LINK's Website Design Stretegy

Date

October 2018

Role

Strategist, Information Architecture, Visual Design Lead

Tools

Sketch, Powerpoint

start with why

“As a website admin, I need that is easy to update and that our students will engage with."

client since

2017

location

Seattle, WA

industry

Arts & Education

Projects Completed

3

Problem

Problem.

The current Link Program web site is difficult to update from an admin perspective. For users, it’s difficult to navigate and read from mobile devices. For this reason, students do not use the site.

Strategy

Strategy.

  • Determine a CMS platform to power the site.
  • Incorporate a task management tool to keep the working team on task.
  • Identify opportunities the current site missed.
  • Identify a design template to do the heavy lifting of coding and to eliminate the need for a full visual design process.
  • Architect the site then customize the design.

Solution

My Role.

  • INITIATIVE.
    When I joined the LINK website team, the Project Lead was contemplating CMS systems. I suggested Joomla due to its reasonable learning curve and extendability through its applications templates. I presented a comparison of the top 3 CMS systems and the team agreed.
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT.
    To ensure the team was on track our Lead set up weekly meetings. I suggested a task management system to ensure we stay on track with requests and were held accountable to our responsibilities. We implemented Asana into our admin process.
  • PRESENT TO LEADERSHIP.
    I then created a presentation for the LINK leadership team including the CMS justification, project roadmap, budget. Our entire proposal was immediately accepted. See presentation
  • FRUGALITY.
    Since we’re volunteers, we donated our time for the design and development. Based on component research I determined total expenses at $240 for phase 1 and $150 for phase 2.
  • DISCOVERY & ANALYSIS.
    Our project lead chose a template and I determined the components. We did this before architecture and design to minimize the need to outsource customization and increase budget.
  • UX DESIGN.
    I created the experience for the events section of the site while my partners created the experience for information pages. As part of the Event Management experience, I integrated MailChimp into our site.
  • INITIATIVE.
    Our project lead took a hiatus from the Program due to (happy) life events. I assumed the role of Project Lead.
  • SIMPLIFY.
    After exhausting all options create easily implement pages with the existing template I made the decision to scrap it. I immediately found a new one which was easier to use, with a visual design more closely aligned with our primary target audience: creative high school students.
  • DEVELOPMENT.
    I installed the template and all components on the platform and customized the design by creating a design system, and updating the PHP, HTML, and CSS.

Results

Results.

I came in 55% under budget. I was able to reduce the applications needed for phase 1.

The website launched 5 months late due to changes in the web team’s availability, collectively. The unanticipated change to the design template also cost us time. To prevent further delay we launched with critical components:

  • Event management & online registration.
  • Program overview summarized on the home page.
  • FAQs
  • MailChimp Integration

The Volunteers, About and Student Benefits sections are currently being built.

Student & volunteer registration management is completed online with a 70-100% response rate for each event since launch. This significantly reduced time spent creating and reviewing correspondence over the previous manual communication process.

Event Management Strategy
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Event Management Strategy

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Date
October 2018
Role
Strategist & Information Architect
Tools
Sketch, Pen & Paper
Powered By
Joomla CMS
thelinkprogram.org ≫
start with why
“As a volunteer, I (Jovon) want to improve and automate our event registration process and eliminate RSVP by "Reply-all."”
Problem

Problem.

  • Students, our primary audience, do not use our site.
  • The existing CMS was difficult for the Program Director & volunteers to update.
  • The Events section could work harder by automating some of the manual work done by the volunteers and the program director.
  • Official notice of our workshops was sent out 7-3 days prior to, and via email TO: all volunteers. Each volunteer would reply-all their attendance/regrets.
  • Responses that needed all volunteers attention were often overlooked due to inbox clutter.
  • Student registration was manually tracked in a Google Sheet, only.
  • Since Joomla’s applications are pre-coded there will be constraints to the user flow, architecture, and visual design.
Strategy

Strategy.

  • Determine the needs of the parents, students, volunteers, and web site admins.
  • Research all Joomla Event Management applications. Find one that is feature rich and inexpensive.
  • Since these applications are pre-coded there will be constraints to the UX and architecture.
  • Incorporate MailChimp and RemindApp into the communication process.
Solution

My role.

  • DISCOVERY.
    I created a spreadsheet to compare all features of the Joomla event management application may meet our needs. I narrowed the list down to two. Purchased them both installed and stress tested them with a few events from the current site, plus functionality we wanted to incorporate. Presented my recommendation to the team. I received buy-in.
  • ANALYSIS.
    I downloaded the event application’s underlying PHP databases with and manually extracted all event details (2012-2018) from the current website. Then uploaded the complete data to the staging instance of the site. Once all event details were available on the staging I was able to get a full view of the pre-built customer journey and identify gaps and optimize it.
  • ARCHITECTURE.
    Entry points were determined as part of the overall site architecture. I determined which stage in the flow event flow each entry point would drop the user.
  • DEVELOPMENT.
    I re-architected the content from the out of box layout by manipulating the PHP, HTML, and CSS to match a fluid layout that would meet the user’s needs.
  • PROCESS DEVELOPMENT.
    To inform students, parents, and volunteers of upcoming events, I integrated MailChimp generated notifications directing the user to the event details page to register. In an effort to communicate better with students, I also incorporated RemindApp to communicate with students, parents, and volunteers via text without sharing personal phone numbers. Since the site is now responsive users can sign up on their mobile devices from a direct link in the text message.
client since
October 2017
location
Seattle, WA
industry
Arts & Education
Projects Completed
3

web site redesign / creative strategy / design thinking facilitation / process improvements / identity update / workshop development

Results

Results.

Student & volunteer registration management is completed online with a 70-100% response rate for each event since launch. This significantly reduced time spent creating and reviewing correspondence over the previous manual communication process.

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Youth Design Thinking Workshops
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Youth Design Thinking Workshops

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Date
2019
Role
Facilitator
Tools
Post-its, Sharpies
Powered By
Our brains
start with why
"As a seasoned designer, I want to expose more youth the possibilities of a career in design."
Problem

Hypothesis.

If we teach problem solving earlier students will be better equipped to deal with day-to-day challenges.

Strategy

Goal.
Facilitate Design Thinking workshops for youth so they:

  • are enable them to view difficult situations from an optimistic mindset.
  • develop/increase creative confidence.
  • are equipped them with brainstorming techniques.
  • are encouraged individual thinking within groups
  • learn the importance of empathy
client since
2019
location
various
industry
various
Projects Completed
4

design thinking / creative confidence / collaboration / brainstorming methods / innovation

Results

Results.

  • Where multiple student groups worked the same problem, each group followed the process yet came up with different, viable solutions. 
  • Following my workshops each student can speak to the value of the design thinking at the end of the session.
  • At an event where students rotated various workshops, my design thinking workshop won the highest scores in post even survey results
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