Vesna Planko, Designer in San Francisco, CA, United States
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Vesna Planko

Verified Expert  in Design


San Francisco, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 27, 2015

Vesna Planko is a dynamic Principal Product Designer with over 15 years of experience in UX/UI and product development. She excels at leading cross-functional teams to drive business growth and enhance user satisfaction. With proven mentorship skills and extensive public speaking engagements, Vesna leverages cutting-edge design strategies and innovative AI integration to deliver exceptional results. Explore how her expertise can transform your business by visiting


Work Experience

Principal Product Designer | CEO

2015 - PRESENT
  • Engineered and led product design strategy for projects with Treasure Finance, Sodexo, and TaxAct, Her, B8ta Retail, Coinage, Crowd-up...
  • For Treasure Finance, spearheaded the redesign of the dashboard experience and design strategy, doubling deposit rates against withdrawals and enhancing platform trust through strategic leadership and user-centric design principles.
  • Delivered digital solutions that boosted customer engagement and satisfaction across all projects.
  • Achieved significant results through strategic leadership and effective cross-functional team collaboration in major financial sectors, underscoring the impact of design on business outcomes.
Technologies: Design Principles, UX Design, Design Thinking, Figma, Lean UX, UX Strategy, UX Specifications

Principal Product Designer

2021 - 2023
Galileo Financial Technologies
  • Formulated and executed enterprise-level design strategies at Galileo, significantly advancing company-wide objectives by integrating sophisticated design methods, business insights, and analytical tools.
  • Elevated user satisfaction and engagement by multiple NPS scores, capitalizing on strategic UX improvements and targeted user engagement techniques.
  • Managed a significant reduction in human interaction in modified programs, leveraging automation and design optimization to streamline operations and enhance user experience.
  • Directed and coordinated the development and implementation of a design system to establish a robust, scalable framework for ongoing design consistency and quality.
Technologies: Figma, Adobe CC

Lead UX/UI Designer

2013 - 2022
Security First
  • Orchestrated product design and strategy across multiple platforms (Android, iOS, Web) for the Umbrella app, adeptly addressing risks faced by Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in diverse cultural contexts.
  • Employed in-depth user research and innovative UX strategies to customize the app's features for enhanced user engagement and accessibility.
  • Conducted comprehensive user research and devised targeted UX strategies, effectively elevating the app’s adoption and securing high user satisfaction ratings, reflecting a strong command of user experience design principles.
  • Engineered the Umbrella app from concept through to market launch, successfully scaling to 80,000 users with a rating of 4.0 on Android and 50,000 users with a rating of 4.8 on iOS.
  • Leveraged cutting-edge design methodologies and strategic positioning to grow and sustain a robust user base across platforms.
Technologies: InVision, Sketch

Lead Product Designer

2018 - 2021
  • Steered the development of the AI Governance Tool from inception through the pilot phase with 10 customers to general availability, ensuring the tool's alignment with industry needs and successful market introduction.
  • Cultivated a robust design and development strategy, overseeing a team of specialists focused on creating a scalable and efficient AI governance framework, which facilitated the tool's transition from the pilot phase to a widely available product.
  • Pioneered and guided the product experience design for TaxVerse, resulting in its acquisition. Employed comprehensive research, strategic development, and meticulous UI/interaction design to align the product with critical market needs.
  • Managed a dedicated team, enhancing design capabilities and fostering a collaborative environment that supported the development and successful launch of the TaxVerse product.
Technologies: Sketch, InVision, Miro, Abstracts

Senior UX/UI Full-stack Designer

2017 - 2017
App Annie
  • Directed the design and strategic implementation of a headline feature on the 2017 roadmap, enhancing product functionality and user engagement.
  • Applied strategic collaboration and expert design techniques to ensure the feature aligned with user expectations and business objectives.
  • Partnered closely with a UX researcher to conduct thorough user and usability research, ensuring the feature's design was robustly informed by user insights and usability data.
  • Leveraged these findings to optimize the feature, substantially elevating user experience and satisfaction.
Technologies: InVision, Sketch

Design and Technical Lead

2014 - 2016
Moni Technologies
  • Initiated and developed the design and strategy for Moni, a peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer app, 0 ->1.
  • Applied user-centric design strategies and robust cross-platform implementation to drive the project from inception to a significant market presence.
  • Participated in the inaugural cohort of Techstars London, leveraging this intensive startup accelerator to catapult the project from concept to reality, enhancing business strategies and accelerating pivotal product development milestones.
Technologies: InVision, Adobe CC

Design and Technical Lead

2013 - 2014
  • Spearheaded the design strategy, research, and UX/UI design for an iOS and Android app: employed expert design practices and rigorous research methodologies to dramatically expand user engagement and adoption.
  • Oversaw the marketing website and led a cross-functional team of developers, ensuring seamless integration of design and development efforts that enhanced user experience and market reach.
  • Participated in the YCombinator S15 batch, capitalizing on the accelerator's resources to refine strategic approaches and engage with influential stakeholders, facilitating rapid scaling and operational excellence.
  • Won the Best Design Award at the LAUNCH Festival 2014 San Francisco, earning acclaim for innovative design and effective implementation that significantly bolstered the project's visibility and industry standing.
Technologies: InVision, Adobe CC
2010 - 2024

Master's Degree in Information Technology Management

Faculty of Information Studies - Novo Mesto, Slovenia

1998 - 2008

Bachelor's Degree in Economics

Faculty of Economics and Business Studies - Maribor, Slovenia


Executive Leadership



Pendo for Web



Sketch, InVision, Adobe CC, Sublime Text, Figma, Zeplin, Miro


Web, OS X, iOS, Android

Industry Expertise





Audits, Design Thinking, User Research, Research, UX Architecture, Design Principles, UX Principles, UX Design, Lean UX, Product Design, UI Design, Interaction Design (IxD), Service Design, Web Design, Branding, Rapid Prototyping, User-centered Design (UCD), User Interface (UI), Mobile App Design, Fintech, UX Strategy, UX Specifications, Design Strategy & Innovation, Digital Product Design, User Research & Analytics, Data Visualization, Design Systems, Information Architecture (IA), Usability Testing, Enterprise Product Roadmap & Development, Digital Transformation, Concept Development, Scrum, Illustration, Interface Design, IT Management, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Computer Graphics, Information Systems, Economics, Behavioral Economics, Process Economics, Abstracts, Analytics, UX Analysis, Consumer Behavior, Customer Success, User Experience (UX), Leadership

Collaboration That Works

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