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Alison Work

Digital Media &
Instructional Designer

I am a designer creating intuitive and engaging content focusing on user experience.

 

I currently work at Michigan State University Extension, conceptualizing and developing digital materials to expand outreach. 

 

Welcome to my portfolio! 

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E-Learning Design
Case Study

Evaluating Hygienic Design

Overview

Produce growers should consider the hygienic design of their equipment and how it affects food safety. This interactive activity was designed to be an engaging way to educate produce growers on the principles of hygienic design before they go out and buy new equipment. 

Role

I worked with subject matter experts from Michigan State University Extension and University of Vermont Extension to conceptualize the idea, write a script, and draft up a storyboard.

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I then was in charge of video production and editing, visual design, sound design, motion graphics, and interactivity. The software I used included Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, and Articulate Storyline 360. 

Design Process

RESEARCH

I worked closely with my supervisor, an MSU Extension Educator, in the beginning stages of the design process. Most of the content on hygienic design involved hour long webinars or in-person workshops, and he recognized a need for an interactive and digital way to educate growers and expand outreach. To gather research, I spoke with educators, watched a recorded webinar, and read multiple articles written by University of Minnesota Ag Engineering. I also attended a Hygienic Design workshop to see how I could adapt in-person activities to a digital format. 

STORYBOARD

When developing the storyboard, I suggested a few key elements:

  • Breaking up the content into short, easily digestible sections

  • Adding buttons to allow users to progress through the activity at their own pace

  • Adding a voiceover and captions along with the video for accessibility

REDESIGNS

After the initial design, I received feedback from my supervisor, colleagues, and family members, and made edits to improve the user experience. 

  • I increased the size of buttons so they were easier to see

  • Certain buttons disappeared when they were clicked on, so I made sure they remained visible

  • I reduced the video quality so it played better on computers with lower bandwidth

  • For some sections, I added buttons so users can accomplish the same action in multiple ways

Reflections

Through this project, I learned that less is often more. When designing for multiple users with differing levels of knowledge, technical skills, computer bandwidth, and so on, it's important to simplify things and include only the most essential elements.

I also recognized the importance of research and feedback. I wouldn't have known what was important to include in the design without researching the needs of the audience, and I wouldn't have known to make certain changes without testing it out with other people. 

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