Continuing our Truvetan Spotlight series, today we highlight Marisa Ling, one of the incredibly talented product designers focused on building the Truveta Platform user experience.  She also lends her artistic eye to many marketing visuals and graphics (she designed a mural for the new Truveta HQ!).

Here’s a little bit about Marisa and the journey that brought her to Truveta …

It’s a bright day for February, as Marisa joins the Microsoft Teams call from her home in San Francisco. As we started to talk, a beautiful blue and white parakeet named Roti lands on her hand. Soon after, Curry – a green parakeet – lands lightly on her shoulder, not wanting to miss out on the conversation. Her walls are filled with colorful paintings, and she later shares that she’s an illustrator as well as a designer. In a scene that feels befitting an artist, we begin to talk about Marisa’s career journey and the love of design and science that brought her to Truveta nearly a year ago.

Bringing together loves of both design and science

As Marisa and I begin to talk, I quickly learn that her talents extend far beyond an artistic eye. Like many at Truveta, she also has a strong love of science. She attended UCLA to study design media arts, but what surprised me was that she married that artistic focus with a double major in cognitive science. She loves design but was also extremely interested in medicine and healthcare.  She split her time on the opposite ends of the campus (and the opposite sides of her brain), racing from design classes on the North end of campus to the polar-opposite South end to attend her science courses.

Marisa eventually decided to focus solely on a career in design but took her cognitive science learnings and analytical research skills into the field of product design. By understanding how users think and feel, she could create designs that people would not only love but find intuitive, accessible, and engaging.

Marisa honed her skills by freelancing and working at start-ups and design agencies. She designed for a diverse set of platforms including mobile, web, and virtual reality. Following graduation, she went on to work at Honda Research and Development in Los Angeles on the Human Machine Interactions team, which enabled her to expand into voice user experiences, wearables, brain computer interfaces, and in-vehicle digital interfaces for future car models. Designing for products to be released five to ten years from now was an exciting opportunity that inspired her to use her skills as a designer to help shape the world’s future for the better and to strive to have a positive impact.

Then in March 2021, she happened upon a LinkedIn post for a design role at a Seattle-based company. Once she began to talk with people on the Truveta team, she knew it was the right fit for her. In a world of misinformation, she believes knowledge grounded in data and science is power and choosing a company whose vision is saving lives with data felt like more than a next career step – it was a calling.

Diverse perspectives make for a design-centered culture

Today, Marisa spends her time designing for the Truveta Platform, crafting the experience for clinical researchers. Her work includes concepting, designing, prototyping, and testing features for Truveta, building and maintaining Truveta’s design system, and shaping the company’s design culture as the small team expands. Best part of her job? Getting to work alongside an incredible interdisciplinary team with deep skills and expertise in design, business, marketing, medicine, research, and development. That variety of diverse perspectives makes the design culture thrive, and people are encouraged to share their opinions, all with the goal of creating the best possible research experience. In fact, what she found most surprising when she joined Truveta is the design-centered process. From leadership to engineering to marketing, there is a passion for the details to not only make the platform functional and intuitive, but also beautiful.

Her favorite memories thus far at Truveta have been working with a fellow designer and one of the product leads. Even during odd hours, they’ve worked together on the tiniest details of the navigation, building on each other’s ideas, resulting in increasingly better designs. She also loved the experience of leading one of Truveta’s first design thinking workshops. She enjoyed facilitating brainstorming sessions to explore how to design for an engaging and inclusive culture within Truveta’s community of researchers. This collaborative approach has made her a better designer – even more open-minded, passionate, and eager to constantly improve.

Marisa’s love of art extends beyond Truveta. Outside of working hours, you can find Marisa painting, drawing, and creating digital art. She loves to get outdoors – hiking in Hawaii has been a favorite. She also loves to bake (mochi cakes and cinnamon rolls are her favorite), cook, and play video games.

And if you find yourself at the new Truveta office in Bellevue, Washington, check out the beautiful mural that greets employees, members, and customers as they walk through the doors. Thankfully, Marisa is sharing her artistic talents far beyond the product.

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