Services

Effective experiences, designed efficiently

I am a user experience designer and researcher specializing in interaction design, information architecture, formative user research, and Axure prototyping.  My clients hire me when they have a complex problem that needs to be solved and they want someone who will solve it well and who will work efficiently.

Design

  • User Experience Strategy

  • Conceptual Design

  • Detailed Interaction Design

  • Service Design

  • Information Architecture

  • Axure Prototyping

  • Storyboarding & Journey Mapping

Research & Analysis

  • Usability Testing

  • User & Stakeholder Interviews

  • Heuristic & Expert Evaluation

  • Card Sorting & Tree Testing

  • Field Studies

  • Personas

  • Content Analysis

Experience

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Shannon McHarg, Principal

I thrive on solving complex design problems from strategic vision down to the tactical details and have 16 years of experience and a master's degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University. I'm always looking for ways my design skills can have an impact on the world and am currently looking for projects in the sustainability or civic spaces.

I'm located in Brunswick, Maine and do most of my work remotely, but I'm willing to travel for meetings and to conduct user research.


I have experience designing and researching interfaces for the following industries and platforms.

 Industries

  • Tax Preparation & Finance

  • Education & eLearning

  • Healthcare

  • Retail & E-Commerce

  • Insurance

  • Business to Business Services

  • Shipping & Logistics

  • Nonprofits & Government Websites

  • Open Data

  • Sports & Fitness

  • Travel

  • Online Auctions

  • Job Search

Major Clients

  • U.S. Department of the Interior: Office of Natural Resources Revenue

  • H&R Block

  • L.L.Bean

  • Cengage Learning

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

  • Quick Base

  • Zumba Fitness

Platforms

  • Web Applications

  • Responsive Websites

  • Mobile Apps (iPhone, Android, iPad)

  • Desktop Software

  • Responsive Emails

  • Omnichannel Services

  • Internet of Things

Portfolio

Note: I take client confidentiality seriously and most of my deliverables are internal documents that I can't share on my public website.  Below shows before and after states for projects that have gone live with some explanation of the process.  If you would like to see samples of my UX deliverables or learn more about my process, I'd be happy to discuss and share what I think is appropriate during an interview.

Government & Civic Work

I’ve been doing civic volunteer work since 2015 and took a full-time position as an Innovation Specialist with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue in 2018.

Natural Resources Revenue Data Portal   I am currently an Innovation Specialist with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue focused on user experience. This  blog pos t is a good demonstration of the work I’m doing for them and you can view all of my work on  GitHub .   Tasks:   User research , participant recruitment,  user type definition , conceptual design, detailed interaction design, visual design, build reviews   Deliverables:  User research  guides ,  plans  and  findings , high and low fidelity Axure prototypes, journey maps & process diagrams

Natural Resources Revenue Data Portal

I am currently an Innovation Specialist with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue focused on user experience. This blog post is a good demonstration of the work I’m doing for them and you can view all of my work on GitHub.

Tasks: User research, participant recruitment, user type definition, conceptual design, detailed interaction design, visual design, build reviews

Deliverables: User research guides, plans and findings, high and low fidelity Axure prototypes, journey maps & process diagrams

Open Maine Legislative Scorecard   I’m involved with the local Code for America brigade, Open Maine. Launched projects include a state legislative scorecard used by  Maine People's Alliance  and  Maine AFL-CIO .   Tasks:  User research, interaction design   Deliverables:  Survey, user research guide, plan, and findings, Axure prototype

Open Maine Legislative Scorecard

I’m involved with the local Code for America brigade, Open Maine. Launched projects include a state legislative scorecard used by Maine People's Alliance and Maine AFL-CIO.

Tasks: User research, interaction design

Deliverables: Survey, user research guide, plan, and findings, Axure prototype

The Maine Ballot   In 2016, I created a ballot website to help Mainers understand the referendum questions on statewide ballots. It had over 3,000 unique visitors leading up to the November 2018 election. In the last couple of years, Open Maine has gotten involved and volunteers have helped create and review the content on the site. During the 2018-2019 government shutdown, a colleague and I moved the site from Squarespace to  GitHub  to make it open source and available for people to fork and create similar sites for other states.

The Maine Ballot

In 2016, I created a ballot website to help Mainers understand the referendum questions on statewide ballots. It had over 3,000 unique visitors leading up to the November 2018 election. In the last couple of years, Open Maine has gotten involved and volunteers have helped create and review the content on the site. During the 2018-2019 government shutdown, a colleague and I moved the site from Squarespace to GitHub to make it open source and available for people to fork and create similar sites for other states.

Consulting Work

I consulted both on my own and for a UX agency for over 10 years.  My projects have ranged from one off usability studies and card sorts to a 2 year stint at Cengage Learning designing an educational product from the formative user research and concepting through detailed design and development support.  I have worked with companies in all stages of UX maturity and have learned what does and doesn't work with each type of company.

ATI Nursing Education Student Portal   Responsive redesign of student portal to allow students to complete tutorials, practice exams, and reviews to prepare for their NCLEX certification exam.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Repsonsive Web Design, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Sitemap, Content Inventory, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype   Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

ATI Nursing Education Student Portal

Responsive redesign of student portal to allow students to complete tutorials, practice exams, and reviews to prepare for their NCLEX certification exam.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Repsonsive Web Design, Prototyping

Deliverables: Sitemap, Content Inventory, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

PlanIt Impact Architecture Reporting Tool   Design for a new product to allow architects and city planners to evaluate the environmental impact of their designs.   Tasks:  Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Workflow Diagrams, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype   Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

PlanIt Impact Architecture Reporting Tool

Design for a new product to allow architects and city planners to evaluate the environmental impact of their designs.

