Connector Spotlight: Zachery Oman

February 27, 2020

Q: Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.

I’m currently working on a social payments project for a financial institution. Our aim is to help our client’s users reduce the anxiety of splitting money with their peers, partners, friends, and family by creating a product that helps people engage with money in healthier ways. To do this, we’re using foundational research, concepting, prototyping, and dual-track release. We’re hoping to roll the product out in 2020 to 250k users.

Alongside this, I’m also running the internal Connected Pride initiative. It’s extremely important to me to help shape our workplace to be an inclusive, safe space for everyone to work.

Q. What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?

Well… for the client project there are interesting challenges in two categories: the product and the team. From a product perspective, the challenge of leveraging technology in a way that helps people offload the emotional burdens of shared expenses to preserve their relationships is much easier said than done. Money is such a sensitive subject for so many people that any product that handles it must be designed with exceptional thoughtfulness.

The team challenge is simply having different people in different places—a multidisciplinary team across four offices. The building process requires heavy collaboration and my job as the Lead requires me to be thinking constantly about better, more creative ways to brainstorm and build as a single unit. 

As for the Pride work, finding the time to focus on the initiative while working long hours on a client project is tough. Thankfully, the Pride team at Connected has become an internal movement powered by a passionate group.

Q: Where did you work prior to Connected?

My career has been something of a whirlwind, curiosity-chasing endeavour. 

Most recently, I was an Innovation Strategist at Idea Couture, a global innovation and experience design firm in Toronto. Before that I worked for Youyou Mobile, a high-growth startup in Shanghai and going back further, I was a Materials Engineering Analyst at Pratt & Whitney. 

From the very beginning my career has been something of a winding road!

Q: What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?

Weirdly enough, I feel most proud that my career makes sense (to me at least). Rather than focusing on a clear end goal, I focus on what motivates me and all those motivations have led me to the right place at the right time, over and over again.

Q: Do you have a mantra to live by?

No regrets, live in the moment.

Q: Describe yourself in three words.

Contrarian, curious, and kind (I was hoping for three Cs, but hopefully phonetics count!).

Q: And finally, what’s your favourite product and why?

The bicycle. It’s the tool that does the most for me personally. Cycling gives me mental clarity (a good bike ride is like meditation for me), is the most enjoyable form of physical exercise, lets me see parts of my own city and other places that I would otherwise miss, and makes commuting feel like a privilege, not a chore.

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