I joined CivicPlus, a leading GovTech software provider, in 2017 as a Senior Designer on the Creative Services team. Over the following 18 months, I designed over 120 municipal websites–guided by organizational best practices and adhering to the design and brand standards of the client communities. While my work requirements were performed in Photoshop, I also took it upon myself during this period to develop expert level knowledge of the CivicEngage content management system and quickly became a voice of leadership and direction among my peers. My understanding of user experience, design, and development enabled me to consult internal team members and clients effectively, as well as create considerable efficiencies in our overall design and implementation processes.
In June 2018 I assumed the role of Creative Director for Implementation, owning the overall creative process and responsibility for the growth and development of our creative team. In addition to my team responsibilities, this move allowed me greater opportunity for impact within our Professional Services operations and company at large. During this time I built great relationships with individuals in product strategy, engineering, marketing, and sales, serving as a key stakeholder in the strategy/development of our software products themselves. Throughout my time in this role I have redeveloped our website implementation package offerings, launched new professional service offerings, established new staff positions, and helped employees develop themselves into new roles. In addition I have contributed greatly to the vision and strategic direction of our products and company from conceptualizing new software solutions all the way down to developing and implementing new features and enhancements.
Municipal Website Designs
CivicPlus specializes in the design of local government websites for cities and counties with over 4500 clients across the US, Canada, and Austrailia. As a Senior Designer I worked with our Art Directors to translate client requirements into wireframes and visual designs. Three of my favorite projects I contributed to are shown below:
Creative Services Platform App
Recognizing inefficiencies and miscommunication across handoffs within our team, I took the initiative to design and develop a toolkit in the form of a web application. The application has served as a central source of truth for the design of our project and created streamlined communication across art direction, design, web development, and product management since 2018.
Features of the application included a tool set for developing module color palettes (a proprietary aspect of the CivicEngage CMS) with greater accessibility compliance, a client specification PDF export tool, and a repository for other efficiency tools and scripts utilized within our software.
- Bootstrap 3
- NodeJS / Express
- Resolved communication challenges between roles
- Improved accessibility of system color palettes
- Provided data analytics on system feature use
CivicRec Public Page Builder
CivicRec (formerly RecOne) is a recreational management tool used by Parks & Rec departments to digitize their operations and coordinate their many programs and offerings. Following the CivicPlus acquisition I was charged with reviewing our implementation for ‘Public Pages,’ which is the branded client-facing portal for citizens to enroll in courses. Upon discovering some serious concerns and risks in both the process sustainability as well as the accessibility of the outcome, I took it upon myself (well outside the scope of my role, and in my own free time) to develop the Rec Public Page Builder tool. I worked closely with Product Strategy, Engineering, and our Creative Services team to understand the process and requirements before developing a solution that met clients needs while creating considerable enhancements to our implementation process.
- Resolved process issues and client disatisfaction
- WCAG conformant experience and output
- Reduced 20 implementation hour process to 2 hours
Creative Services Team Success
The element I am most proud of from my time at CivicPlus is the growth and achievement of the Creative Services team and its members. In 2019 we achieved over 150 ‘One and Done’ designs, meaning clients were so satsified with their design that they requested zero design revisions. This achievement provided the company with an opportunity-cost savings of well over $50k. We celebrated when reached 100 because that alone had never been achieved prior in a single year in company history.
Following, I will highlight what I feel was the most meaningful impact I had on the team by role:
I recognized early after joining the team that we struggled to effectively overcome challenges, so once in leadership I immediately enrolled our Art Directors in leadership training at the Kansas Leadership Center. This development provided them a great skillset for navigating through the complexities of change and a new lens for viewing ‘problems.’ The outcome was a much more cohesive and positive team, empowered to solve the adaptive challenges our organization faced.
Front End Web Development
Our CMS software has a feature set for implementing design templates which does not require a considerable background in web development. Despite that fact, many of our front end web developers came to us with extensive qualifications that exceeded the needs of the role. At times, the system tools even became a bottleneck for their effectiveness. By gaining a deep technical understanding of our software, I was able to develop scripts and tools to create efficiency in their processes. From that point, the devs themselves took the initiative to drive my early efforts into a robust Chrome plugin that functions on top of our software and provides considerable gains in both quality and efficiency. This tooling providing them a more challenging project and made their day-to-day tasks much more enjoyable.
Quarterly Kudos Winner
Every business quarter CivicPlus employees nominate their peers for ‘Kudos’ based on their performance as it relates to the corporate values. From there, the CP leadership team selects one individual as the overall top performer in the company. I was honored to be recognized with this designation at our off-site townhall meeting in Q2 2019.
In the spirit of full transparency, I am providing direct copies of my annual evaluations from each year at CivicPlus.