The Road to Redesign: Applying UX Strategies to Handle Skeptical Speedbumps

I’M SO EXCITED (but not in a Saved By the Bell-Jessi Spano-hopped up on caffeine pills kinda way–if you know the reference, I adore you. If not, let HuffPost tell you what’s happening here).

Why am I so excited? Well, here it is, friends:

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My proposal to discuss the move to a *new* online new student orientation at my former position was accepted by the Minnesota chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association. I’ll be focusing on:

  1. Who the users are:
    Metropolitan State is a nontraditional institution–the average student is 32 years old, commutes, works 40+ hours per week, and their technical skills are all over the map.
  2. How we improved the navigation of the site: 
    I’m not a Jobs acolyte, but I love this quote: “Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.” So what we really tried to do with the design was to design user pathway.
  3. Using responsive design techniques so users can access from mobile and desktop devices:
    This one I didn’t have a lot to do with besides saying, “let’s make it mobile.” I did know that a lot of students might not have laptops or desktop computers, but they could probably access Facebook from their cellphones.
  4. Gaining buy-in:
    There were (are?) a lot of skeptical clients who didn’t believe the 5-year-old site needed an update. Part of the presentation will discuss what we did to convince them otherwise, and gently breaking past emotional attachments to the old site and its content.

This will be my first public speaking engagement, and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to make my debut in front of this group, and also at my former place of employment where I spent 3 great years. Consider registering for the event; I’ll see you there!

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