Evaluate the Project
I make the web a better place and help others do so as well.
I am a self-taught web generalist who got my start adapting news stories for the web and fangirling out over Jakob Nielsen's Alert Box feed. For the last decade, I've worked toward making the web a better place by building user-friendly websites and teaching others how to do so as well, because technology should be for everyone.
I learn by doing and most of my web-based skills have been acquired on-the-job. I also hold a master's degree and graduate certificate in Professional and Technical Writing from Northern Illinois University, where I took a seminar course on Usability Testing and other classes focused on creating better experiences for everyone, on and offline.
I believe that content should come first, user testing should be iterative, decisions should be data-driven, and that success is measurable when you set goals and evaluate progress.
Coffee, biking, beer, and baking, though generally not all at the same time. During the summer of 2017, I participated in RAGBRAI XLV and spent a week biking across Iowa.
I also enjoy playing board games, especially strategy-based and/or Euro-style games with creative themes and unique play mechanics.
The process I've outlined here is generally how I go about designing new web projects for launch. However, my approach is not linear: many strategies are repeated as needed in order to create the best possible outcome.
It’s important to do your homework and research other people’s work. Chances are that someone, somewhere has done a similar project or worked with the same target audience.
Even if it’s just an ordered list of topics, I’ve found that having myself or others prioritize content (no ties allowed!) helps build a better information architecture.
Once the content is mostly known, structured, and roughly drafted, then I will build out a wireframe with varying levels of fidelity depending on the project scope.
Ideally, I’d love to be able to test a design with representative users 100% of the time. However, my belief is that testing with any users is still 100% better than testing with none.
Why yes, this step is the same as Phase 1. My belief is that an iterative research & design process creates the best user experience, so earnest evaluation should be ongoing for every project.
I took a data-driven approach to this project, conducting usability testing on a health-focused website and incorporating those study insights into a website redesign.See the Project
I formed a UX/Web team to improve the information architecture of our website, leading persona development, card sorting, and competitor analysis projects.See the Project
As part of a seminar on Usability Testing, my team and I conducted a usability study and made recommendations for a business & finance non-profit organization's website.See the Project