Mormon Historic Sites in Alberta Canada: Seeking refuge in Canada, Charles Card, and other Latter-day Saints transformed the buffalo plains of southern Alberta into a string of enduring Mormon communities. With this app you can take a self-guided tour to some of the most significant historic sites in the area, view detailed historic images, enjoy audio and video presentations on their history and add your own photos of the sites you visit to the gallery.
To keep costs low, this project was heavily assisted by talented and diligent volunteers from the LDSTech community. The project kicked off during the LDSTech Conference on March 28, 2012. The volunteers dedicated a three-hour session to work on concepts. After the team had something to work with, it was divided up into must-haves, nice-to-haves, and bonus features. With a list of nice-to-haves and bonus features, it gave the team more wiggle room when it came to time constraints and allowed them to scale back when necessary.
Three team members, myself, an iOS developer, and a content strategist completed the remainder of the app. It was launched in the app store on July 1, 2012
Using Keynote to rapidly prototype map touch interactions, I was able to determine if visual cues would work for intuitive navigation or if we needed to continue designing.
Audio controls for soundtrack
Each location in the app had a short historic background provided by the producers at the Mormon Channel (Southern Alberta, Legacy Episode 88) . The map coordinates led the visitor to a historic marker on location.
Mr. Jesse Knight
Using historic images from the Church History archives, I modified their appearance to create a stylized look for the main pages of the app.
Post-it note critique of sketches
I gathered a group of volunteers who had project management, design, and iOS development backgrounds to work through brainstorming sessions for the app. We worked through a three hour session to sketch mockups and outline "must-have" and "nice-to-have" features.
Volunteers at LDSTech Conference
Prior to the three hour working group, I gathered moodboards and styleguides, along with high level vision from the Church History Department. I set a thirty minute limit on each sketch iteration, with ten minutes of critique. We repeated the sketching until we felt that we had enough to move to higher fidelity. The project was set to be code complete and ready to submit to the app store in sixty days, so the first release needed to be a minimal viable product.
We worked through a three hour session to sketch mockups and outline "must-have" and "nice-to-have" features.
I designed app navigation icons, using inspiration from historic photos used in the app and a gourmet ketchup bottle label. The icons were modified for both retina and normal screens.
Washington DC Festival of Lights
One of the D.C. area's great community traditions, the Festival of Lights features free concerts nightly in the comfortable, state-of-the-art theater located in the Visitors' Center. A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, beginning the first week of December.
For the 35th Annual Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Visitor Center, the Public Affairs Department wanted to update their website with a responsive design. I proposed several solutions that brought directions and addresses to the top of the mobile version, and the calendar to the top with the desktop version of the site. The site used media queries to change the content based on the screen size.
Released August 2012
Family of Sites Tab
I was assigned to explore possible solutions to help clarify and direct visitors to the site that could best fulfill their needs. Working with designer Chris Mayfield, as a design partner, we began exploring several options and ended up landing on this solution for a short term solution to be tested. We worked closely with each website owner to find a solution that could be shared between all departments. This was the first step towards a shared organization wide navigation structure.
Library Archives Tool
The Encoded Archival Description is a tool for the Church History Department archivists to catalog metadata for archives stored within the vaults. It was created to replace an XML editor that was being hand coded by volunteers and archivists.
I met with the users and created functional specifications for the XML schema used to encode the archives. I observed people cataloging and entering the information into the XML editor. Working with subject matter experts, I created Balsamiq wireframes to establish a new workflow and screen interaction. From wireframes, I moved into higher fidelity prototypes that could be used by the development team to build the application.
For the second phase of the project, Colt Pini joined me and helped extend the application to work with the Library's digital asset management tool. We were able to create a full suite of tools to connect the pipeline from archivist, librarian, and historian for the Church History Department.
Colt Pini joined the design team and helped to extend the tool to connect the archive with the digital asset management system that then fed into the Library Catalog for historians and the public.
Joseph Smith Papers
I was the lead designer on the website for the Joseph Smith Papers Project.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project is an effort to gather together all extant Joseph Smith documents and to publish complete and accurate transcripts of those documents with both textual and contextual annotation. All of Joseph Smith’s known surviving papers, which include many of the foundational documents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be easily accessible in one place.
The primary focus of the site is to provide accurate transcriptions and manuscripts to scholars and historians on Joseph Smith, Mormon history, and early American documents.
User feedback indicated that the search feature was not robust enough and was causing some frustration. These are concepts for faceted navigation within the search.
Working through the data that would show at each point of the interaction, I created a storyboard of "what if" interactions I would need to later fully flush out.
I worked with volunteer developer, Aaron Cannon, to create the designs for the 2010 DVD for Project Gutenberg. Project Gutenberg offers over 36,000 free ebooks to download to a PC, Kindle, Android, iOS or other portable device. Each year, a DVD is created and mailed to libraries and schools for free use to their students and patrons. It is also available for personal use.
Church Banking System
A large project that involved over 60 developers, I lead the design and technical writing teams. We designed a new donation system that combined domestic and international accounting processes. Prototypes consisted of over 900 screens and reports, completed in a two year period, with a team of four designers.
The Church History Department needed a common tool for viewing media assets in their catalog, josephsmithpapers.org, archive apps, and mobile apps. The tool needed to be able to handle multiple media formats from video, text, images, collections, and transcriptions.
There's still a bit of work to do, including creating a central image repository and working with code bases of COTS apps. Look at the progress of an HTML5 media viewer:
The history department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is responsible for preserving historical records and sites, and making the information available to the public.
The goal of history.lds.org was to create a friendly face for the general public that encouraged them to learn more about Mormon history, whether it was visiting a historic site, attending a lecture series, watching a documentary, or reading a first-hand account from a pioneer. The department was stretching to change itself from an academic focus to a group that could write for broader audiences.
Although hesitant in the beginning, the department was able to change its content publishing process to allow for briefer and more anecdotal accounts of history. The voice of the content stilled remained historically accurate, but it was able to focus on connecting pieces of history, rather than lists of facts and names. Designs reflected a progression towards a lighter and uplifting color palette during the transition in the department.
Iterating through this change was challenging because it wasn't simply showing nicely designed comps for approvals. It required a research phase into the consumer base to understand what demographic we needed to be reaching and what type of content they were looking for. We also needed to teach the historians, who were creating the content, about web content strategy and agile deployment. Our first release was slow, but rapidly progressed once the content team realized that the best way to improve the content and designs were to release the product and carefully tweak it based on users' feedback.
Colt and Abigayl Bowden are professional artisans who own Le Voilà Press. Their business runs on a vintage Vandercook 317 proofing press. They also are craftsmen in hand lettering and sign painting. They have studied under masters in gold leafing and traveled the country to study master sign painters.
I was hired to provide conceptual work for voilapress.com, that showcased both the letterpress and sign painting aspects of their business. We also worked on a personal site for Colt's illustrations and animations. Concepts were completed in 2011.