UX Research & human-centered design
Mighty is a Chicago-based fintech startup with a social mission: to help Americans find banks that match their values. Using Mighty, account holders can view the social impact of their bank money in communities across the country. I joined Mighty to design and implement human-centered UX research to help scale organizational growth from a proof of concept pilot into technical production.
Design Research and UX Lead
Using Invision to test Mighty's prototype, I conducted high-touch usability interviews with 30+ users in person and via Skype/Hangout. To validate user feedback, I recruited participants for and facilitated group design charrettes in Chicago and Washington D.C. with Mighty's target audiences. I synthesized my research and communicated findings to the product team to inform functional and design improvements.
To better understand the psychographic of Mighty's audience, I engaged students, business owners, impact leaders, and Millennials in 1:1 and group interviews exploring how users think about money, finance, and social impact. I designed a research library to capture qualitative insights for future reference, including photos, audio, and video. I systematized this process, creating protocols to record all research efforts, including events, field interviews, and intern outreach.
As Mighty transitioned into building its product and engaged a technical team, communicating the company's key audiences became a top priority. Drawing on insights from previous and continuing ethnographic interviews, I created thick personas for Mighty's key user profiles. These included demographic information, user profiles, user journeys, brand collages, and product discovery maps.
I spearheaded a quantitative research strategy to generate user metrics and deepen my understanding of Mighty's audience. A comprehensive user survey was promoted on Mighty's site and via email; results were captured in a research database designed to easily generate data visualizations for Mighty insight reports, pitch decks, and media content.
Based on current and past research insights, I refined the Mighty prototype to validate product development ideas that emerged in user testing. After incorporating user feedback, I tested updated wireframes in Balsamiq to further refine Mighty's UX design and tech development for the company's MVP.
My UX research was synthesized and consolidated into a singular client-facing report that shared Mighty's process, user testing, audience engagement, and product insights.
Business Development Strategy
Film Biz Recycling (FBR) was a nonprofit dedicated to redistributing used props and set dressing from New York City’s media production industry. During my time as Development Coordinator, and then Director of Outreach and Business Development, I achieved +30% organizational growth. By maximizing FBR's diverse assets and resources, I engaged community to increase revenue for the nonprofit's 10,000 sq. ft. Gowanus, Brooklyn warehouse.
Film Biz Recycling
Director of Outreach and Business Development
I spearheaded a rebranding effort that focused on using Film Biz Recycling's web platform to promote revenue-generating projects and programs. As part of the rebranding, I established comprehensive brand guidelines, drafted all web/marketing/social copy, managed graphic/web staff to redesign the website, developed new marketing and promotional materials, launched a product rental catalogue online, and managed the project with internal stakeholders.
Film Biz Recycling operated an upcycling incubator and boutique where upcyclers used on-site materials to launch product lines sold in the warehouse. I managed the upcycling department, working with artisans to document their work with product photos and blog posts promoted online and through social media.
FBR's workshop invited members of the public to use donated materials for arts, educational, and artistic projects. Focused primarily on children's programming, I developed a calendar of reuse workshops and activities featuring local artists. Some events included eco-birthday parties (space rental), classroom fieldtrips, upcycling workshops, holiday activities, and live-demonstrations during in-house events.
I conceived of and managed night-time event series after hours. I worked with building owners to ensure FBR respected zoning laws, liquor, and occupancy laws. I also secured an ongoing sponsorship from Brooklyn Brewery. Entertainment included a monthly variety show, talk show, film screenings, vendor markets, and private events. The Gowanus Nite Market featured vendors, live music, and food trucks drawing a crowd of 2,000+.
Community outreach and external relations were critical to FBR's growth and development because the warehouse location was not ideal. I worked with community leaders and business owners to secure FBR's presence at local events through partnerships, sponsorships, and collaborations. In the nonprofit sector, I represented FBR among industry leaders and local government.
I used storytelling to promote FBR's social mission, highlighting donation stories through blog posts, social media, and at events. When FBR received a donation of wardrobe from Warner Bros.' show Gossip Girl, I proposed to WB that FBR produce a video acknowledging their donation. I secured in-kind production services and single-handedly produced the short, which is still featured on the WB's Corporate Responsibility website.
ReuseCHI was a group project completed as part of Archeworks’ WA$TED MARKET Certificate Program in 2016. WA$TED MARKET challenged students to create markets for reused building materials in Chicagoland and beyond. My group focused on the retail environment as our project's intervention point. The result was ReuseCHI: a waste activism project that used guerrilla marketing and tactical urbanism to shift consumers' perceptions of reused materials’ value.
- Concept development
- Copywriting (web, product, presentation, script)
To better understand our retail audience, we interviewed home renovators and contractors, and conducted on-site research at retail stores. Analyzing product appearance and label design was an important part of our process. Our group also explored movement-building and activism efforts for inspiration.
We gathered free building materials, upcycled them, created product barcodes and packaging, and planted over 100 “remnant” objects into 7+ big box stores across the city.
Each “remnant” was tagged with a barcode encouraging customers to “Text to Take." Engaged customers then received a text response linking to a survey on the ReuseCHI website.
In addition to the survey, the ReuseCHI website offered upcycling instructions for building materials, information on local reuse outlets, and the ReuseCHI toolkit: downloadable instructions for repeating our process anywhere with anyone.
We hosted a public upcycling workshop using the ReuseCHI toolkit to gain feedback and insight for future iterations. Participants were encouraged to place their “remnant” products in stores to build the movement.
To prove that context informs consumers' perceived product value, we hosted “How much would you pay for this?” demonstrations of “remnant” items at offices and public events, gathering feedback from 150+ respondents. All survey responses were collected, engagement metrics evaluated, and project results shared with the Archeworks community.