Jen Goertzen


This page is an introduction to how I approach my work. It will help you understand what guides my processes; why I ask so many questions; and why I want you to ask me questions.

North Star Ideals

People matter. Product and service design is humble. It meets people where they are and supports them. Every person affected—directly or indirectly—matters in that process. With compassion and empathy, aim to understand and connect with people.

Do good. There is always room to do good. Look for opportunities and act with intention. Do good for all people, for our environment, and for our future. Do it as well as you can, whatever that means for you at that time.

Grow. We will always be learning. Be open to what you don’t know when presented by others. Reflect on where you’ve come from—yesterday or last year—and what that means for where you’re going next.
Note: Growth is also nurturing. Sometimes we don't want to— or shouldn't—be moving to bigger and better. Sometimes better is where we are and taking care.

Ethical Principles

Honesty. Be honest and transparent with those who are affected by the product and processes of your work.

Affirmative action. Actively ask for deliberate, affirmative action from people when we seek consent and approval.

Inclusion. Look for and act on opportunities to make all processes, teams, and products inclusive to people of all backgrounds and abilities.

Positivity. Create positive impact wherever possible; for people affected by our product, today and in the future.

Sustainability. Commit to developing sustainable processes, products, and relationships with people affected by our product, our team, and our environment.


I listen first, respond after. I can come across as quiet in meetings. I listen first to hear all different points of view. If information is presented for the first time in a meeting, I will take time outside of the meeting before responding. If a response is needed immediately, I can prepare something.

I have an opinion when I have enough information. I want to understand a problem or topic well enough to see all sides before picking one. If I have’t taken a stance on a topic, it may mean that I’m still learning about it. However, when a decision is needed before I’m sure, I can gather what I know at that time to provide one.

I want to be challenged. My ideas are never final, and our work will never be finished. Poke holes, ask questions, make suggestions. This also applies to the way I work—my process is always iterating based on feedback. And, sometimes, I’m simply wrong. I want to hear that, too.

I think in systems and want to see the bigger picture. In my work, I go wide to gather context before focusing in on the problem. It can look like a tangent or irrelevant. Don’t hesitate to ask me why I’m asking a question.

I work towards the clearest way to communicate something. I believe that every solution has a core concept, a truth at its source that tells what you need to know. A lot of my process is reorganizing information into new forms to find the most clear description. If I’m not making sense, I want to know.

I bias towards action—and this isn’t always on the computer. I believe the best way to test something is to make it and try to break it. We can theorize all day long, but we won’t know until it’s in front of us. This takes many forms, even in remote work, and can sometimes look messy—but it’s almost always fun.

I assume positive intent. I assume people have positive intentions in everything they do. I also assume people have bad days but they’re still good.

This is a living document. It’s incomplete and will certainly continue to grow and change as I grow and change.


On the socials
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  • Twitter
  • Medium
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