Project: Understand the motivations of early adopters of digital skillsharing tools, then use this information to help create easy online experiences for them.
People: Team at Mozilla Foundation in partnership with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; badge issuing organizations; learners the world over.
At Mozilla, we believed that learning happens over the course of a lifetime and frequently in informal settings. Yet many of these experiential and lifelong learnings were not being adequately captured. Digital badges could help capture some of these. Under a grant from the MacArthur Foundation, Mozilla built the Open Badge Infrastructure, which made it possible for badges from different communities to be interoperable and shareable across the Web.
These badges have been rigorously issued by formal and informal educational institutions, multinational corporations, industry associations, non-profits, and groups interested in professional development. We worked to connect 1 million people domestically with 1 million jobs as part of the Clinton Global Initiative commitment 2 Million Better Futures.
I worked between design, development, and product teams as the Foundation's first user researcher. I planned methodology and data collection, large-scale studies, and resources for qualitative and quantitative analysis. Our creative lead Jess Klein wrote that since my joining, "user research and testing [does] not happen in a bubble, but rather becomes completely integrated with our design and implementation cycles." Additional work included:
Collaborating with leaders in and newcomers to our distributed international ecosystem to map their needs. This resulted in the creation of a comprehensive set of user profiles that were used for the team's largest development undertaking, a technical toolstack for badge issuing cities called BadgeKit;
Overseeing a logo redesign and site overhaul for the project's central online property, OpenBadges.org, with the design firm Ocupop. I led user inquiry and created content for Community.OpenBadges.org, our first centralized hub for community forums and interactions;
Co-creating and hosting the Foundation's first research-focused weekly conference call, drawing an average of 20 highly engaged community members and experts globally each Wednesday;
Moderating and presenting on open education and design research at South by Southwest as well as its sister conference, SXSWEdu.