Observing. Listening. Asking. Carefully gathering evidence from all methods and sources. Striving to neutralize the (innumerable) incentives that induce bias. Synthesizing, presenting in relevant, timely, and actionable ways. Clarity is my north star.
It’s a gift and a responsibility to investigate and represent people's lives and interests.
I have worked with inspiring mentors and organizations in difficult settings all over the world — conducting research, writing, and editing the stories in twenty countries. I have consulted for a dozen Seattle business owners.
I want to draw on that body of experience and apply it with teammates to make a difference.
Research. Writing. Design. Strategy.
Research & Communications Director Desiree Loughlin Real Estate Windermere Senior Research Analyst Technology & Social Change Group University of Washington
Researcher & Director South Asia Anti-Trafficking Program Daywalka Foundation
Trainer & Technical Support Analyst US Library Program Native American Access to Technology Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Speech Communication Instructor Assistant Director of Forensics Western Washington University
Human Centered Design, MS College of Engineering University of Washington
Masters of Public Administration Evans School of Public Affairs University of Washington
Speech Communication BA Gonzaga University
Human Centered Design &
Real Estate Communication
Director of Research & Communication, Desiree Loughlin Real Estate, Windermere
Directed research, data, and communications (among other back-end entrepreneurial responsibilities) for a thriving, high-end residential real estate team. Responsible for design and production of our publication suite and implementing multiple, ongoing communication plans. Design thinking (an ongoing commitment to updates and adaptation to serve user interests) is baked into all of our systems. Qualitative research is bedrock: interviews, participant observation, shadowing, think-aloud website searching, focus groups, process mapping, card sorting etc. Crisp writing, relevant content, beautiful design, and timely communication has served client and team interests. Systems have hummed. Business has boomed. Writing, Design & Publication
We created materials from extensive inquiry into the stories our agents wanted to tell, the information clients craved, and available data. Other priorities included: beauty, deep content, and conversation sparks (versus artifacts to be passively consumed).
Information design, infographics, and visual presentation are central to our storytelling.
Qualitative user research (“ride along” agent shadowing, interviews, focus groups, etc.) ground our communications products. An example is our Seller Book, which began as a 40+ page word document and was boiled down to ~4 pages. The writing process helped us innovate our business systems.
Envisioning Cards for Buyers
Modeled, iterated, and produced a 54 card deck and priority sorting exercises to help buyers articulate (and understand) their goals using prototyping, focus groups, and user testing. This deck is a powerful technique for winning clients and commissions. We wire-framed an app, but ultimately decided the cards were more valuable as physical artifacts. Personas & Client Segmentation
Client personas advanced our: segmentation, customized storytelling, triggers for outreach, team efficiency, and thinking around business strategy and services. As our pool of clients grew, personas took on greater variation and specificity.
We use actual names, drawn from specific clients, though these names are not helpful to outsiders. (You don't know "Andy and Margo.") Key top-level segments include:
• First time homebuyers • Growing families • Empty nesters • Investors (several types) • Selling family home • Luxury • Seniors Survey Design
Crafted a comprehensive customer satisfaction online survey. It was well written, but unsuccessful. Our agents knew their clients so well, that the surveys added little. In fact, the length detracted from the one question we really needed: a text-based testimonial. It was a great lesson in design thinking—less was more.
Technology & Social Change
Senior research analyst, University of Washington
Conducted research and program evaluation for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects in the context of International Development. In these “less developed” settings, qualitative research is the starting point. “What can be assumed” is rare. Development interventions are famously riddled with arrogance of donors and “outsiders” who do not appreciate the full context in which they are working. We measured the impact of technology grants to NGO's worldwide and produced tightly written, relevant, and timely media in multiple formats. Primary funding came from Microsoft Community Affairs and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Our research design needed to accomplish multiple tasks: assess impact, share lessons learned across the network of grantees, and help donors and grantees tell stories to internal and external audiences. How can stories of "failure" be aired in a way that saves face shares important lessons?
In addition to formal research reports, we developed “Evidence Narratives” to tell highly contextualized stories that speaking to larger themes (which we mapped in the evidence matrix) and help navigate the donor/grantee "dance of deception."
I led development of the narrative model, coordinated researchers who conducted the site visits, edited the series of 24 articles, and authored seven of them.
Storytelling for Impact:
Briefs, infographics, and video
One lesson learned at UW is how attention spans are shrinking: people do not like to read extended text. Great research is often ignored because findings are buried in 400 page reports. I spearheaded TASCHA efforts to help researchers "daylight" key findings by creating briefs, policy memos, infographics, videos, etc. to make findings more timely, digestible, and viral.
Technology Use in BGCA's
Lead UW researcher for two year investigation of technology-related learning opportunities for children at 38 Boys & Girls Clubs in four states. Coordinated a five person research team that considered technology within the larger context of afterschool programs and for preparing youth for the 21st-century workforce using interviews, site visits, focus groups, and surveys.
Methodology: Evidence Matrices
We developed matrix conceptual models to systematically track variables across diverse sites. On one axis we listed key variables; on the other axis we listed research sites, or cases. We analyzed how each variable operated in a particular setting. This inductive method was useful for identifying patterns across highly varied contexts. It was also useful for persona creation.
Much of our Microsoft work was for internal use, but here is a public facing academic paper that described our conceptual framework and our approach to evidence.
Partnered with USAID, Mozilla Foundation, leading Cambodian NGOs, technologists and human rights activists to convene an un-conference to build civil society. We convened, connected, and collaborated.
I led several “maker” sessions, including: rapid prototyping, group brainstorming, organizational "speed dating," etc.
I am a self-starter and a team player who's looking for interesting collaboration with bright, curious people. This portfolio is a take on my history as researcher, writer, and designer. While I'm proud of the work documented here, I'm actually more complicated, versatile, and interesting in person;).