— Reading time: 2 minutes



The Schroeder Institute needed a way to support their other channels and help people find and enroll in quit smoking studies.


The first step was to create stakeholder interview questions to get information like:

  • internal goals and objectives
  • target audiences
  • top tasks for audience members
  • desired perception of the organization
  • visual design preferences and dislikes


I did competitive research, which confirmed the IA Schroeder’s in-house team thought would be most useful to potential study participants.

Next, I developed custom taxonomies covering:

  • study principals
  • types of studies
  • audience characteristics

These taxonomies would be the key to funneling participants to the correct studies early in the process.


I developed the Drupal 7 site creating:

  • content types
  • fields
  • contexts and other back-end elements

These matched the needs discovered in the first phase of Rad Campaign’s waterfall project management process.

I led Rad Campaign staff through design review on wireframes and first round visual comps.

I also acted as a buffer between the in-house designer and Schroeder Institute staff. Part of my role was to translate the client’s feedback into understandable change requests for Rad Campaign’s design partner.

With desktop, tablet, and mobile comps approved, I finished back-end development and started on a custom theme.

The audience for study enrollment would need the site to work on mobile and tablet.

I started with Bootstrap to leverage its built-in mobile capabilities. This would set me up to deliver the best user experience to the site’s audience.


As sole developer and project manager for this project, my deliverables included:

  • stakeholder interview documentation
  • competitive research analysis
  • project timeline with milestones, including internal review for deliverables due to the client
  • sitemap and navigation schema that accounted for recommendations from an SEO consultant
  • functional requirements document, which was the road map for back-end development
  • back-end Drupal customization including module installation, creation of views, contexts, taxonomies, and content types
  • graphic assets optimized for multiple platforms
  • custom SASS creating the interactive UI and custom theme based on Bootstrap

I created and delivered to Schroeder Institute staff basic training on content entry, publication, and management. I also created and delivered an advanced training on technical site management for Drupal.


The Schroeder Institute tobacco study enrollment portal had good SEO placement, often appearing in the top 10 results for searches via Google, DuckDuckGo, and Bing.

— Reading time: 2 minutes

– My roles: Content Strategist, IA, Trainer, Front-end Developer –


The Monkey Helpers project was already in progress when I joined Rad Campaign.

I used my skills as a content strategist and information architect to understand the organization’s needs.

It turned out that they had content needs and technical needs that hadn’t come to light yet.


Rad Campaign’s waterfall process and deliverables were unfamiliar to the stakeholders at Monkey Helpers; this meant they needed close guidance.

I evaluated the site structure Monkey Helpers’ Director of Development and Sr. Development & Communications Associate had proposed to Rad Campaign staff.

I created a site map and other artifacts to help them visualize changes I suggested to the IA.

I translated this structure into a functional requirements document. I would use this guide for back-end Drupal development, creating content types, fields, and custom Drupal views.

My dual roles as Developer and Project Manager let me guide Monkey Helpers stakeholders through the project on a 1:1 basis. This meant we could evaluate any of their changes requests faster. 

Rad Campaign was better able to manage the project’s scope, and Monkey Helpers better understood the impact of changes on cost.

Content strategy

 Content Strategy and editorial calendars also came into play for the first time for Monkey Helpers during this redesign.

Their previous content strategy gave “about us” content prime placement on the site’s homepage, creating a stale, inactive presence.

I developed a content strategy for Monkey Helpers that enabled them to highlight recent achievements. It got them to think about how to tell the organization’s story using recent events updates and more appealing evergreen content.

I also helped them develop an editorial calendar and guidance for archiving posts that were out of date.

Custom training

Drupal was a new system for the stakeholders at Monkey helpers. I created and delivered several basic and advanced site management trainings for staff responsible for site upkeep. We held these trainings in a series during the site’s development and after launch.


Rad Campaign’s practice at this time was to use Omega as a base for all custom Drupal themes. I used Omega to create:

  • a subtheme
  • custom deltas
  • contexts
  • views
  • callouts
  • CSS

I continued to be the primary point of contact for Monkey Helpers for maintenance during my four years at Rad Campaign. This work included:

  • Drupal core and module security updates
  • adding SSL to the site
  • implementing functionality to support year-end giving pop-up asks and training development staff on the technology
  • incorporating functionality for donations when Monkey Helpers switched eCRM providers

When Monkey Helpers engaged Rad Campaign in 2012, it was the firm’s policy to develop responsive websites as an additional-fee add-on to a contract. At the time of signing and while I was at Rad Campaign, Monkey Helpers declined to move forward with responsive site development.


