When I joined Operation HOPE as Web Content Fellow in summer 2015, I was eager to learn more about the work of the nonprofit and how it utilized its digital presence for thousands of clients worldwide. Under the supervision of the Senior Designer, I took on as many projects as I could to gain experience in tools like Adobe Creative Suite, HTML/CSS, and WordPress. In the finals weeks of of my fellowship, my supervisor, who had seen me demonstrate quick learning and mastery of WordPress, informed me that she had begun designing a website for Global Dignity Day USA and wanted me to help her throughout the process of designing it.
The UX Approach
Upon accepting the assignment to the Global Dignity Day website, my supervisor showed me a wireframe based off of a similar website she had built previously so I could have an idea of the visual layout and content we were going for. Since we had a tight deadline of two weeks and other important projects to be working on, we split up the work and I set weekly goals for myself to complete. I began by working on the landing page, creating an image slider then adding in an about blurb, video promos, and highlighted blog posts from previous Global Dignity Day events. During the second week of the project, I finished the About and Resources pages and added interactive elements such as a countdown to the event and a registration button. These additional interactive touches were an intentional design decision based on the client satisfaction and feedback from previous websites developed by Operation HOPE with similar features.
While there wasn’t thorough user research or prototyping involved in the design of this website, Arlet (the Senior Designer) and I were able to launch a powerful and useful site in time to elicit positive feedback from co-workers in various departments and our CEO. My fellowship had ended by the date of the event, but Global Dignity Day USA 2015 turned out to be a success, with thousands of students, teachers, and facilitators participating across the country. One inspiring quote from a facilitator — “I represented a boy who was sentenced to death in Louisiana, and he was innocent. When I went to visit him in the prison cell, he said, ‘don’t worry about me. The truth is going to set me free.’ Five years later, I had the privilege of going to his sister’s wedding in New Orleans. he was free, and we got to walk down the aisle together. I hope the dignity he showed is something that we can spread across the world.”
Cheers to spreading dignity and empathy across the world, and thank you to Operation HOPE for giving me the opportunity to help others through design!