My work

I’m a nimble and deep generalist that’s not scared to get creative, strategic or tactical.

I’m very good at finding elegant solutions that consider design, business and technology (and accessibility).

Fluent in French and in English. I understand the value of insight over data, how to make content scale, that efforts affect ROI, that users are humans, and how to make ideas come to fruition.

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Student recruitment content strategy

Website design, user testing, marketing, content strategy

Faculty directory design

Taxonomy, Drupal, API, nodes

Cover image of Ottawa in Colour - colouring book

Ottawa in Colour

Product design, sales and eCommerce, digital marketing, events and community engagement.

Digital ads design

A recording of my graphic design works.

Web design HTML/CSS

A sample of responsive CSS I designed to look like our print.

Website redesign

Re-design of a website for students convocation.

Creative writing

In early January 2019, I got myself into the idea of doing something that scares me. 

Closed-captioning

A recording of my YouTube close-captioning works.

Career Development Certificate Portal

Certificate platform design

Designed a program progress tracker for workshops.

T-shirt design

I designed a t-shirt for myself and friends, and ended up selling a few more.


Student recruitment content strategy

Client: Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa
Relation: Strategist, Web Content and Design
Work: Project initiator and designer, supervised assistants

See it live: engineering.uOttawa.ca/undergraduate-programs

Challenge

The faculty did not have a modern marketing sales page. It listed a brief description of programs with links to academic course sequences, nested under the About section. Not a great start.

The call to actions were either sending users to a course calendar or sending them to the undergraduate office, also terrible. There were no call to actions for the purpose of a program page… to apply for studies!

Research

I analyzed information from our admission surveys, followed by a regional and local competitive analysis. I was then able to create an ordered list of key-information that was most appealing desirable by future students.

Content design

I formally defined the scope of our pages: to become the funnel from program discovery to being ready to apply to a program. I wanted our site to feed the main registration site with informed prospects.

Thanks to our research, I created pages wireframes that led users through our their journey by showcasing our key-value propositions and positioning.

To continue serving current students, I created a sub-page for the courses and course sequences. This allowed both current and future students to consult the information regardless of context.

To humanize our programs, we solicited user experience stories and created testimonials for each program.

Before the apply call to action, I added a generalized admission requirements table. This allows prospects to see their eligibility to different programs all at once before applying (in case they are not eligible or were interested in other programs).

After the apply call to action, I added a safety net to increase retention. This section includes the contact of the specific program director and our recruitment coordinator. It also includes the navigation links to our other programs in order for them to continue shopping programs.

Programs page wireframe.
Another of the many wireframes for the pages.
The programs page after being built, tested and iterated.
A screenshot of the undergraduate checmical engineering program page I built.
The polished result for one of the 10 bilingual program pages we built.

Validation and accessibility

After testing and tweaking the pages to ensure the content is responsive, accessible, it was time for user testing.

I conducted my first ever user-testing with prospective students to confirm hunches. I consolidated hunches for qualitative analysis beyond our main objectives.

The students found that the content was considered rich and relevant. We did uncover some snags in terminology and some minor details (perfect!). Overall, it was valuable feedback. All students had different way-finding habits (search, navigation menus, and text links) which was encouraging to witness.

My first formal user-testing experience! We had a screen-recording software, scenarios, qualitative questions, and a microphone.

Measuring success

When you build it, you (should) measure it.

The prospective student’s journey is a multi-tiered and a multi-channel approach. I wanted to measure our scope; feeding traffic to the next admission process (there is no system in place to measure the true site visit to confirmed admission journey).

I came up with a sneaky way to measure our metric for conversion. Since we are building interest, I added a query string parameter without a value at the end of the “Apply now” URL (?eng) . This makes a unique link (both in English and in French because our site is bilingual) that can then be measured with Google Analytics.

Success! We can see our business goals measures and dig further in data analysis!

A screenshot of analytics for the undergraduate programs applications.
A screenshot of google analytics measuring the apply click-through from our admissions pages. Our “Apply now” buttons are being more clicked than before in both languages, hopefully reflecting our marketing efforts!

