Success Stories

I’m incredibly proud of the companies I’ve helped, many of which have gone on to greatness.


  • InTurn is reinventing the way brands sell their excess inventory.

    Inturn is still in stealth…but it’s going to make a big splash in the retail industry by shining a strong and helpful light into the dark corners of excess inventory. I became an advisor in the very early days, and continue to work with the founders to develop a big, exciting new platform from the ground up.

    Inturn has seed funding from Beanstalk Ventures, a new fund focused on businesses in the intersection of retail & technology.


  • Pro.com makes it easy to find and book home services in under a minute.

    Pro.com is a Seattle startup created by Amazon alum Matt Williams (with several other Amazon alums in top leadership positions). I signed on as a long-term advisor at the very beginning. Pro.com is out to make it easier for homeowners to find reliable, qualified, fairly-priced professionals to tackle home projects. I chime in on all elements of the user experience, including the pre-estimator that enables homeowners to type in their own list of home to-do items and immediately see labor estimates customized for their location.

    Pro.com was founded in August 2013. About Pro.com


  • WIPO [the World Intellectual Property Organization] is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.

    WIPO hired me to help them create a set of personas to drive the strategy for a complete site redesign. Together, we created a method that allowed the WIPO Communications Team to conduct several ad hoc persona workshops with multiple teams from across the large organization. The project resulted in 19 personas representing the diverse constituents who depend on WIPO every day (from curious students to specialized legal firms to representatives of indigenous people to high-level politicians and beyond). The personas have been wildly successful at WIPO and are helping the sprawling organization drive to clarity across all of their services and product offerings. The new WIPO.int was launched in 2013 to rave reviews.

    “Working with Tamara was an inspiration. With her exceptional blend of strategic, technical and personal qualities, she effortlessly bridged the 5,000+ miles which separated our offices. The personas she helped us create were invaluable in building a shared understanding of our users’ needs, which then drove the development of a new architecture and design for our website. The feedback on the new site – both internally and externally – has been overwhelmingly positive. And a year later, our personas are still alive and kicking – our colleagues are using them as a reference in various other efforts to better respond to our stakeholders. Tamara was a pleasure to work with – and much more fun than most international web gurus.”
    John Tarpey, Director, WIPO Communications Division


  • In 1818, Henry Sands Brooks founded Brooks Brothers, the first ready-to-wear fashion emporium in America.

    Brooks Brothers brought me on to consult on a head-to-toe redesign of the brooksbrothers.com ecommerce website. I collaborated on the new design for almost a year with the Brooks Brothers internal team and with Apartment One (the astoundingly talented, Brooklyn-based agency that helped me create the new branding and design for adlininc.com!).


  • Trover’s mission is to expose the beauty and wonder in the world, to connect travelers through beautiful photos and shared stories. Trover was co-founded by former CEO of Expedia Rich Barton and Jason Karas, who set out to create something part gallery and part guidebook; a location-tagging and social-photo sharing experience that could connect people and fuel passion for exploration.

    Today, Trover is the little content engine that could. This boutique social network continues to grow and thrive, enjoying an addicted member community and creating new tools to share their amazing user-generated content. The team raised a $2.5MM round from Concur, General Catalyst, Benchmark and Barton in 2013.

    Read more about Trover: trover.com/press

    “Tamara brought so much energy and new thinking to our product team. We built personas together, and they’ve become a rallying point for our company, adding a ton of focus to our product decisions.”
    –Jason Karas, Trover CEO


  • RealSelf has created the world’s largest community for learning and sharing information about cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry, and other elective treatments.

    I started my relationship with RealSelf by helping the team create ad hoc personas to capture key ‘differences that make a difference’ in both the consumer- and doctor communities that thrive on the site. Throughout the next 18 months, I worked with the team regularly on everything from strategy to deep-dive UI and content design projects, and with CEO Tom Seery as he saw the company through sustained growth and profitability

    RealSelf was founded in 2006 and funded in 2007 & 2008 by top tier angel investors, led by Rich Barton (Zillow and Expedia founder) and Second Avenue Partners. Learn more about RealSelf.


  • Poppin, Inc, is an innovative online retailer offering a distinctive collection of chic yet affordable workstyle products and an engaging shopping experience.

    I was brought in by co-founder Ken Seiff to help create a happy-making shopping experience for fun, creative, colorful office products. I worked with the startup’s first team to design a super-creative ecommerce experience that broke boring rules while still keeping things easy to use.

    Poppin raised $6M Series A in 2012 and $11.1 Series B in 2013. Read more about Poppin.


  • Coauthored with John Pruitt. The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas is the updated, shorter version of our original 2006 tome. In addition to instructions for creating and using data-driven personas, it contains the fundamentals of ad hoc persona creation and has lots of great tools and methods to bring personas to life in an organization and keep them useful throughout the design and development process. Read reviews & buy on Amazon.


  • Fell Swoop is a Seattle Digital Design Firm. I co-founded Fell Swoop and was a partner until I decided to strike back out on my own at the end of 2009. Fell Swoop continues to thrive and do great work.


