Content Analysis

I really enjoy getting under the hood of things. Content Analysis (CA) can be just as revealing for the users of the current content as it is to the IA working with them. Below is a snippet of a CA I did with the Center for Educational Leadership in preparation for their website migration. I don’t feel comfortable divulging everything that was on their site (as some of the areas are restricted/paywalled), hence the sample:

Information Architecture

This is part of an Information Architecture that I created based on a card sort. It is for an Intranet that is being revised. This is a picture of me working on a Drupal migration. On the walls, you can see large post-it sheets. We used them to build out the Information Architecture on the site for lower levels of the IA.


A persona is a fictionalized amalgam of your target user group. I find them really helpful in thinking about how to design systems and workflows with the client in mind. Here’s a couple I’ve used: Nursing Faculty (Done in PowerPoint) K-12 Educators & Staff – these were done for a online assessment project And here’s some we made in Grad School

File Naming Conventions

This is a document that I created to assist with implementing a standardized naming convention for the Center for Educational Leadership. It borrows very heavily from the references cited. It wasn’t a document for wide distribution, and the cited sources were so good, there wasn’t really any reason to create something out of whole cloth. It is definitely tailored for the situation, with additional content added about their particular situation. Naming Conventions I also took a bit of time to evangelize around this with a quick presentation about how standard file naming conventions can ultimately lead to a good ontology. Not...

Systems Analysis

This is at an exteremely high and abstracted level, and clearly I am  not a graphic designer. I was asked to help evaluate using Google Apps with a unit at UW. I felt that it was nearly as important for them to know what NOT to try as it was to determine what might be of help. So I created this Visio diagram for them. It’s not something I’m especially proud of or anything. What I like about it is it conveys the power of what simple diagramming can do. It doesn’t have to be in Visio, it can be on a...

Workflow Diagram

Below is a workflow diagram I created to help get developers and end users on the same a page on a project. Specifically, this workflow is for an online system that works very much like an LMS. Users interact with the system (similar to taking a test). Their responses are manually graded by two reviewers, and then those evaluations are calibrated. Students receive a machine generated report. The data is flexible enough so that other reports can be created fairly quickly Sample workflow

Card Sorting

I really like card sorting. I think it’s one of the most powerful tools not just in UX, but in IT in general. It makes the abstract concrete, and there’s something about the nature of it that just helps users find their own connections, without prompting from ‘us.’ I was working on a little Intranet project at the Center for Educational Leadership. The Center has very 4 distinct teams, so figuring out a common IA and navigational schema is always tough. I took terms from the highest navigational levels of a few systems (live website, network drives, other shared tools)...

Paper Prototyping Example

When I was the IT Manager for the Rat City Roller Girls, we embarked on a project for both changing the structure and the hosting platform of their knowledge. They had actually begun the organization using a set of chat forums. This worked well for quite some time – for each new subject, they’d create a new forum topic, rather like a file on a network share. Then, they got big. It just didn’t scale anymore. There were too many forums, it was too hard to find things, and the UI wasn’t very good. So we worked together on coming...