Faculty directory design

Client:  Faculty of Engineering, University of Ottawa
Relation: Strategist, Web Content and Design
Work: Project initiator and designer, supervised assistants

See it live: engineering.uOttawa.ca/people

Challenge

With over 350 professors and staff members, our directory entry were split in 5 websites. The profiles were not centralized in single page, users had to search for them in different pages and sites.

For maintenance, links to staff profile on the web pages required manual text updates. This meant that for every promotion, hire or contact updates, it required modifying the French and English pages, multiplied by the number of instances that they appeared on web pages. Updating a profile could add up to changing 8 pages manually with the hopes that we remembered where the instances appeared.

Further to updating these profiles, some staff members had two or more profiles, which multiplied updates effort and increased inaccurate information.

Evaluation

My final wire-frame plan.

I started by exploring the pain-points for users and to find out what their needs were. I consulted with every internal clients, and proposed iterations.

Summary of needs

  • Internal academics and students: Find professors quickly
  • External academics and agencies: Find professors and peers quickly with the option to refine by research categories for discovery.
  • Everyone: Find staff and professors
  • Operations: Update staff in a timely fashion
  • Prospective graduate students: Find teaching supervisors

I created a content inventory to map out where profiles were stored and with what kind of information, and in which languages(s). Thankfully I had some assistants to help us out.

After the inquiries and evaluation, there was clearly a need to rework the entire system and bring in some efficiencies.

Building the taxonomy

I also had to untangle the academic jargon, such as understanding the nuances between tenured professors and adjuncts, researcher tiers and program directors. This granularity helped define which taxonomy choices were most appropriate for our tools.

Example of selecting taxonomies

The beauty of using Drupal as a content management system means that content nodes can be grouped quickly with views. Combining views with taxonomy creates a powerful way to display different combination of content in different ways.

For example, a professor can have many hats. They could be, and all at once a:

  • Vice-Dean
  • Governance committee member
  • Researcher
    • within an academic unit
    • within a research theme
  • Chair of research
  • Cross-appointed to another department
    • Same faculty
    • Different faculty
  • Programs of studies director
  • Thesis research supervisor

We now had over 65 taxonomy tags which encompasses all desired grouping! Perfect. We can now add a profile to taxonomy groups simply with check-marks.

Consolidating profiles

One site to rule them all. No more redundancies.

I merged the 5 sites into a single one, this meant that we had to migrate the profiles manually. This was by far the most tedious task. Having the taxonomy already established on the receiving site meant that we could update the profiles while we migrating, skipping the step of having to re-tag them.

I ensured we had our redirects in place to ensure continuity of search and relevance.

If, or more like when, some fields were missing, we had to hunt down the information.

Building the views

Building the views with taxonomies was surprisingly easy. We just needed to know which kind of combination of tags we wanted to trigger to display the information.

Before I started my work, professors were listed in drop-downs with odd formatting.
An example of a simple view (no-multi-tagging) for professors within a research theme.
A more complex application of taxonomies. People can now filter by last name, academic units and areas of research. Professors indicated they wanted all the names on one page to do quick in-page searches; in hindsight it totally makes sense. I tweaked the directory listing spacing with CSS.

The beauty of a synchronized taxonomy system: scaling

See it live: engineering.uOttawa.ca/graduate-programs/thesis-supervisors

Once we had completed the employee migration, I was approached to see if we could present the thesis supervisors to prospective students.

Prior to building our system, this request wouldn’t have been feasible. But we had one now! I simply created new taxonomy groups, we tagged every eligible professors in their categories, tested the results and we had a fully functioning tool for prospective graduate students. All done within a quick turn-around.

Conclusion

Creating profiles or new views is now incredibly simple to maintain. I solicit feedback when applicable and look forward to seeing how the analytics will reflect with the changes.


Ottawa in Colour

Client: Consumers, Tourism department, wholesale and NGOs
Relation: Co-Founder, CEO
Work: Marketing, sales, operations, website content, social media, events, design support

Ottawa in Colour is 32 pages of colourable art prints featuring 22 local artists with their answers to the question “What do you love about Ottawa?“. We commissioned artists with a wide spectrum of styles – animators, illustrators, urban sketchers and more, so each piece reflects the artist’s unique style and vision.

