and entrepreneurs in the world. Previously, she built products that billions of people use at Facebook, Nokia and Electronic Arts. She also serves on boards of both public and private companies, including mobile technology giant Opera Software (OPERA:Oslo). An award-winning bestselling author, Moatti frequently gives keynotes on investing and innovation at prestigious conferences globally, including the Mobile World Congress, the Collision Conference, and the Commonwealth Club; and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, and on NPR. She lectures at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she earned her MBA and has a Master of Science in electrical engineering. A16Z general partner Andrew Chen called SC “a genius at making mobile products people love.” For more information, visit Mighty.Capital