Smithsonian’s NMAH ~ Educational Citizenship Website

Summary: Working in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Office, we developed an interactive, multimedia-rich website that supports aspiring citizens’ efforts to pass the civics portion of the new USCIS Citizenship Test.

Using content from the NMAH collections and working with a consultant that specializes in teaching English as a second language, we created a flexible, progressively scaffolded learning environment through which students move through learning, practice, and test stages commensurate with their mastery of the question topics. Given that the interactive experience should appeal to learners for whom English is a second language, and that the civics test is conducted as an oral interview, voiceover narration and closed-captions are provided, and learners have the opportunity to practice responding to the audio prompts.

The framework contains 100 vignettes, 19 activities, and 32 zoomable object explorations, that help extend learning beyond merely teaching to the 100 questions on the test. Instead, using objects and documents from its collections the NMAH offers aspiring citizens a vibrant look at our nation’s history, the functions of our government, the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens, and the power of democracy. By providing context to the questions on the test, prospective citizens can facilitate their learning of complex facts and concepts, and draw a deeper connection to the significance of becoming an American citizen.

Stats
100 Historical vignettes
51 Interactive activities
15 Topic areas
1 Daunting test demystified

Awards
AAM EdCom Award for Excellence, 2013
IMA Award Best in Class for Government, 2013
IMA Award Best in Class for Education, 2013

Tech: Illustrator, Flash, Actionscript, XML, Photoshop, HTML, CSS
Role: Lead Designer / Lead Flash Designer
Link: www.americanhistory.si.edu/citizenship

Open House Chicago’s Location-Based Desktop and Mobile Websites

Summary: The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) needed to develop a website for its OpenHouseChicago (OHC) 2011 program, a free public event that provided people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests with access to many of Chicago’s greatest architectural spaces and places that are normally open “by invitation only.” The website needed to convey a celebration of Chicago’s rich architecture, history, and culture found in the city’s vibrant network of neighborhoods.

We built on the community and mapping platform of PhilaPlace to design and develop the OHC desktop and mobile optimized websites. Through the integration of two open source solutions – Google Maps and the CollectiveAccess collections management system – PhilaPlace supports a rich feature set that presents a mosaic of historical and contemporary records about sites within a particular area.

Designing over top a preexisting PhilaPlace framework, most functionality and UI restrictions needed to be understood and followed, along with a strong brand inherited from the Chicago Architectural Foundation. The result is a website that through the desktop and mobile devices conveys the richness of the content as well as its place within the larger organization and brand.

Tech: Illustrator, Photoshop, HTML, CSS
Role: Lead Designer
Link: myitinerary.openhousechicago.org

KidsHealth Kid Tip – Direct Response

Summary: Create a turnkey vehicle to promote awareness and create new business for independent children hospitals. The result was a dual approach that used 12 (monthly) direct mail postcards to generate awareness, and drive traffic to a corresponding microsite designed to convert them to clients of the local hospital. I created the post cards in Quark, spot art in Illustrator, and designed the web pages in Photoshop, and coded the site in Homesite. Just call me a one-man-band.

Tech: Quark, Photoshop, Illustrator, Homesite
Role: Designer, Art Director, Developer