Monkey Helpers staff could self-service content updates instead of being at the mercy of a web vendor.

This better positioned the organization to serve their potential clients. And it enabled them to have better control over their ability to raise funds for programmatic work.

— Reading time: 4 minutes

 – My Roles: UX Designer, Content strategist, IA, Project Manager –


Demand for web services rapidly out paced my capacity. I was maintaining a flat HTML site using a patchwork of third-party applications after I revised the IA and visual design for Clean Water Action’s site in early 2007.

It was time for the next phase in Clean Water’s digital communications evolution: Migration to a content management system.

Technology projects are usually huge undertakings for non-profit groups. They use significant financial resources. Often, the people responsible for their success don’t fully understand the actual technology.

Clean Water Action trusted me with their website re-platforming and migration.

I looked at the organization’s branding, which used a logo developed in the early 1970s and a color scheme more suitable for print.

I suggested to senior leadership that this project would be a good time to do a visual rebrand.

They were skeptical. Many thought the old logo was fine, that it conveyed the organization’s history.

I knew we needed change. I had to convince them. But I’d never done an organizational rebranding before.


Many of Clean Water Action’s staff had been with the group for more than a decade. I knew feelings about the new look would run strong and deep.

Stakeholder research

I designed a survey for Clean Water Action’s staff. It included questions like:

  • List five adjectives you would use now to describe Clean Water’s public image
  • How do you want supporters and potential supporters to see Clean Water?
  • How you think Clean Water’s current image matches how you want the group to be perceived?

I synthesized the results and found most staff members felt the logo and visual branding was out of date. It didn’t fit with the image they wanted the group to project.


While most staff agreed the organization’s branding was out-of-date, Board members and senior managers with long tenures saw no reason to change.

I created a competitive research document and mood board illustrating the visual brands of groups similar to Clean Water. This direct comparison convinced senior leadership Clean Water needed a brand identity redesign.

This expanded the web redesign project from a site migration into a complete rebranding of Clean Water’s digital identity.


State offices were eager to control their own content, but this complicated the content production and approval process.

It also exposed a need for more education about content strategy. State communications staff posting press releases on a state’s homepage wouldn’t achieve organizational goals.

I recommended Drupal for Clean Water’s new content management system (CMS). It would support a content approval process and enable the 501(c)3 and 501(c4) entities to share content.

The web design and development firm the Board chose offered Free Range Studios as a design partner.

Time constraints imposed by the Board meant visual rebranding would happen simultaneously to the site’s development and content migration.

There was no way I could do this alone.


I assembled a cross-functional, locality distributed team. It included staff members of varying tenures, ages, and responsibility areas to ensure the rebranding reflected all staff members’ concerns.

Parallel development processes meant managing the technical development firm, the visual design firm, and the internal approval processes at the same time. I had to keep each on track to avoid roadblocks for any single work stream.

I guided the internal and external teams through two rounds of wireframes and feedback for Clean Water Action and two rounds for Clean Water Fund.

Visual design included three initial homepage comps. It also included three rounds of revisions to the final design. Because mobile was not a factor in 2008, the team only had to consider desktop designs.

ORGANIZING THE SITE: IA & Content Strategy

Based on direct feedback from state offices, I deepened the Information Architecture I created when I standardized the organization’s flat HTML site.

A standardized secondary navigation within State sections provided a better user experience for site visitors, while the CMS build customized the content served by each menu item.


I created a phased plan that allowed Clean Water Action to publish the redesigned site with up to a year’s worth of content for each major section. I also created a plan for archiving content we did not port to the new CMS.

I recruited a separate team to help with content editing and migration.


Rebranding included a double set of everything

  • new logos for the 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 entities
  • new color palettes for both
  • new brand style guides

As of February 2021, Clean Water Action still uses the digital identity I built consensus for and guided through the approval process.

Other deliverables on this project included:

  • competitive analysis and mood board
  • staff survey on organizational perceptions
  • survey analysis and recommendations
  • determination and writing of technical requirements for CMS implementation
  • recruitment and management of two separate cross-functional teams simultaneously
  • revised Information Architecture structure providing state offices more flexibility
  • content classification and migration plan
  • editing and physical migration of content

After launching the site, I trained more than a dozen approved content creators in Clean Water Action’s various state offices. I also created a reference guide enabling those content creators to self-service when they needed help.


Clean Water Action staff in state offices had the power to post and manage their own content.

They had a clear content strategy which dealt with archiving and governance of stale content. And there was a standard process for getting state content featured on the site’s homepage.

The organization had a modern, digital-friendly logo, brand palette, and font stack.