Raheem Mussa



Product strategy and design are about understanding, articulating, and solving problems. As a product manager emerged from engineering and design, I've led and shipped cutting-edge products to improve speed and efficiency in the way we work. Whether that's improving the way cities manage traffic congestion or helping microbiologists quickly detect high contamination levels, it's the deep, messy, complex problems that fuel my passion. Currently, I manage, design, and ship products for analyzing transportation data at Miovision.

My strengths are rooted in systems thinking, team leadership, and the product development lifecycle learned through the Systems Design Engineering program at the University of Waterloo. Web and mobile consulting, product and design strategy, and international experiences have shaped me into a global leader and design thinker.

My goal is to lead technological and societal change through expertise in human-centred design and product strategy.


Miovision DataLink
"How is traffic data used to improve how people interact with their cities?" 3 weeks after starting at Miovision, the Product Director and I headed to Chicago, Seattle, and Toronto to discover the insights to this question. We discovered that traffic data champions the development of citizen-centred infrastructure, like the building of a bike lane or how the new coffee shop increases pedestrian flow. Out of this, I developed and continue to lead Miovision DataLink, where engineers and planners can request, share, and analyze traffic data. Previously Product Designer, currently Product Manager.
It started with the Product Director, tasked with scaling Miovision beyond data collection and into engineering analysis. Our customers introduced us to cities including Seattle, Chicago, and Toronto, who had an increase in data collection and an increase in new buildings and infrastructure. After hypothesizing the problem that the gap between data collection and insight was too manual, we put it to the test by visiting, observing and learning about the traffic engineering functions of these cities. We co-created concepts with these leading cities, establishing them as our product development partners. The concept of a map-based search and sharing tool to solve tedious data search and colleague alignment problems were the beginning of a new product - Miovision DataLink. Today, this product has evolved into resolving engineering analysis inefficiencies, making the product a defacto tool among leading traffic engineers in North America and Europe.

Product Design, Stakeholder Engagement, Product Management

When you are caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease, it can be a challenge to communicate and find ways to help them rediscover the world around them. When this disease affected our loved ones, our team got together and decided to build something. We built Suvien, a tablet app which eases this struggle by displaying their pictures, audio, and video to trigger memories that they can identify with. Trials were conducted in partnership with the Alzheimer's Society of Ontario and Ontario Brain Institute.
The need for such a product was determined in collaboration with ASO and OBI. Using lean methodology, a minimum viable product was built and tested iteratively with ASO and Alzheimer's patients. Facilitation of concept generation, front-end development of suvien.com, and UI design of the application were my primary areas of focus. Usability, impact and effectiveness insights from user trials guided further feature development through monitoring and evaluation. Suvien 2.0 is now available for iPhone and Android.

Clinical Trial Insights PDF

Front-end Development, UI Design

Toronto Transit Wayfinding Signs
It's Fall of 2014, and I'm walking along Front Street towards Union Station. I realize I have plenty of time to make the 6pm GO Train to Mississauga. Nearing the area, I find myself lost among the construction, looking for signs to the GO Train Station. There were signs that had a train symbol and an arrow; I followed those until there was no signage continuation and was facing the Union Station building. Luckily, I asked someone and they told me where to go. Why did it have to be this way? What if someone was visiting as a tourist? How will tourists be affected by such signage? I wanted to make something better.
This was a personal project which I wanted to build for myself more than anything. I interviewed commuters, tourists, GO and TTC management to gauge an understanding of how they feel about the current signage and how a new proposed sign might help. The designed concepts were a result of insights from commuters and using human factors signage principles as utilized by GO and TTC.

Union Station Insights PDF

User Research, Human-Centred Design, Concept Design

Global Encounters
Working as an International Camp Facilitator in Kenya, I visited a rural school with my students to conduct a community service project. Our goal was to build a warm relationship with the school, build trust, and empower the school to co-design with us. We conducted an in-depth needs assessment with a design-thinking methodology, where empathy was at the heart of understanding people and co-creation became the driving force towards a new project. Cultural challenges were evident from language, hospitality expectations, and teacher-student relationships. However, our mutual interest in building a better experience for students fueled our work that aligned with their community. We built an early childhood development playground, one that both the school and our team were happy to create.
Our first approach was to listen to the school leadership, engage with the students, and build trust. Basic English and Swahili were the only way to verbally communicate, the rest was through body language and gestures. This barrier presented a new way to advance the needs assessment - observation. Listening to their stories, watching students in class, observing how they play, we figured a revitalized playground for young children might be the way to go. We presented these findings and idea back to the school leadership and were excited, but wanted other things too. Once we explained our reasoning as to why we feel like this will have a lasting impact given our short timeframe, the direction was “ok then, let’s try it”. We built up the playground in a week, and simply observed the next 2 weeks. At every touchpoint, we asked the school leadership what they thought and they started to come around once we hit the heart of their concerns - children safety, that improves their regular visit scores from the inspectors. It was a win-win, as we tweaked certain elements of the playground too to ensure better flow around the area and easy ways to get to the washroom without bumping into people. Measuring success is where we lacked - our emails back and forth to the school leadership helps us know that the school playground is still used well today.

Human-Centred Design, Facilitation, Co-creation

Imagine the ability to control sound effects by moving your hands in the air. In the live entertainment industry, sound technicians cue sound effects for artists on stage. In the moment, we put the power of audio effects into the palm of the performer's hand. With Orpheus, artists can throw sound across the room, sparking curiosity and excitement among the crowd.
We interviewed concert artists, djs, and sound technicians to determine a statement of need and translate their input into design criteria, while research and competitive analyses were conducted to establish our development strategy. We built a prototype using high-degree indoor positioning cameras to track body movement. With usability testing and environmental trials, the product speed was enhanced by using hidden Markov models and MIDI sound controllers for a real-time sound response. The product detected user gestures and matched these actions to sound effects instantly and accurately. Honorable Mention - Final Engineering Design Projects, University of Waterloo, 2012.

Human Factors Engineering, Ergonomics, Usability

raheem.mussa at gmail.com