aaron.steinman@ac4d.com

Student

Aaron Steinman

I’ve lived in Austin, Texas my whole life and have loved watching this city grow. One of the things I love most about Austin is the eclectic mix of people who do weird things. I resonate with that because I’m an economist, a musician, an analyst, a researcher, and a designer. I’m passionate about creativity and problem solving, no matter what form it takes.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in Economics, I decided to pursue my passion for music and started a production company. It gave me a unique opportunity to create songs for commercials and indie films. I also received a Masters degree in Finance from UT, which led me to pursue a career in finance on the investment team of an Austin-based investment firm. There I learned that the activities which I enjoyed most were opportunities to work on projects that allowed for creativity, which lead me to AC4D. I’m excited to be a part of the AC4D program so I can focus on the intersection of design, strategy, creativity, and problem-solving.

When free time permits I love to swim, bike, walk around the neighborhood, host game nights, meet new people, eat tacos, drink local beer, write music, and spend time with my family. Most of all, I love to learn. I currently live in North Austin with my wife Candice and two kittens, Captain Crunch and Buzz Aldrin.

Recent blog posts

FundEDU Weekly Update

Kim, Kay, and I have been piloting FundEDU for a little over a week now, and so far the pilot student’s campaign page has received only 9 unique visitors. One of the assumptions we are testing is whether or not students will be willing to share their campaign with their network. However, sharing a crowdfunding campaign…

FundEDU Newsletter

FundEDU We exist to create a world where financial pressures no longer force working students to prioritize work over school, allowing them to achieve their long-term goals. Overview: Key metric: Engagement (measured by sign-ups to our pilot) What’s going on: Website creation and social media marketing Support area: Looking for more students Over the last…

The Limits to Our Imagination

Is there a limit to what we can imagine? We’ve been tackling this issue in our Advanced Theory class recently and it’s been a particularly interesting topic to address. It seems a strange question to ask, “what are the limits to imagination?” After all, the imagination is seemingly free to wander where it may. However,…

Feature Briefing

This week we created feature briefs for our banking app. A feature brief is a document used by product managers to communicate their vision to internal stakeholders. The brief includes points from user research, the product’s value proposition, the product’s roadmap, and, the product’s capabilities. Since our previous assignments provided the bulk of the brief’s features, most…

Power and Responsibility in Design

I’d like to start this post with a riddle from one of my favorite authors, George R. R. Martin. In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the…

Product Roadmapping the Banking App

A product roadmap is a high-level timeline that product managers use to allocate working resources to a product’s development. This allows the product manager to track his/her product’s progress and direction over time. Product managers also use roadmaps to communicate their vision and progress to their product’s stakeholders. This allows everyone to be on the same page and…

Defining Our Vision

We exist to create a world where working students have the option to prioritize school over work because working full-time demands time and focus at the expense of academic success. This is the vision for our Capstone group (Kay, Kim, and myself) and we aim to realize our vision through FundEDU. As a reminder, FundEDU…

Taking Wireframes into Reality

Creating a vision and a visual representation of a screen is a substantially different skill set than the ability to code it into a working prototype. Working with a team is an efficient way to take an app to market; however, teamwork comes with unique challenges. Therefore, designers who are able to communicate with others in their ‘language’ have a distinct…

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

The first time I heard this phrase was when I was a young adult. I overheard my mother and aunt (her sister) arguing about how I was raised. For background, I am the first born and the two sides of my family had competing ideas as to how I should be brought-up (religiously). My mother said something…

Down-selection, Focus, Reflection

This was a pivotal week for Kim Nguyen, Kay Wyman, and me. We made the executive decision to focus our Capstone efforts on just one idea moving forward. That idea is Me Mentor, a system for creating, tracking, and reflecting on personal goals. The Problem Based on our research with post-traditional students (specifically, students that…

Testing Wireframes, Round 2

As a refresher, we have been testing wireframes using a method called ‘think-aloud testing’ in which participants are asked to complete tasks in our prototype banking app while vocalizing their stream-of-conscious thoughts. Over the last couple of weeks, we added financial modeling functions to help users better budget their money. The new functionality was the focus of…

Think-Aloud Testing Wireframes

Over the last week, I have been testing the banking app wireframes that I wrote about last week. I used a method called ‘think-aloud testing’ in which I asked five participants to complete six identical tasks while vocalizing their stream-of-conscious thoughts. As the facilitator, I observed the users’ actions and reactions, and audio recorded their thoughts in order to…

Banking Wireframe Flows

Over the last week, we’ve been building on our last deliverable which was a site map of a redesigned banking app.  After getting feedback from Chrissy Cowdry, I reorganized my site map to be more easily digestible and less cluttered. Using the site map as a blueprint, I have been creating wireframes to sketch the informational…

Concept Map of a Working-Student

This year’s AC4D capstone project focuses on college persistence for post-traditional students. This week we created concept maps to express the post-traditional student experience. Concept maps are visual tools that show the connections between ideas (or concepts) and are used by practitioners to communicate informational structure. Our group (Kim, Kay, and I) chose to focus on the experience of working-students which we…

Site Mapping – Chase Mobile Banking App

This week we created a site map of one of our personal banking apps. I chose Chase because they have an app that I find intuitive and easy to use. To start, I listed the goals and sub-goals one would have for interacting with the app. These goals came from both personal experience and what…

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