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A picture of Alice Hunsberger

Alice Hunsberger

VP of Customer Experience (Grindr)

in mac, manager, support

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Alice Hunsberger. I'm a community builder, trust & safety strategist, human-centered technologist, and LGBTQ+ advocate.

I work for Grindr, where my title is VP of Customer Experience. CX is a weird term which could mean any number of things depending on who you ask, but in this case it means that I oversee three departments: 1) trust and safety/content moderation, 2) customer support, and 3) user insights/ community advocacy. Basically, I spend a ton of time strategizing on user safety and community, and communicating between our global userbase and the company, and then back again. My team and I work to make sure that the LGBTQ+ community has a safe, welcoming, and positive platform to connect and create community. Before Grindr, I was at OkCupid for a decade, founding and growing their support department and then also managing trust & safety and CX.

A big part of my job is getting the word out about what my team does, and our unique strategic vision. LGBTQ+ perspectives are often an afterthought in this field, so we work hard to amplify those voices and needs. My team and I wrote a whitepaper on Best Practices for Gender-Inclusive Content Moderation that I'm proud of. You can hear me interviewed on a few podcasts: Safety Tech, Brand Safety Exchange, and Customer Experience Leaders Chat. I'm on a panel for Spectrum Labs talking about trust & safety, and you can see me wax poetic about Building Out Moderation Policies at Scale and AI and Human Rights Guide. I don't really do social media, but I am on LinkedIn.

I've also created several community spaces outside of work. I co-founded the Twenty Sided Store, though I take no credit for its current incarnation and amazing success, and was co-founder of a Buddhist meditation center which unfortunately closed during the pandemic. I also founded VivaLaVinyl way back in 2002 when social media wasn't really a thing (and vinyl record collecting was much less popular than today), but I pawned it off on someone else almost a decade ago. That messageboard taught me about the perils of running an online community without solid community guidelines in place, as well as the possibilities of creating inclusive, amazing community spaces online.

What hardware do you use?

I work from home and live in a net zero house, so our solar panels are a crucial piece of hardware. We produce as much solar energy as we consume, and have a super efficient house design, using passive house standards. Building this house was a years-long dream, and we just moved in this October, so it still feels fresh and exciting. For those who are fortunate enough to build or renovate, I think it's incredibly important to be as eco conscious as possible. We can't keep living the way we have been- the earth's resources just won't allow it.

Work

Back when my job was writing emails all day long, I got pretty serious tendinitis in my fingers, so I have a very ergonomic home office setup today. I use a Kinesis Advantage2 keyboard, which took about a week to get used to, but is now my favorite keyboard ever. I use a cheapie Kingtop vertical mouse, but it fits my small hands the best out of any vertical mouse that I tried, and I like that it's cordless. Those two upgrades relieved a lot of pain and are totally worth it. I have a 16" MacBook Pro which I'm happy with, two Lenovo ThinkVision monitors which do the job just fine, a Herman Miller Aeron chair, and a giant custom desk, with a full 10' of desk space to spread out on. I've been working from home since 2009, and this year is the first time I've ever had a dedicated home office, so it still feels like a total luxury.

Now my job is much more oriented to communicating via audio/video instead of written text, so I've been optimizing my setup for that. I stole my husband's RĂ˜DE Podcaster mic and studio arm, which makes me sound like a pro. I'm testing out a Razer Kiyo Pro webcam, upgraded from a generic 5 year old webcam (I can't even find a name brand on it- it was sent to me from work). I use AirPods Pro for audio, and Apple wired headphones as a backup after I've been in meetings for 6 hours straight and the AirPods need recharging.

For organization, I tried out a bunch of productivity apps like OmniFocus, but could never fully commit. I found that a notebook next to my desk for to-do lists and notes is what really works for me. I'm currently using a Midori dot-grid journal and Uniball Vision Elite pens. I really wanted to love fountain pens but they're too fiddly for me.

I travel for work every few months and am slowly upgrading my travel gear. I use Away's aluminum Carry-On luggage (a holiday gift from work!) and Evergood's CIVIC Access Pouches. The 2L pouch is a serious gamechanger and worth every penny.

Personal

Outside of work, because of my tendinitis, I don't do anything on computers at all - and nothing that requires any repetitive movements or fine motor control. I don't even have a personal computer right now - I just use a (Product)Red iPhone 11. I wait as long as possible before upgrading phones.

I love to read, and often use the Kindle Paperwhite. I was super skeptical about the Kindle, but it's great ergonomically. I don't have to hold a heavy book or turn pages, and can lie down in a variety of positions that wouldn't be possible with a physical book.

The other thing that my tendinitis lets me do is cooking, because of the wide range of movements. I cook on a Fisher and Paykel induction range which is lovely. If anyone is on the fence about induction, I highly recommend it. I had previously been cooking with a professional dual-fuel range (with gas burners) and when we moved to our net zero house we wanted to commit to not using fossil fuels at all. I thought it would be a great sacrifice to not have gas burners, but I actually prefer induction now.

My husband and I are both coffee snobs, but on the opposite ends of the spectrum. I used a Clever Dripper and like strong French Roast coffee. He used an Aeropress and liked lightly roasted coffee. For years we brewed completely separately in the morning. Now we have a MoccaMaster KBT with Speeder and Earl's Speeder's Blend, and somehow this combo satisfies both of us completely. Mugs are East Fork "The Mug" in different colors.

And what software?

Work

At Grindr, we're remote-first, and we use the trifecta of Google Workspace, Zoom and Slack for communication. I love Metro Retro for team reflection exercises (their new version is so good!).

For internal documentation, I write up drafts in Google Docs, then put it in Confluence when it's finalized. I find writing internal documentation incredibly soothing, and tend to go on a documentation rampage every few months. My team finds it endearing. I create my presentations on Google Slides, though I also really love Canva.

The support tech stack is Zendesk for our help center and customer communication, AppFollow for app reviews, UserVoice for collecting user feedback and ideas, and Nicereply for CSAT. I'm not entirely in love with any of them. Support is such an experience-focused field, yet the software used for it isn't as feature-rich as I'd expect.

For trust & safety, we mostly use proprietary software for content moderation and fraud analysis. One of my favorite parts of my job is helping to redesign internal software to make sure to support the health of moderators. Ergonomics, keyboard shortcuts, and things like blurring disturbing images until mouse-over make a big difference. I dig into a lot of data using Datadog, Looker, and good old Google Sheets and Excel. We also have a few super-secret anti-fraud integrations I can't talk about publicly.

Personal

Two notable apps I love for personal use are Libby for checking out library ebooks, and Paprika for meal/ grocery planning. I use 1Password for storing passwords, Chrome for browsing, and Apple Music on a family plan.

What would be your dream setup?

I'm extremely fortunate to say that I am very close to my dream setup now, though there are a few things I've been coveting.

I'd love some nicer wired headphones, maybe some solid noise-canceling ones. I'd also love better lighting at my desk. Right now I have some LED under-cabinet lighting, but I want a good task light as well. Work is sending me a LumeCube lighting kit soon which I think will help with video quality.

I'd also like a sit/stand platform for the monitor that has my camera, so I can easily stand during meetings and switch it up so I don't sit all day long, and I've been considering a yoga ball or kneeling chair as an alternative to my Aeron.

Finally, I'm eyeing the EverGoods Civic Panel Loader 24L backpack for travel, and I'd like a few lightweight travel cubes to pack in my carry-on.

That's it! Those are just little tweaks, but I'm in no rush.

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