I’m Maria

I’m interested in goal-oriented design and expanding user research to improve usability and accessibility. I find joy utilizing research methods and usability tools in each phase of digital projects.

When I’m not working I love playing ice hockey with my friends, camping, yoga, and generally just being outside.

I believe that designing for inclusivity benefits all.

You’ll find my education and work history below. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me. I hope we’ll get to collaborate soon!

Education

  • Northwestern University — June 2021
    M.S. Information & Design Strategy
  • General Assembly — October 2019
    User Experience Design: 10-week Bootcamp
  • Wayne State University — July 2005
    B.A. Journalism

Experience

Senior User Experience Specialist, LSA Technology Services, University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, 2020-Present

Continually improving LSA digital projects by advocating for the user and integrating stakeholder and user feedback into the development process.

Collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to:

  • Establish user research strategy
  • Develop a strategic understanding of project goals and objectives
  • Design innovative, accessible, and creative solutions
  • Provide design assets and support to developers for implementing design

Conduct user research, create personas, identify required tasks and information flows for given systems. This has been crucial for creating common vocabulary in digital humanities projects and understanding audiences of public-facing sites.

Create relevant design artifacts, including, but not limited to, information architecture, requirements, personas designs, wireframes, high resolution mockups and data flows.

Provide insight on website metrics and analysis using Google Analytics, Crazy Egg, and SEO tools.

Oversee compliance with federal standards for web accessibility focusing on WCAG AA standards.


Web Designer, LSA Technology Services, University of Michigan — Ann Arbor, 2014-2020

Developed wireframes, mockups, and visual enhancements for use with Adobe Experience Management (AEM) site templates.

Prepared reports and trained unit staff to utilize insight from Google Analytics and SEO to make informed marketing decisions.

Established and maintained communication with over 450 users using Mailchimp.

Oversaw compliance with federal standards for web accessibility, maintaining WCAG AA standards.


Digital Manager, Waste & Recycling News, Crain Communication — Detroit, 2013
Web Coordinator | 2011-2013

Managed national publication’s website and evaluated it with respect to SEO and user experience.

Increased digital revenue by creating new ad space and social media presence by expanding reach on Twitter and Facebook.

Contributed editorially by blogging and creating graphics for print publication and anchoring and editing weekly newscast.

Skills

  • Layout design
  • User research
  • Usability testing
  • Project management and strategy
  • SEO and Google Analytics
  • Web content development

Achievements

  • Adobe
    AEM Developer Training
    2018
  • Higher Ed Experts
    Certificate: Advanced Web Analytics for Higher Ed
    2016
  • Higher Ed Experts
    Certificate: Web Analytics for Higher Ed
    2014
  • American Business Media Neal Award
    Winner for Weekly Newscast
    2011

Tools

  • User Experience:
    Research & Design
    Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups, Personas, User Flows, User Stories, User Journeys, Usability Tests, Card Sorts, Prioritization, Heuristic Evaluation, Task Analysis, Low & High Fidelity Prototyping
  • Design Tools
    Figma
    Adobe XD
    Sketch
    Adobe Creative Suite
    MIRO
    Flowmapp
  • CMS Platforms
    Adobe Experience Manager
    WordPress
    Omeka