Bringing solutions forward: Maribel Sierra, UX researcher at Tendo.

by | Mar 25, 2022

Maribel Sierra is one of Tendo’s UX researchers. Maribel recently joined Tendo to bring her unique skill set to a place where she can help people navigate healthcare more efficiently. She also heads up our Culture Club, where she’s on a small committee that’s responsible for all the fun activities we get to engage in as a company. When she’s not at work, you can find her taking in the amazing views of the San Francisco Bay where she calls home. Learn more about Maribel and why she chose Tendo in this employee spotlight!

What’s your favorite part about your job?

As a UX Researcher, asking questions to better understand the problems that patients and doctors face along the healthcare continuum. We live in the age of information, and although a lot of work has been done in the digital health space, there are many more opportunities to improve health care experiences. That’s where my role comes in to ask what can be done next to make an impact in the way people seek and engage with healthcare. Right now, my work has focused on informing early decisions about our product(s) and setting up our product design team for success by building out Tendo’s research operations and defining the key metrics we’ll use to evaluate the impact of our product. Ultimately, I see myself as the bridge between end-users (i.e., patients, clinicians, and caregivers) and our product design and engineering teams.

Why did you decide to join Tendo?

I believe that healthcare is at a crossroads, and as a company, we can pave the path forward by designing digital solutions to effectively engage patients, clinicians, and caregivers in their care journeys. My past work focused on design and public health research, including patient engagement and usability of health technology for diverse populations. I knew I wanted to take my work further by applying the knowledge and lessons learned from qualitative and implementation science research to inform tangible solutions for people as they navigate healthcare.

Healthcare is notoriously complex, and it can feel daunting to problem solve in a space where policy makers, healthcare leaders, and community groups have labored for decades. Over the last year and half, COVID-19 ushered in tech innovation almost overnight as hospitals and clinics depended on technology more than ever. This shift—and increased acceptance of technology—has helped me be optimistic that healthcare transformation is here and that Tendo can make a real impact.

What do Tendo’s values mean to you?

For me, “impact” is about facilitating better health through positive digital experiences in healthcare.

I think of “openness” as not feeling pressured to have all the answers right away. It’s a receptiveness to learning from other people and past experiences to be fearless in the face of what comes next.

Speed” is about bringing solutions forward when they are needed and not after it’s too late.

If someone you know was thinking about applying to Tendo, what would you tell them?

The first half (H1) of 2021 saw $14.7B in funding for digital health, surpassing all the funding in 2020 (Rock Health). I would say that there is no better time to be part of digital health tech in terms of opportunity for making an impact where it’s needed in healthcare. We are a team that’s quickly growing and ramping up our efforts to create exceptional products connecting patients and clinical providers. We need creative thinkers and impact-oriented people to help us accomplish our goals. If imposter syndrome starts to creep in as you read the job descriptions, apply anyway!

What’s one thing you’ve learned since joining the Tendo team?

We are a cross-functional group at Tendo and since joining the team, I’ve learned more about the technical language that others use so that I can better share ideas with folks in product management, engineering, customer engagement, and marketing.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert at something, what would it be?

I would be a naturalist. A naturalist is someone who is a natural history expert and can tell you all about plants and animals that live in different parts of the world. It’d be nice to have encyclopedic knowledge about plants and the geography of state and national parks.

If you had 25 hours in a day, how would you use that extra time?

I would probably use that extra time to watch TikTok videos! I come to TikTok for the memes and lols, but stay for the educational content like history lessons on Latin America geopolitics, vegan recipes, and recommendations for places to visit. I’m impressed that TikTok creators have mastered communications in a way that’s accessible and informational. I always learn something, or at the minimum, I’m able to enjoy a good laugh.

Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

I like practicing yoga and going out for hikes. I’m lucky to live in San Francisco where we have great parks with trails that allow for bay or ocean views.

Maribel enjoying the views!

What are your top three favorite books or podcasts?

Top three favorite podcasts are Today Explained, a daily news podcast by Vox; Bay Curious, a podcast that answers questions about life in the Bay Area; and This American Life.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day?

I love to cook as a way to unwind because it doesn’t involve any screens (unless I’m referring to a recipe on an app). I can focus on simple tasks one at a time that follow a logical order and ultimately lead to a tasty meal that’s better for me than ordering take out.

In the short time Maribel has been here at Tendo, she’s already made a tremendous impact, including being part of our Culture Club and DE&I council. The colleagues she works with the most really enjoy the collaborative and positive attitude she brings to the team. Are you interested in joining a team full of amazing individuals like Maribel? Check out our open roles today!