As co-founder, I handle everything related to business, marketing and content.

Challenge

  • We wanted to share a piece of Ottawa that people could enjoy
  • No experience in publishing industry

Results

  • Launched a small publishing company
  • Over 1000 Ottawa in Colour copies sold
  • Over 2800 copies in hands
  • The book is available online, and peaked at over 20 stores in Ottawa
  • Over a dozen events attended

Adobe InDesign – Digitizing ads

An example-case of a request to create digital ads based on a postcard design.

Web design – Printed to web design (HTML/CSS)

Client: Employer – uOttawa, Registrar
Relation: In-house. Web Content and Production Supervisor
Work: Converting printed/digital collateral into accessible and responsive web design.

I was asked to create a table online to communicate the information from our university Finance your studies brochure, updated annually.

I wanted to re-create the same visual identity while making the tables accessible and the content-node responsive. Using CSS styling, I was able to do so. I’m particularly happy with having created the plus and equal symbols via entirely in CSS (instead of an image icon).

A visual example of the digital version of the Finance your studies brochure for the university (2018).

Website redesign – Rethinking a university convocation website (Content strategy)

Client: Employer – uOttawa, Registrar
Relation: In-house. Web Content and Production Supervisor
Work: Large events website as a service redesign.

Full details can be found in my post: Redesigning-a-university-convocation-website

I redesigned the uOttawa convocation website. After three years of migrating other sites, I finally got to slay the FAQ sections, eliminate redundancies and iron out user journeys. After a content audit, I made the content modular to enable batch updates between operations cycles. Our team knew it was time to have a fresh start for the website.

After presenting the pages mockups to the clients and stakeholder, we ended up with a site that had a clear segmentation of with a one-stop page for each convocation journey. Clients were happy and I was able to remove a lot of friction for graduates and their celebratory event.

A screenshot of the Undergraduate student attending Convocation page
Screenshot of the Convocation ceremonies page with a tab opened.


Youtube closed-captioning

Close-captioning is necessary for improving accessibility, but it also improves your reach! Users that aren’t using audio or simply prefer reading along also benefit from this capability.

(Warning: do not watch this video if you are prone to seizures. Some of the original video transitions flash quickly and were sent back to be removed.)

An recording of my English close-caption actions. It was for a video we uploaded to Youtube.

Online certificate program tracking platform (System design)

Login page (password protected): Telfer Career Centre – In-house electronic Career Development Program tracking system

Client: University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management Career Centre Role: Marketing and Communications Coordinator Contribution: Conception, mock-up, business case, requirement analysis and design leading to development

About the project: I created an online system to increase the participation and completion rates  of the career development program for undergraduate students while making it easier for staff to track student progress.

Context: I initiated and led this project in order to help my team transition our core product, the Career Development Program, to an integrated digital solution. I identified a need to modernize our processes while increasing user adoption of our services. Before the system’s implementation, progress tracking relied on students bringing a passport-style paper booklet to activities and getting it stamped after participating. Consequently, some students lost their booklets and forgot to have it stamped.

Outcome: The web tool now enables 4000 University of Ottawa Telfer School of Management BCom students to track their progress online. Upon completion of required activities, students receive an invitation to meet with the Career Centre in order to receive their Career Development Certificate.

Highlights:
Printing cost reduction ( $5 per booklet)

  • Increase in conversion and success rate
  • New users were now able to register autonomously
  • Automated monitoring and maintenance of users
  • Intuitive platform for students and moderators
  • Modular system, which is essential since activities evolve on an on going basis

To complete this project, I built a business case, chose the platform environment, determined system security considerations, negotiated access to a developer, created the specifications and finally obtained approval for implementation.


Buzzwords I like: creative, UX, UI, segmentation, elegant design, streamline, marketing, renewal, sustainable, data, human, inter-disciplinary, perspective, quirky and more.

(and also: Web | Marketing | Business | Design | Tech | Music Production)