Emily Neigel

Product Designer | She/Her
Hi! I'm a product designer and illustrator currently based between Oakland & Arnold, California. I'm dedicated to creating intuitive and accessible designs.

P2P Texting UX & UI

Role: Lead Product Designer

In advance of the 2020 General Election, our product team needed to make updates to our P2P texting tool, ThruText, to improve usability on all devices, with an eye on mobile, maintain speed and efficiency and add features for admins.

Over 150,000 texters and thousands of admins utilized the platform to send over 1 billion texts for campaigns such as Raphael Warnock for Senate, Ed Markey for Senate, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for Congress, and Joe Biden for President.

Research & Planning

Because we already had a version of the ThruText messenger, myself and another product designer started by conducting user interviews to validate our assumptions about the changes we thought needed to be made. We believed the messenger could be faster to use if we reduced confusing navigation, made important nav items sticky, showed more conversations on the page, and made the experience more responsive on mobile.

We looked to our personas throughout the process to make sure we were building solutions that solved problems for our users.

A persona of a ThruText texter that describes their responsibilities, challenges, how they engage with ThruText and their needs & goals.
A persona of a ThruText texter that describes their responsibilities, challenges, how they engage with ThruText and their needs & goals.
A persona of a ThruText administrator in the Higher Education market that describes their responsibilities, goals and needs from ThruText


Along the way, we conducted various rounds of user tests to make sure we were building solutions that would enable volunteers to send as many messages as possible leading up to the election. The tests helped us validate our decision to reduce the number of navigation bars on the Messenger mobile experience, and helped us confirm that users did not need to be able to access their profile or top level navigation while sending messages.

A screen shot of a google drive folder showing how user tests were organized for the ThruText messenger

Final Product

The Messenger final product streamlined users' ability to perform critical actions, like collecting data and using recommended replies to respond quickly. It also aligned the Messenger to the design system we'd established on the admin side of the product, creating a more seamless experience moving from one side of the tool to the other. 

Mobile Experience

Across the Messenger and the Admin side of ThruText, we paid special attention to building a great mobile experience. Political campaign workers and volunteers are often extremely busy, and campaign staff need to be able to trust that their digital tools will work for them on all devices, and on whatever devices their volunteers might have on hand.

Multiple mobile screens of the ThruText application, both the messenger and admin side.

What Users Had to Say

I'm happy to report that users from local campaign-level volunteers to Gavin Newsom enjoyed using ThruText, and that our clients had victories from the bottom to the top of the ticket!

Role: Lead Product & Brand Designer

GetThru was going through a rebrand we needed to create a new website and all associated collateral to support the new identity.

The company was also in a moment of maturation - we'd just acquired a new product and wanted to set ourselves apart in the market by being as transparent as possible about things like price and features, while clearly telling the story of our organization and values. We also wanted the site to help reduce the volume of sales and support tickets about pricing, and to make it easier for potential clients to schedule a demo or sign up for an account.

Research & Planning

I started by working with colleagues from sales, support and leadership to identify and map the business needs for the site, and to envision what a smooth journey for future and current customers might look like.

Wireframes for the first version of

I then created an MVP version of the site by wireframing out critical pages. And after rounds of feedback, I continued to iterate and move on to higher fidelity wireframes that more closely aligned with our goals for the site experience.

High fidelity wireframes for version 2 of

Solving for Users

The users for the marketing site were both our potential and current clients, and our internal team. The version of our marketing site we were replacing was extremely barebones with less than 10 pages, and had limited functionality for the sales team to capture leads, track referrals or schedule demos.

The site also wasn't serving potential clients. We weren't showing crucial information like pricing, and had no easy way for clients to sign up for an account without first scheduling a demo. We also didn't have a clear path for current clients to get to login to our applications or submit a support ticket, and folks were often ending up in the wrong place.

Draft Figma designs of, including the home page, 2 product pages and a pricing page


With the wireframes and feedback from stakeholders in hand, I started locking in styles, colors and content. I was responsible for the new site architecture, illustrations, icons, and contributed to a large amount of the content/copywriting.

Because we had no developer resources for the marketing site, I chose to build the site in Webflow, which gave our team increased flexibility and gave me the opportunity to easily customize the site.