  • Zillow is a home and real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, home buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, landlords and property managers find and share vital information about homes, real estate, mortgages and home improvement.

    Zillow brought me in to run ad hoc persona creation workshops with top-level stakeholders. The personas we created together are still in use today, every day, at the Zillow offices. Zillow was founded in 2006 and went public in July 2011. Read more about Zillow.

    “The use of “personas” at Zillow has been instrumental in guiding the company’s strategy and helping us prioritize initiatives. They have also helped put the whole company on common footing when it comes to understanding who our core customers are. I’m grateful to Tamara Adlin for introducing personas to Zillow in 2006. They live on even today as a core part of Zillow.”–Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow

    “We’ve had immense luck with Personas at Zillow for everything from Development to Design to Sales to Marketing to ops. When we adopted it as an outside consultant project 7 years ago, I never would have guessed it would become so embedded. I literally think there is never a meeting at Zillow where one of the personas is not cited by name.”
    –Rich Barton, Executive Chairman, Zillow


  • Coauthored with John Pruitt. The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design was the culmination of 5 years of hard work, research, and collaboration with John Pruitt and dozens of user experience practitioners. We created a huge book with lots of examples, detailed instructions, and invited chapters on topics related to personas. The book was released to excellent reviews from some of the top minds in User Experience, including Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman. This original version of our book is highly focused on data-driven person creation; today, I use my newer ad hoc persona creation methods to foster the collaboration and shared focus that becomes invaluable to my client companies. Read reviews & buy on Amazon.


  • I spend three awesome years at Amazon.com. From 2002 – 2004, I was a senior member of the user experience team, which meant I was an internal consultant to lots of teams throughout the retail technology organization. I helped with everything from the design of the loose diamonds and auto parts stores on amazon.com to the redesign of the tools that the customer service teams use. From 2004 — 2005, I was asked to create a user experience team in the newly-formed platform division, to help client brands create white-labeled ecommerce stores on top of Amazon technology (clients included Marks & Spencer, Sears Canada, Timex, and NBA’s online store). I was also proud to be granted special (and rare) permission to give several talks on user experience at industry conferences and events.

  • 2014
  • inturn
     Strategy & User Experience

    InTurn is reinventing the way brands sell their excess inventory.

    Inturn is still in stealth…but it’s going to make a big splash in the retail industry by shining a strong and helpful light into the dark corners of excess inventory. I became an advisor in the very early days, and continue to work with the founders to develop a big, exciting new platform from the ground up.

    Inturn has seed funding from Beanstalk Ventures, a new fund focused on businesses in the intersection of retail & technology.

  • pro
    UX Stategy, Personas & UX Design

    Pro.com makes it easy to find and book home services in under a minute.

    Pro.com is a Seattle startup created by Amazon alum Matt Williams (with several other Amazon alums in top leadership positions). I signed on as a long-term advisor at the very beginning. Pro.com is out to make it easier for homeowners to find reliable, qualified, fairly-priced professionals to tackle home projects. I chime in on all elements of the user experience, including the pre-estimator that enables homeowners to type in their own list of home to-do items and immediately see labor estimates customized for their location.

    Pro.com was founded in August 2013. About Pro.com

  • 2013
  • wipo
    Ad hoc personas for a huge site redesign

    WIPO [the World Intellectual Property Organization] is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.

    WIPO hired me to help them create a set of personas to drive the strategy for a complete site redesign. Together, we created a method that allowed the WIPO Communications Team to conduct several ad hoc persona workshops with multiple teams from across the large organization. The project resulted in 19 personas representing the diverse constituents who depend on WIPO every day (from curious students to specialized legal firms to representatives of indigenous people to high-level politicians and beyond). The personas have been wildly successful at WIPO and are helping the sprawling organization drive to clarity across all of their services and product offerings. The new WIPO.int was launched in 2013 to rave reviews.

    “Working with Tamara was an inspiration. With her exceptional blend of strategic, technical and personal qualities, she effortlessly bridged the 5,000+ miles which separated our offices. The personas she helped us create were invaluable in building a shared understanding of our users’ needs, which then drove the development of a new architecture and design for our website. The feedback on the new site – both internally and externally – has been overwhelmingly positive. And a year later, our personas are still alive and kicking – our colleagues are using them as a reference in various other efforts to better respond to our stakeholders. Tamara was a pleasure to work with – and much more fun than most international web gurus.”
    John Tarpey, Director, WIPO Communications Division

  • 2012
  • brooks-brothers
    User Experience & Omnichannel Strategy Consulting

    In 1818, Henry Sands Brooks founded Brooks Brothers, the first ready-to-wear fashion emporium in America.

    Brooks Brothers brought me on to consult on a head-to-toe redesign of the brooksbrothers.com ecommerce website. I collaborated on the new design for almost a year with the Brooks Brothers internal team and with Apartment One (the astoundingly talented, Brooklyn-based agency that helped me create the new branding and design for adlininc.com!).

