Federal Student Aid
I manage contractors and collaborate across FSA to design the digital experience for federal student aid applicants, parents, and student loan borrowers. That includes overseeing user research, usability testing, and user input activities to ensure digital product designs and design systems are meeting user needs and successfully reaching Next Gen milestones. I also oversee the brand strategy and design for Federal Student Aid at an enterprise level.
Some accomplishments include:
- Over the past two years, I’ve been responsible for the design of 31+ features, including both desktop, mobile responsive, and mobile app designs, and over 3,079 individual prototype screens in InVision as well as other platforms. SLSC surveys and analytics have validated these designs with all time high scores.
- I established the revised Information Architecture for the new studentaid.gov website, including the consolidation of three existing websites (studentloans.gov, nslds.ed.gov, and fsaid.ed.gov). Adhered to best practices and original research regarding the most intuitive mental models and taxonomies for students, parents, and borrowers.
- I also established a design system and pattern library for all FSA digital products based on FSA brand guidelines, the US Web Design System, and ongoing design work under the DCC contract. The design system is used by 40+ contract designers, FSA UAT testers, and FSA design leads. It includes guidance on typography, iconography, color, grids, components, patterns, navigation, and illustrations. The design system is also currently being expanded to encompass other major user groups and sites, such as https://fsapartners.ed.gov for college administrators and financial aid professionals.
- I’ve worked with our vendor to produce mindsets, vision map, and user journeys to inform ongoing Rumbles, user research, and usability testing with an emphasis on vulnerable user populations, such as individuals with visual disabilities and those with limited access to computers.
- I regularly produce sketches (e.g. Notifications feature), prototypes (e.g. Loan Simulator feature), wireframes (e.g. Make a Payment feature), and other guidance in coordination stakeholders. I work to communicate design ideas and priorities to the vendor design team and avoid churn wherever possible.
- I’m comfortable sharing our work nationally as a keynote speaker at the annual 2,000+ national FSA conference. In 2021 I presented virtually to a record audience.
- Finally, I’ve assumed primary responsibility for FSA Brand Guidelines and ad hoc branding support, as well as chartering the new FSA brand working group. I then began co-chairing the group to handle enterprise-wide brand and design decisions.