Revel Blog

Product Designer: Revel Employee Spotlight

Julie Standridge | June 19, 2023 |

People POS Spotlight
Product Designer: Revel Employee Spotlight

Get to know some of the best and brightest at Revel Systems® in our recurring “People POS” question-and-answer series. Our previous spotlight featured Benas Narmontas, a lead support trainer responsible for ensuring our newest classes of support agents are equipped to be successful at Revel. 

In this blog post, Revel’s Marketing Communications Manager Julie Standridge talked with Revel Product Designer Corey Rossi for a Q&A session exploring Corey’s earlier experiences in the foodservice industry and how they continue to impact the way he designs products for our end users. 

Read on for a deeper dive into the world of product design at Revel and the talented designers who play an integral role in shaping how our clients and their customers interact with our technology. 

Meet Product Designer Corey Rossi 

(Q): I’m excited to chat with you today, Corey. To kick things off today, can you tell me what your role as a product designer entails here at Revel?

(A): Of course! I’m a product designer and I joined Revel in August of 2022. I hesitate with my title at Revel sometimes, because outside of Revel, or outside of my résumé, I consider myself an interaction designer who was hired as a product designer. 

Interaction design is more of a principle of design whereas product design is more squarely defined as designing products. Interaction design takes art practices from architecture—you want to know what materials are being used, why they’re being used, and if they’re being used in the proper place. This thought process takes a more systematic approach to design.

In product design, we focus on user experience and design. A real life example of interaction design, however, might consider the way a museum draws its guests into the lobby and around the museum floor. There’s a design behind that, and that’s interaction design. I use these principles to inform my role as a product designer and I really enjoy it. 

(Q): Take me back to the early stages of your career. When did you know you wanted to be a designer, and when did you realize product design was the right career path for you? 

(A): Well, I’ll start with fourth grade, but I promise I’ll move quickly! In fourth grade I joined an after school program that taught us game making, video editing, web design, and really anything you could make on the computer. This is where my career trajectory started—I was hooked. 

When I graduated from high school, I didn’t go straight to college. No one from my family had gone to college, and it wasn't something that was financially feasible for us. I took a few gap years where I worked my way up in the restaurant and retail industries. In my spare time, though, I maintained a passion for digital media. 

In my free time in San Francisco, I would always be pursuing those skills with passion projects in my spare time. I eventually met my partner who works in software and he encouraged me—and helped financially support me—to pursue going to college. I went to the California College of the Arts (CCA) to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts in interaction design and I landed a role at Revel shortly after graduation. 

I’m really grateful that Revel took a chance on me!

A Closer Look at Product Design at Revel 

(Q): Now that you have your feet wet at Revel, what does a typical day-in-the-life look like in your role? 

(A): Everyday starts with meetings of course. I’ll either meet with the product design team or meet with my scrum team. [Scrum is an agile project management and process framework, where decisions are based on observation, experience and experimentation.] While I’m not technically on a scrum team, I work really closely with them and I always learn a lot in those meetings. Any issues or priorities that come out of those  meetings will inform the rest of my day or week. 

I have a design that I’m usually starting out on or finishing, and I find that it’s good to take breaks and work on other projects. The more time I spend on a design consecutively, the easier it is to get stuck and spend hours on something that should only take a couple of minutes. I like working in short bursts to ensure I can keep a fresh mind about how to approach and solve the problems. It helps me avoid a brain burnout!

To create the designs, I usually open a design platform called Figma where I have a dedicated resource library that I can pull from for new and existing designs. 

(Q): Do you focus on a specific product or solution at Revel when it comes to design? 

(A): I work primarily on our loyalty product at Revel and I love it. I was a supervisor at Starbucks for five years prior to pursuing my degree in interaction design, and I try to pull from that experience. Starbucks has an extensive, beloved loyalty program and I am constantly applying themes from what I found to be successful about their program to how I think about loyalty design at Revel. 

I mostly work with open loyalty here, meaning I focus on how third-party loyalty integration partners can easily work with our platform.

For example, customers who have loyalty accounts need to interact with our Customer Display System XT (CDS XT) which is what I work on the most. I also occasionally work on the point of sale platform itself which is what a cashier is interacting with. 

I get to work on making the flow of loyalty programs on the CDS XT interface seamless. And because we work with multiple third-party loyalty partners, we want the user experience to be cohesive. This results in less technical and design debt and makes it easier for our end users and partners. 

(Q): How do you work with other teams at Revel? 

(A): I hate working in a silo and really thrive on collaboration. I will make a design and set up weekly meetings with the product owners, designers, and people from other areas at Revel who I work with and have them all come together to offer shared input. I’m always trying to advocate for us to all be on the same page, while also being considerate of everyone’s busy calendars. 

First, my product owners and I will discuss the problem at hand, and then we’ll discuss it with the scrum team. This helps us estimate what will be difficult for our development team and estimate project timing. This structure allows me to come up with a preliminary design and then I can bring that back to my product owner. If we agree on the path forward, we take the design and development ticket to the team and lay out the entire story and our intention behind the project. This gives the developers space to explain their thoughts and we iterate from there. 

(Q): You have a tenured foodservice industry background. How do you feel those experiences have helped inform how you do your job here at Revel? 

(A): I understand what the operator and customer pain points are because of my previous experiences—Revel’s leadership team definitely put me on loyalty for a reason! 

It’s crazy because I often have moments where I’m like “I remember having to do this!” as a manager at Starbucks. For example, just today we were talking about recovery cards, which is what a restaurant might issue if someone didn’t like their meal. I remember having to give those out at Starbucks and I remember what the experience was like for me as an employee and for the end user. I’m constantly asking myself “how could we do that better?”

I’m also starting to work on what we’re calling the “end of shift wizard” project. I’ll be focusing on the user experience when an employee clocks off when it’s not the end of the day. I also have experience with these types of situations and I enjoy applying those experiences in my design. 

Looking Ahead with a Revel Product Designer

(Q): What makes you excited to come to work everyday? 

(A): One thing that I feel very fortunate about, despite being a newer designer at a company, is that I get to really own my domain, which at the time of doing this interview is loyalty. This is really exciting to me. I have a lot of confidence in sharing new ideas, collaborating with my teammates, and seeing what sticks. 

I strive to be complementary to the other facets of the business. I often get to work with or hear feedback directly from the end user and I really enjoy getting to design solutions for common issues they’re experiencing. 

(Q): What helps you be successful in your role as a product designer? 

(A): The people at Revel help me be successful in this role. I used to message my product owner about everything when I first started and I wasn’t sure if it was too much. It turns out I was asking the right things, and my product owner loved being able to help me. It was super refreshing to know I work with a team that’s really open minded and open to helping. 

(Q): Outside of your work as a product designer at Revel, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 

(A): I recently got into being a DJ in my spare time! I went to a six-week course and I practice every day. I keep joking with my coworkers that I’m preparing to perform at this year’s holiday party, but in all seriousness, I think I should DJ this year’s holiday party. Outside of enjoying married life, I love to garden and play my Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.