  • 2011
  • trover
    UX Strategy & Personas

    Trover’s mission is to expose the beauty and wonder in the world, to connect travelers through beautiful photos and shared stories. Trover was co-founded by former CEO of Expedia Rich Barton and Jason Karas, who set out to create something part gallery and part guidebook; a location-tagging and social-photo sharing experience that could connect people and fuel passion for exploration.

    Today, Trover is the little content engine that could. This boutique social network continues to grow and thrive, enjoying an addicted member community and creating new tools to share their amazing user-generated content. The team raised a $2.5MM round from Concur, General Catalyst, Benchmark and Barton in 2013.

    Read more about Trover: trover.com/press

    “Tamara brought so much energy and new thinking to our product team. We built personas together, and they’ve become a rallying point for our company, adding a ton of focus to our product decisions.”
    –Jason Karas, Trover CEO

  • real-self
    Personas, UX Strategy, Process & Design

    RealSelf has created the world’s largest community for learning and sharing information about cosmetic surgery, dermatology, dentistry, and other elective treatments.

    I started my relationship with RealSelf by helping the team create ad hoc personas to capture key ‘differences that make a difference’ in both the consumer- and doctor communities that thrive on the site. Throughout the next 18 months, I worked with the team regularly on everything from strategy to deep-dive UI and content design projects, and with CEO Tom Seery as he saw the company through sustained growth and profitability

    RealSelf was founded in 2006 and funded in 2007 & 2008 by top tier angel investors, led by Rich Barton (Zillow and Expedia founder) and Second Avenue Partners. Learn more about RealSelf.

  • 2010
  • poppin
    UX Strategy & Design

    Poppin, Inc, is an innovative online retailer offering a distinctive collection of chic yet affordable workstyle products and an engaging shopping experience.

    I was brought in by co-founder Ken Seiff to help create a happy-making shopping experience for fun, creative, colorful office products. I worked with the startup’s first team to design a super-creative ecommerce experience that broke boring rules while still keeping things easy to use.

    Poppin raised $6M Series A in 2012 and $11.1 Series B in 2013. Read more about Poppin.

  • 2009
  • e-persona-lifecycle
    Author – The Essential Persona Lifecycle

    Coauthored with John Pruitt. The Essential Persona Lifecycle: Your Guide to Building and Using Personas is the updated, shorter version of our original 2006 tome. In addition to instructions for creating and using data-driven personas, it contains the fundamentals of ad hoc persona creation and has lots of great tools and methods to bring personas to life in an organization and keep them useful throughout the design and development process. Read reviews & buy on Amazon.

  • 2008
  • fellswoop
    Co-founder

    Fell Swoop is a Seattle Digital Design Firm. I co-founded Fell Swoop and was a partner until I decided to strike back out on my own at the end of 2009. Fell Swoop continues to thrive and do great work.

  • 2006
  • zillow
    Persona Creation, Persona Use & UX Consulting

    Zillow is a home and real estate marketplace dedicated to helping homeowners, home buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents, mortgage professionals, landlords and property managers find and share vital information about homes, real estate, mortgages and home improvement.

    Zillow brought me in to run ad hoc persona creation workshops with top-level stakeholders. The personas we created together are still in use today, every day, at the Zillow offices. Zillow was founded in 2006 and went public in July 2011. Read more about Zillow.

    “The use of “personas” at Zillow has been instrumental in guiding the company’s strategy and helping us prioritize initiatives. They have also helped put the whole company on common footing when it comes to understanding who our core customers are. I’m grateful to Tamara Adlin for introducing personas to Zillow in 2006. They live on even today as a core part of Zillow.” –Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow

    “We’ve had immense luck with Personas at Zillow for everything from Development to Design to Sales to Marketing to ops. When we adopted it as an outside consultant project 7 years ago, I never would have guessed it would become so embedded. I literally think there is never a meeting at Zillow where one of the personas is not cited by name.” –Rich Barton, Executive Chairman, Zillow

  • persona-lifecycle
    Author – The Persona Lifecycle

    Coauthored with John Pruitt. The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design was the culmination of 5 years of hard work, research, and collaboration with John Pruitt and dozens of user experience practitioners. We created a huge book with lots of examples, detailed instructions, and invited chapters on topics related to personas. The book was released to excellent reviews from some of the top minds in User Experience, including Jakob Nielsen and Don Norman. This original version of our book is highly focused on data-driven person creation; today, I use my newer ad hoc persona creation methods to foster the collaboration and shared focus that becomes invaluable to my client companies. Read reviews & buy on Amazon.

  • 2005
  • amazon
    UX Team

    I spend three awesome years at Amazon.com. From 2002 – 2004, I was a senior member of the user experience team, which meant I was an internal consultant to lots of teams throughout the retail technology organization. I helped with everything from the design of the loose diamonds and auto parts stores on amazon.com to the redesign of the tools that the customer service teams use. From 2004 — 2005, I was asked to create a user experience team in the newly-formed platform division, to help client brands create white-labeled ecommerce stores on top of Amazon technology (clients included Marks & Spencer, Sears Canada, Timex, and NBA’s online store). I was also proud to be granted special (and rare) permission to give several talks on user experience at industry conferences and events.