Heather Finn


Working in the Innovation Labs, I designed new products and mentored startups.

iLabs Products

AARP is the largest nonprofit in the United States, serving 38 million members. With a mission of empowering people to choose how they live as they age, AARP Innovation Labs is tasked with finding new and creative solutions.

As the sole designer on products built in the Labs, I had the opportunity to design web apps, mobile apps, and desktop apps. I have met UX challenges in voice, chatbots, AR, and VR. I even explored no code solutions as the way to build our MVPs.

As a founding member of AARP's startup accelerator program, I had the pleasure of providing hands-on mentoring and design services to over a dozen startups. This has given me unique insights into the way products can best meet the needs of the 50+ market.

My Contribution

For most projects, I was involved from start-to-finish with my primary focus on designing MVPs to validate product concepts.


I helped complete upfront and ongoing user research as we worked on MVPs of products, including competitive analysis, user interviews, and remote testing.


I created the right deliverables every stage: Everything from low fidelity prototypes to highly detailed interactive designs.


As different MVPs required different tech stacks, I built out products in Shopify, Wordpress, and browser extensions.


I created analytics implementation plans and dashboards and often completed the analysis for improvements after a launch.

Product Management

On several products, I was the product manager—breaking it down into milestones and directing the process for buildout.


I mentored 6 startups in our first year of the AARP accelerator program with hands-on research, design, strategy, and more.


I stretched across the department to refine our strategies for user experience, messaging, and more.

Business Process

I identified inefficient processes and smoothed them out to focus the team's energy on value-adding activities.

HomeFit AR

AARP's popular HomeFit Guide provides people with ways to make their home accessible as they age. In 2019, our team brought the guide to life using AR. I worked as lead on the project, ensuring the right stakeholders were involved and mapping out how we go from idea to finished product.

Working with our developers, we pushed the limits of what was possible to detect using the camera on a phone. To supplement the limitations and provide a comprehensive list of improvements, I incorporated a friendly chatbot that asks questions about your appliances, furniture, and more. After touring your house, you are presented with a personalized checklist of the improvements you can make.

Download on iOS

Report of improvements


How do you help someone during times of grief?

This was the need we wanted to solve with Savo. After you lose someone, you are often presented with lots of generic offers of help but you may have trouble articulating exactly what you need. Savo helps answer this with minimal setup by you or a friend and provides a central place for your loved ones to provide help during difficult times.

I assisted with user research, prototyping, branding, design and analysis for this project. We focused on making the process for setting up a calendar as effortless as possible. Since people often don't know what kind of help they need, Savo provides the most common requests with the click of a button and even creates a default calendar with suggested frequency for each.

AARP Community Connections

When COVID-19 hit the US in March 2019, our team responded with a site designed to help communities help each other. AARP Community Connections provides a trusted space for people to find local mutual aid groups, request a phone call from an AARP volunteer, and locate other resources for help during this unprecedented time.

Over the course of a few days, I designed, built and launched the site. My continued analysis of the usage of the site resulted in significant improvements since launch as we adapt to the changing needs of people across the country.

Homepage for AARP Community Connections

Map of mutual aid groups

Let's Be Well

When people are diagnosed with conditions like diabetes, it can be scary and overwhelming to know where to start to take control of their health. The Let’s Be Well Box meets this need by delivering expertly curated boxes to individuals at the moment in time when they need support the most.

I defined the design of the site using UXPin. With a clickable prototype, we were able to easily user test the new design and make adjustments based on feedback.

I broke the redesign effort down into tasks that could be divided among developers and addressed any timing issues as we approached our deadline. I became an expert in Shopify theme setup and development. I wrote HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and ensured the underlying theme setup was user-friendly and low maintenance.

Example of one of the reusable components: Carousel with long text

AARP Perks

Example from AARP Perks

As an AARP member, it can be hard to remember all the benefits available to you in the moment of a purchase or while you are researching topics like Medicare or caregiving. AARP Perks lets you know when a benefit is available while you browse the web.

I built the initial working prototype of the browser extension, helping sell this concept to other teams within AARP. For the pilot, I updated the design to reflect the latest AARP brand guidelines and built a data dashboard to track its progress as we rolled it out.

Hacking Menopause

Menopause is often treated like a secret: Millions of women experience it, but no one ever discusses it.

The Hacking Menopause challenge was created to change that. We wanted to find innovative solutions to help women during this important, and often uncomfortable, time in their lives.

The simple site needed to make a big statement: Menopausal women are an underserved market ripe for disruption. Bright, bold colors and playful animations help the viewer realize menopause is not what they thought it was.

My Impact

Designed and built 5 new AARP products from the ground up

Founding member of AARP's first startup accelerator program

Mentored 6 startups and supported many others with design services during the first year of the accelerator

Directly contributed to AARP making the Fast Company lists for Best Places to Work for Innovators (2020 & 2021) and Best Teams for Innovation in 2020

What Startups Say

"You really helped us with the call-to-action—the 'so what?' for the user. Thinking about that as part of the design and the thought process of turning it into something real through a prototype was very valuable. We have already implemented a basic set of alerts based on the prototype."

Tania C.
Founder and CEO

"Having someone as experienced as Heather (who also understands the needs of this user group) help us with our website designs has been amazing!"

Camille S.
Founder and CEO

Key Design Projects

A few more examples of my work in the AARP Innovation Labs.

Let's Be Well Homepage


AARP Community Connections: Friendly Voice

Friendly Voice form

AARP Community Connections: Resources

Helpful Resources

Hacking Menopause Report

Report with key data

Savo Volunteer View

Volunteer view of Savo

AARP Innovation Labs' Website

Blog article

Chatbot in HomeFit AR

HomeFit AR Chatbot

Let's Be Well Heart Box on Mobile

Let's Be Well Heart Box