Air Force /
Pilot Training

Apollo Training Application


Apollo is a plan to overhaul how airmen currently record their in-flight training, and how leadership manages the entire units training progress (known as the Readiness Assessment Program).

Myself, a first-time product manager, a subject matter expert, and several developers were tasked with discovery, strategy, and implementation.

The focus of this case study will not be on the actual application, but on my design process. My underlining strategy in all phases is collaboration.

3 Months

Product design

Research Strategy

As lead researcher in such a complex domain, it can be overwhelming to know where to even begin. I documented questions and assumptions whenever they came up, and facilitated meetings to gather the team’s questions.

Generating Research Questions

The spreadsheet above was constantly being updated as we gathered answers and new questions arose.

After an interview, I filled out a debrief worksheet with the team.

- Snippet of my Research Tracker Spreadsheet

Interview Debrief

The interview debriefs were a quick and dirty way to align the team on what we just learned, and keep a digestible record of past research efforts. Once we’ve planned and executed our research strategy, the next step is to capture and define all that we’ve learned.

- Post-Interview

Research Mapping

Proto-personas and journey maps are my preferred tools to capture insights and build a clear picture of what our user’s current lives look like.
Once the current state is defined, we can brainstorm a “happy path” user flow.


Everyone is a designer, and anyone can have a great design idea. After we defined our problems, and mapped the domain, I led design studios, and mini-design-sprints. Our dedicated subject matter expert (SME), was amazing here — it’s hard for me to imagine working without one!

High-Fidelity Prototypes

Here is where the designer (me) can finally flex their talents. Using our existing design system, I was able to quickly put some prototypes together for user testing.


The result of all this work is, of course, more work. As we finally test our prototypes, more questions come up, and more problems are discovered, starting the cycle over. Each time, we get closer and more confident to our end-goal.

This application released in the Fall of 2021.