The site was able to scale with the organization through its busiest time - the 2020 Election Cycle, meeting the needs of clients, partner organizations and our internal team.


At the core of GetThru's brand is real people sending real messages and making real phone calls for causes they care about. I created a bespoke illustration style that centers real people using GetThru's tools.

The hero section for ThruText - Politics with an illustration of a man at a table, texting about politics.The hero section of the ThruText - Education page with an illustration of a person texting about alumni giving.The general hero section for ThruText, with an illustration of a person sitting at a table sending texts from a computer.
The ThruTalk hero section, with an illustration of a person making phone calls about an upcoming election.The hero section of the ThruText for Advocacy organizations page, with an illustration of a person standing at a desk sending text messages.The hero section of a landing page for a ThruTalk feature called PatchThru, with an illustration of a person sitting in front of a laptop, making phone calls.

Conversation Management

Role: Lead Product Designer

During the 2020 General Election, Joe Biden for President was GetThru's largest client and had a unique set of needs from our tools that were specific to a national presidential campaign.

One of those needs was the ability to sweep their text conversations at scale. We worked closely with their team to scope the project and build a solution.

Research & Planning

After receiving the initial request from the BFP team, myself, the product manager and a lead engineer got together to better define the problem statement and discuss possible solutions. We then put together an overview document for the Biden team to review and provide feedback.

Multiple mobile screens of the ThruText application, both the messenger and admin side.


We maintained a feedback loop with the stakeholders from the Biden for President team, and iterated on a solution that would not only meet their needs, but would also be useful to the rest of our customers.

Multiple mobile screens of the ThruText application, both the messenger and admin side.

Final Product

The shipped version of the Bulk Reassign feature allowed the Biden Campaign and numerous other clients using ThruText during the 2020 Election to easily sweep conversations at the top level of their texting campaigns.

Building a Design Organization

Growing the Team

Whether it is a design decision or an organizational one, I care about building things that will last and evolve. GetThru has grown from 3 to almost 50 staff during the time I've been with the company, and I've scaled the design team and our impact during that time as well.

I've increased the design team from 1 to 4 designers, built a culture of feedback, collaboration and trust. I also started the company's first apprenticeship program for design. A colleague from the Support team is currently in the apprenticeship, taking design courses and getting experience with our team and mentorship as they study.  
Me conducting a design workshop at an all staff retreat.


I've documented all design processes to make finding what you need easy for current staff or new hires.

Creating a Culture of Design

Through documentation, overseeing our design system and brand guide, and through our  resource library, our team has created a culture of design within the organization. Staff can easily access what they need in our shared drive to create quick, on brand decks or grab other things like approved client photos, logo files and more.

A screen shot of the all staff drive folder where I've organized design resources for the company.
A photo of me in a black shirt, leaning over a laptop that is not visible in the shot


Like any true liberal arts college graduate, I've always been curious to learn new things and find wholistic ways to solve problems. This curiosity carried me through a field organizer job on President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign and non-profit roles focused on workforce development and creating equitable pathways into careers in tech.

In these roles, I began to notice a theme: well designed materials, whether they were websites, fliers or social media images, were hard to come by. And clients navigating a complicated web of service providers in the non-profit space presented a lot of UX/service design challenges. So to help fill the gap, I began teaching myself web and graphic design in 2016, creating materials for my job and freelancing on the side.

In 2017, I joined GetThru, a company working at the intersection of technology and progressive politics, as employee number 3. In a fast-paced startup environment, I contributed to marketing design projects any time that I could, and continued to freelance on the side. And in late 2018, I enrolled in UX/UI bootcamp to round out my skillset. While I was in school, I continued working full time, taking on more and more design projects within the company in addition to my sales & marketing responsibilities.

In the spring of 2019, I transitioned into the company's first UX, product and marketing design role, and I've since grown the team to 5. I care deeply about looking at problems from many angles and solving for root causes, approaching users and what they are trying to accomplish with empathy, and iterating on solutions.

Outside of work, you'll find me living between Oakland & Arnold, CA, singing with the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, baking, and hanging with my cats, Pixel & JPEG.