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Voices of Hiya: Ryan Adams

In our Voices of Hiya series, each month we spotlight a different Hiya employee, so you can get a glimpse of what it’s like to work at Hiya. 

This month, we hear from Ryan Adams, product researcher based in Seattle, Washington. Read on to discover why Ryan wanted to work for Hiya and what he does to contribute to the success of the company.


Why were you interested in working at Hiya?

In tech I feel like the job search is always a compromise, and you can pick two of these three options: 

1. The organization is building something cool or for the common good
2. Satisfaction with the work you do personally
3. Satisfactory in compensation

When I learned about Hiya, I was originally skeptical that it was a place that could check all three boxes. As I interviewed and spoke with Hiyans, I quickly realized how genuine they were about the mission of Hiya. I feel very fortunate to be part of Hiya’s journey. There aren’t many places where you can work with a close, passionate team that impacts the lives of hundreds of millions of people all over the world in a positive way. 

What is your role at Hiya?

I run and coordinate all of our Product Research at Hiya. This means everything from generative strategic research, to usability and concept testing for our latest designs. I help our team make sure we’re focused on the right problems, and building the best possible solutions to solve them.


What do you enjoy most about working at Hiya?

I’ve never had a job where when you answer the dreaded party question, “What do you do for work?” and when you tell them they genuinely THANK you for what the organization does. It is very satisfying! On top of that, we get to push the limits of new technologies and do things very few people are doing, which is super exciting for me. 

What are the qualities of a perfect teammate?

Collaboration. Compassion. Creativity. Drive.

I love working with people, so it’s great when they naturally have a collaborative spirit. Different perspectives really help us understand things better. Compassion typically means the person is empathetic and open to other ideas. That goes hand in hand with collaboration in my opinion.

Creativity and drive are directly related as well. I love working with people who look for new things to try, and are determined to make them happen.


Can you share a memorable moment or project you worked on?

At the beginning of 2024 we launched a new analytics offering for Hiya Connect. What was great about this project was how much collaboration there was across the functions, and how much research helped us build confidence in our direction.

Our principal product manager Dave Suzuki and I worked together closely to do the research and make sure we had what we needed to make a fairly drastic change to the product. Engineering and design came into the process early to do proof-of-concepts and test new solution ideas. Our customer teams helped us validate our new solution and bring it to market successfully. 


How has working at Hiya helped you grow?

Our design director, Christopher Thomas, has given me the opportunity to really own and make research at Hiya in my own vision. This has meant getting to try things or learn skills that address the needs of the organization while also building my toolkit. We’ve focused research on the most critical needs of the business, determined where to invest and where to be scrappy, and I think it pays dividends. The best research is work that actually informs the business, and we’ve been very successful in that regard.

Hiya also works with the University of Washington Human-Centered Design & Engineering and Masters of Human-Centered Interaction and Design programs, sponsoring groups of students each year. I LOVE the opportunity to work and mentor the students, as I think any form of teaching leads to learning for yourself. The students are also bringing new learnings and experiences to the table that apply to the work they do with us, which is a huge value to me and to Hiya!


What does your ideal Recharge Day off look like? 

I usually forget our Recharge Days are coming up which is actually great for me! I end up with a free day where I have the freedom to do what I need for myself. That might mean being creative, working outside, seeing a friend, or cuddling with the cat. 

Android or Apple?  


What’s your favorite emoji? 


What is your favorite meal? 

You can’t beat a roasted chicken when it is done well. My partner does one where the drippings are soaked up by some croutons she makes. To die for. 

Where is home for you? 

I live on Vashon Island which is in the Puget Sound, about a 20 minute ferry ride from Seattle. Our hybrid work policy means I get to work from home in a beautiful setting and commute by boat on the days I come into the office. Sometimes I see orcas! It is pretty dope!

If you could have a superpower, what would it be? 

As a researcher, mind reading. However, I would not want that for my personal life!

What’s your dream trip? Or, what’s the next place you want to visit? 

The next big trip we want to take is Japan. Lots of food and culture I really want to experience first hand.  I love traveling so nothing is really off the list!

What motivates you to do your best every day? 

My motivation comes from helping people in innovative ways. I love technology when it means making the world a better place, and I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to work towards getting technology working for people’s benefit. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A piece of great advice that has stuck with me is if you’re doing the same research, running your business, or building solutions the same way as other organizations, you’re never going to be innovative. Innovation comes from unique perspectives and understanding the problems you’re trying to solve better than anyone else. Those components are what allows someone to unlock innovative ideas.  

Each month we feature a different Hiya team member in our Voices of Hiya series. Click here to read about other Hiyans we have highlighted in previous blog posts.

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