• Design & Experience Director. Strategy. Vision.

AncestryDNA Traits

Understanding more about your traits, both seen and unseen

July 2018
iOS, Android, Web
AncestryDNA Traits

Learning more about yourself

AncestryDNA Traits is a premium add-on to the existing DNA kits. The Traits product currently has 26 traits including Sensory, Physical, and Nutrition traits. Traits provides value in three different ways for customers.

  1. Traits helps customers understand more about their body.
  2. The Traits product can help answer questions such as “where did I get my blonde hair”, with the around the world feature (a first in market).
  3. Traits allows customers to compare themselves to friends and family to see how alike they are to one another, helping to answer the question "did I get my sweet taste trait from Mom or Dad?".
AncestryDNA Traits. Traits Home and Introduction via iOS app.
Customer Journey, custom traits photography shoot, and old illustration styles for AncestryDNA Traits

Getting There

Traits started as a project to figure out how to create a health product. Over time, goals changed and the product needed a pivot. Over the course of one year to release, I collaborated closely with my product and engineering director peers to launch the first new stand-alone product for Ancestry within the last 5 years. The Traits product re-launch went through multiple business goals and changes in direction from executive leadership, including accelerated timelines and launches. Throughout the product history I lead the overall vision and product strategy, creating first-in-market DNA features. I also lead a shift in the visual design of our products to move the company towards a more emotional experience, leveraging my background as a photographer. This product helped to set a new direction for the companies products, and created re-usable patterns for designers.

Key Highlights

  • Collaborated with multiple product managers; product director; and engineering director
  • Lead multiple workshops on different features, directions, and experiences
  • Lead strategic decisions to create market uniqueness and high customer value
  • Directed visual design shifts to move the company towards more emotional experience
  • Branched out to include marketing teams to ensure closeness in marking and the actual product, helping to set customer expectations
  • Delivered simultaneously across all platforms; iOS, Android, and Web
  • Lead iterative delivery empowering teams to make meaningful changes towards our success metrics while maintaining focus on the customer experience
Highlights for creating AncestryDNA Traits include custom photography, multiple platforms, high app and amazon ratings.
AncestryDNA Traits via iOS app. Showing multiple screens from app.

Results & Metrics

75% customer satisfaction; higher when using the Compare and Around the World features

40% take rate

326% increase in weekly visits to all DNA products

12 months of product design and iteration to full market launch; including 5 Beta releases with real customers

Amazon's Choice for DNA Test with 4.5 star rating

AncestryDNA Traits, showing Trait details for Facial Hair Thickness, Hair Color, and Alcohol Flush.

AncestryDNA Traits, showing Trait details for Facial Hair Thickness, Hair Color, and Alcohol Flush. Trait details screens showcased a wide variety of information, helping people understand there is more to the product than just the first result, including fun facts and deep science.

Traits Home, Traits Compare, and Traits Around the World.

Traits on the Ancestry DNA iOS app showcasing the Traits Home, Traits Compare, and Traits Around the World features.

Traits Introduction screens helping customers form a mental model of the product.

Introduction to the Traits product helping customers form a mental model of the product and teaching them some quick language.

Traits Home via desktop web. Showing Traits across multiple platforms

The Traits product was launched across all platforms at the same time, which meant leading the team to design at various scales and think about dynamic layouts.

Traits Introduction via desktop web.

Showcasing how the Traits Introduction was designed across screen sizes. This feature also featured custom motion design for a dynamic experience.

Traits Introduction via desktop web.

Trait details on desktop web.

Traits Introduction via desktop web.

Traits Around the World on desktop web. This experience helps answer the question "where did my alcohol flush come from?".

Traits Introduction via desktop web.

The Traits product was meant to be more social and fun, compared to other Ancestry products. We designed and created a social sharing feature, allowing customers to share the traits they found out about in a fun fashion.