Holly Cwierz

UX/Product Designer

Hello, I'm Holly!

I have been designing websites since 2001, and it has been my career since 2009. I also graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in Web Design & Interactive Media in 2012.

Throughout my career, I have worked in various industries such as oil and gas, media and entertainment, and financial services. Through my work in these wide-ranging environments, I have garnered a breadth of experience with a diverse audience of users, each with unique needs.

My passion for every project is to create products and experiences that serve people as smoothly as possible. Design works best when it is almost unnoticeable, except perhaps when we have the opportunity to delight our users. I have spent my career advocating for the end users of whatever technical solution I am helping to design alongside talented product owners, engineers, and business stakeholders.

A few of the standout products I have led design on over the years include a new financial professional onboarding solution, a retirement plan establishment wizard, and, most recently, a digital account opening application for financial professionals which helped reduce redundant paperwork by 40% and streamline data entry.

Since 2024, I have also participated in my company's nascent AI committee to continue to advocate for our users as we review policies around the use of AI tools.

I currently live in Austin with my husband and our two cats. When I’m not working I love reading, traveling, and knitting.




14 years

Relevant work experience in Web & UX Design

22 years

Practical web design experience

  • Extensive experience maintaining an enterprise design system
  • Team lead who cultivates creative collaboration
  • Well-versed in responsive design practices
  • Background in Human Centered Design & Psychology
  • Experienced in designing prototypes & wire-frames


September 2021 to present

Director of Product Design

Kestra Financial

Job Summary

In 2021, Kestra Financial began a multi-year modernization effort for its flagship application, AdvisorComplete. To start, we would completely redesign and rebuild their digital account opening experience from the ground up. I was promoted to Director of Product Design and made the design team lead for this initiative.

  • Led a team of 10 designers through a total application redesign and rebuild
  • Created a new and modern digital account opening solution that reduced redundant paperwork by 40% and optimized data entry which led to the majority of accounts being able to be opened in 24 hours or less
  • Supervised the creation of a new modern design system with over 40 pages of usage documentation
  • Managed design needs across 4+ product owners and scrum teams
  • Established a foundation for UX research within the organization to analyze user sentiment
  • Facilitated a recurring feedback forum with external users every 3 weeks for over 2 years
  • Founding member of the organization’s AI Committee dedicated to setting policy regarding the use of AI tools for internal and external users

July 2014 to September 2021

UX Designer

Kestra Financial

Job Summary

Originally hired by NFP in 2014 as a dedicated UX designer for their in-house broker-dealer. In 2016, that broker-dealer was spun off into Kestra Financial and I was selected from the UX team to transition to the new company. As the sole UX designer for the company, I worked on diverse projects supporting their propriety technology platform, AdvisorComplete.

AdvisorComplete is Kestra Financial's proprietary technology platform that acts as the centralized hub for all the day-to-day activities of financial professionals. At its core, it is a web-based system that financial professionals can access from any device with a single sign-on capability that connects them to all their trusted operational and financial applications. AdvisorComplete is flexible and scalable with an intuitive interface offering high-level business analysis as well as guidance on everyday processes.

Among the many projects I have worked on in this role, one that stands out was an Enhanced Onboarding solution for new financial professionals and their assistants, which guides them through the high-stress process of moving their book of business from one broker-dealer to another. The solution tracks tasks for onboarding individuals so they are always informed of upcoming deadlines and keeps them in constant communication with their onboarding consultant who can assist them with any issues they may encounter.

Another remarkable project from this time was a Retirement Plan Establishment tool which allows financial professionals to more easily set up and manage retirement plans. This tool collects all the relevant data for the plan as well as assists the financial professional in setting up their compensation structure on the plan.

  • Designed applications using responsive and user-centered design practices for cross-platform experiences
  • Constructed and managed over 680 prototypes, wireframes, and mock-ups over the course 7 years
  • Collaborated with diverse business stakeholders to solve complicated problems while also staying compliant with financial industry regulations
  • Enforced user experience design standards across a distributed enterprise with specific audiences
  • Led the design of an Enhanced Onboarding solution for new financial professionals and their assistants
  • Led the design of a Retirement Plan Establishment tool that allows financial professionals to more easily set up retirement plans

September 2013 to December 2013

UX Designer

Certain Affinity

Job Summary

UX designer on the mobile game Age of Booty. Age of Booty was a real-time strategy video game developed by Certain Affinity and published by Capcom for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows. Set in the swashbuckling era, the game puts the players in the control of a pirate ship to loot and capture towns for a pirate faction, while defeating the enemy ships on the way.

  • Updated wireframes for a mobile strategy game to keep up with daily game design adjustments
  • Produced and maintained master UX flowcharts which documented the entire game flow for the game team to review
  • Collaborated with the QA team to test game usability and document issues
  • Proposed creative solutions to usability problems to improve the game experience for players

February 2013 to July 2013

PHP Developer

Rooster Teeth Productions

Job Summary

PHP Developer for Rooster Teeth Productions. Rooster Teeth Productions, LLC is an American digital media company headquartered in Austin, Texas.

  • Facilitated site-wide layout restructure from table-based design to modern CSS-based design
  • Created new site features to link citation lists to podcast episode descriptions
  • Coordinated with the marketing team to update website graphics to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary

June 2009 to January 2013

Web Designer

Baker Hughes

Job Summary

Web designer supporting the content management team at Baker Hughes. Baker Hughes is headquartered in Houston and is one of the world's largest oil field services companies. The company provides products and services for oil well drilling, formation evaluation, completion, production, and reservoir consulting.

As a web designer supporting the content management team, I primarily updated and maintained digital content for Baker Hughes’ intranet sites.

  • Managed content for the internal employee website with a distributed global audience
  • Applied taxonomic metadata to content to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Facilitated large-scale projects like page redesigns and content moves to SharePoint


November 2023

Certification, Machine Learning Foundations for Product Managers

Duke University


October 2008 to June 2012

B.FA., Web Design & Interactive Media

The Art Institute of Houston

G.P.A.: 3.9/4.0