As the Creative Lead for the communications and outreach efforts of both DoD STEM and DSEC, I guide the team tasked with increasing user engagement with DoD STEM and amplifying collaboration of the DSEC partners. My role encompasses leading the team, product management and strategy, UI and UX design, visual identity and branding, event planning and logistics, and strategizing on efforts to further enhance and promote the DoD STEM's programs while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders.
I led the redesign of an updated website to appeal to a broad audience of varying age groups which incorporated a new visual identity. I oversaw the creation of social media accounts and created an application portal for grant submissions. To increase collaboration with the DSEC partners, I designed an online community platform for information and resource sharing. As we continue to make enhancements to the site and various portals, I collaborate and provide feedback to my team of UI, UX, and accessibility designers.
How do we increase the number of students in the STEM field and build awareness of DoD STEM?
I redesigned the website which positioned DoD STEM as a trusted source for information on STEM opportunities and careers for students and educators while sparking interest in pursuing a future career in STEM.
The primary goal of the DoD STEM website is to provide STEM opportunities and resources to students and educators to spark interest in STEM by increasing awareness of STEM careers and provide educators with tools for bringing STEM in the classroom.
After the redesigned site launched, website traffic increased by 475% with over 9,000 user visits and over 18,000 page views. The new site strategically positioned DoD STEM as a source for information on STEM opportunities and careers for students and educators. I also streamlined the application process for grant submissions for both the end users and the client. Our team collaborated with partners to improve the efficiency of event tracking, data collection, and resource sharing. Since the initial redesign, two other DoD agencies have emulated the overall structure of this site for their STEM sites.
Our process began with research, I initially performed a heuristic evaluation of the previous DoD STEM website to identify usability and accessibility issues. Our team evaluated the current STEM landscape to inform decisions around the new site structure. Low fidelity wireframes were created as well as mood boards to guide the visual direction of the site. I work directly with our development team to ensure feasibility of new features, and to build our new design components. The site is constantly being updated based on user feedback, client needs, and website optimization software.
Our team launched DoD STEM’s social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn in early 2021. Our engagement rates have grown organically throughout the years.
The Defense STEM Education Consortium (DSEC) is a program within DoD STEM. To aid with the efficient management of the consortium's numerous outreach events and to increase collaboration amongst the partners, my team created a private platform that tracks events and corresponding data, and also has a group feature to share amongst the consortium. My team also supports the consortium by creating reports, presentations, and other materials to show the outcomes of this impactful program. In creating the visual identity of DSEC, it was important for the Consortium's identity to relate back to the DoD STEM brand while also maintaining its own look and feel.