Portfolio Information

  • Date: October 2014-October 2015
  • Skills: UX, UI, IA

In October of 2014, I was brought onto the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s digital communications team to assist in the redesign of their outdated website.

The old website was 4,000+ pages of content, there was no CMS to organize the pages, and it was written in a mix of ColdFusion, HTML, CSS, Javascript (and probably more). It was not responsive. As one can imagine, it was a bit of a mess.

My task on day one was to create the first responsive homepage for the website, which I did, but the site needed so much more! Once the homepage was responsive, the team decided to re-strategize how we’d tackle the redesign.

Our first task in the web redesign was to overhaul the information architecture. The content manager and myself spent hours upon hours cutting down pages, figuring out what pages were linking to, and going down this rabbit hole of “what is even on this website?!” We eventually finished our content audit and were able to then start thinking about how to structure the architecture of the new site. The National Zoo does so much – so this was a huge task.

Then, I worked alongside the Zoo’s graphic designers to create an updated brand. Being a part of the Smithsonian means there were guidelines we had to stick to, but we were able to really elevate the look and feel through updated typography choices and a new, more appealing color palette.

Next, I started creating wireframes, which gave my team a rough outline of how pages would be laid out. We iterated on the wireframes in order to take analytics, SEO, and content into consideration.

Finally, I started creating high fidelity mockups. My final presentation was a walk-through of the mockups with the director of the Communications team, the director of the IT department, and the director of the entire Zoo.

Once they approved of the final designs, I worked closely with the tech team, who was developing the site in Drupal, to ensure the interactive elements and grid were able to be created. One of our main goals was to create template pages that could be populated with content to maintain consistency as the site grows!