About

a myriad of experience

No industry goes untouched.
Ready for whatever you throw at me!

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oh hey there!

Woman headshot - founder of studio

I'm Elena,  a UX and product designer that helps SaaS startups design and research software and apps that make their customers feel effortlessly at home.

Check out my Linkedin

I'm Elena,  a UX and product designer that helps SaaS startups design and research software and apps that make their customers feel effortlessly at home.

I work with early-stage SaaS startups that aren't ready to hire an in-house full-time designer but still need a dedicated person who can:

- Be really hands-on and understand the business inside and out

- Guide user research and product design

- Find a balance between the business priorities and what keeps the users coming back for more- be more than a random Upwork wireframe maker

I make stuff that makes sense

"Whatever you did, you hit it right on the the frickin' head of the nail...To be honest, I would take it in the field right now."

Conversations with customers like this are why I do what I do.

I'm not a good fit for everyone.

Relationships with my clients are a huge part of why I'm here. I only work people that:

- Give a shit about their customers.

- Feel their blood boil when they think about the challenges they are solving

- Value user research and incorporate their customers feedback into decisions to make the product better

- Don't view UX as "screen artists" but value strategy and design thinking

a process we both will be obsessed with.

I fell in love with a process called Object Oriented UX. I do traditional steps of UX that you may know: user research, flows, wireframes, prototypes, all of that jazz. But I use an extra secret sauce called OOUX to:

1. Untangle complexity in the domain and concept

2. Gather requirements beyond a checklist provided by the stakeholders

3. Bring folks from every team together from the start in order to avoid silos and to get everyone on the same page

In a nutshell, OOUX is requirements gathering on stereoids.

* Insert rant *

My fascination with this process grew and grew as I've seen how it can bridge the gap between design and development in a way I had never seen before.

I've worked on countless teams, and much to the chagrin of the UX internet community, the reality always was a relatively robotic relationship between the designers and developers.

"Collaboration" sounded great, but in reality it was just adding the developers to more Zoom meetings they didn't want to be on, asking "what do you think?" while they mutli-task.

Design and development want to collaborate, but never have an environment that truly sets it up for success.

I don't want to make screens and walk away, but rather be a partner and...

  • Craft user stories and technical requirements to take the weight off the dev to guess.
  • Create requirements longside my developers, content strategists, visual designers, marketers, sales people, all of the above...
  • Play a hand in identifying key metadata and information needed for the back-end towards the beginning to prevent any bottlenecks, and so developers don't need to reverse engineer my wireframes to guess.
  • Create documentation about functionality, states to mitigate unnecessary meetings and back-and-forth questions

it's 2024, focusing on customer-centric experiences are the bare minimum.

Every designer and UX studio / creative agency always talk about the same thing: being customer-centric.

Being customer-centric with your products should be a bare-minumum, not a key differentiator. If you're not using research, factoring in the user's needs, and testing with target audience - you're doing something wrong.

I want to take it a step further. I want to build products that give the team the same amount of TLC that the customers are getting.

Let's create products so intuitive that your customers think you can read minds!

the tldr about me (Fun facts?)

1. Two years ago, I said f%# it, and got paid $10,000 to Tulsa, OK on a whim from New York City without knowing anyone. I launched Anele, built a house and the rest is history.

2. Biggest accomplishment ever, I completed an entire move in under 2 hours because I project managed the whole process and sent my friends (I have the best friends) this presentation.

3.I've solo travelled to Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Ireland, Poland.

4.I launched a UX mentorship program and completed cohort 6 in 2023. (Think curriculum, applications, TAs, office hours, homework)

5. I'm a big of rock climbing, Kan Jam, and spicy jam.

You can learn more by following on Linkedin.

in the wild

"Secret Weapon to Bridge Developers and Designers: Object Oriented User Experience" - Speaker at Thunderplains Development Conference 2023

"More than just your work: Personal Branding for UX Designers" - Speaker at Ideate Labs UX Conference

0 to 100: From Jr. Designer to Founding a UX Design Studio and Mentorship Program -  Podcast Guest on Pixelated Perfect

From Mentorship to Mastery: Forging Community in UX Design - Podcast Guest on UX Untamed

The Apprenticeship Opportunities of the Future with Elena Haskins - Podcast Guest on Design Hires

"The Spoon Effect: How to Make Problem Solving and Creativity Second Nature" - Guest lecturer at Ignite Bentonville Schools

Judge for the CreateX CreateRU Hackathon at Rutgers University

Meet Elena Haskins UX and Product Designer and Post Grad Mentor - Article on Shoutout Socal magazine