Tasks: Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Prototyping

Deliverables: Workflow Diagrams, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

POMCO Emergency Alert System   Redesign of a mobile app with bluetooth connected device used by students to alert campus security when they are in an emergency situation. Also redesigned dispatcher dashboard and the flow between the two users.   Tasks:  Service Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Workflow Diagrams, Wireframes, Mobile Prototype, Quick Start Guide   Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

POMCO Emergency Alert System

Redesign of a mobile app with bluetooth connected device used by students to alert campus security when they are in an emergency situation. Also redesigned dispatcher dashboard and the flow between the two users.

Tasks: Service Design, Interaction Design, Prototyping

Deliverables: Workflow Diagrams, Wireframes, Mobile Prototype, Quick Start Guide

Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

Hallmark Baby Responsive E-Commerce Site   New responsive site built using Demandware. Translated Demandware specifications to Hallmark Baby's domain.   Tasks:  Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Responsive Prototype   Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

Hallmark Baby Responsive E-Commerce Site

New responsive site built using Demandware. Translated Demandware specifications to Hallmark Baby's domain.

Tasks: Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design

Deliverables: Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

Project completed in partnership with Useagility. Details links to their site.

Zumba Instructor Portal   Redesign of the Zumba Instructor Network portal.   Tasks:  Content Inventory, Template Design, Information Architecture, Collaboration with Visual Designers   Deliverables:  Content Inventory, Screen Templates, Wireframes, Prototype

Zumba Instructor Portal

Redesign of the Zumba Instructor Network portal.

Tasks: Content Inventory, Template Design, Information Architecture, Collaboration with Visual Designers

Deliverables: Content Inventory, Screen Templates, Wireframes, Prototype

City Year Redesign   Redesign of the City Year website.   Tasks:  Expert Review, Card Sort, Interaction Design   Deliverables:  Expert Review Findings, Sitemap, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes

City Year Redesign

Redesign of the City Year website.

Tasks: Expert Review, Card Sort, Interaction Design

Deliverables: Expert Review Findings, Sitemap, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes

Cruises Only   Project to restructure the navigation and create page templates.   Tasks:  Sitemap Analysis, Information Architecture   Deliverables:  Sitemap, Wireframes, Screen Templates

Cruises Only

Project to restructure the navigation and create page templates.

Tasks: Sitemap Analysis, Information Architecture

Deliverables: Sitemap, Wireframes, Screen Templates

 

L.L.Bean

I was a long-term contractor with L.L.Bean for 4 years while they were making the transition to agile development and readying their site to become responsive.  Much of that 4 years was spent redesigning the website's header, footer, and entire product taxonomy, which went live recently.  The project involved selling the changes at all levels of the organization and doing ridiculous amounts of user research to satisfy the organization's quantitative needs because it was such a high profile change that impacts all areas of the organization.  Take a look at llbean.com before and after the redesign. 

I also established a practice of prototyping and early research with users.  Before I arrived, they only tested designs with users after they were built.  Now, they test designs early and often using Axure prototypes.

L.L.Bean Responsive Site   Modification of existing llbean.com site to make it responsive down to 600 px and optimized for tablet users.   Tasks:  Content Analysis, Responsive Web Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Content Inventory, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Responsive Site

Modification of existing llbean.com site to make it responsive down to 600 px and optimized for tablet users.

Tasks: Content Analysis, Responsive Web Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping

Deliverables: Content Inventory, Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Customization Tool   Responsive redesign of customizable product page to allow use on tablets and better integrate the feature with the rest of the site.   Tasks:  Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Customization Tool

Responsive redesign of customizable product page to allow use on tablets and better integrate the feature with the rest of the site.

Tasks: Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Responsive Email   Redesign of L.L.Bean's transactional emails to make them responsive.   Tasks:  Responsive Email Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Responsive Email

Redesign of L.L.Bean's transactional emails to make them responsive.

Tasks: Responsive Email Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Account Redesign   Redesign of My Account section to make it easier to use and usable across devices.   Tasks:  Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Mobile Design, Adaptive Design, Detailed Design, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Flow Diagrams, Responsive Prototype

L.L.Bean Account Redesign

Redesign of My Account section to make it easier to use and usable across devices.

Tasks: Interaction Design, Responsive Web Design, Mobile Design, Adaptive Design, Detailed Design, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Flow Diagrams, Responsive Prototype

H&R Block

I was an integral part of H&R Block's UX team, both as a UX designer and researcher, for 10 years.  I learned how to collaborate with tax attorneys and accountants to streamline regulations, resulting in a design that meets stringent requirements, yet is easy for users to understand.  UXPA's magazine published an article, Visualizing Tax Returns: Showing the Impact in Design, which discussed a strategic project I lead for Block's office clients.  I played  a key role in the transition from waterfall to agile development processes and led the effort to figure out how UX should fit into agile projects and established a pattern library.

Tax Data Visualization   New screens to visually explain tax situations to H&R Block office clients.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Information Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, High Fidelity Prototype

Tax Data Visualization

New screens to visually explain tax situations to H&R Block office clients.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Information Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, High Fidelity Prototype

iPad Tax Prep   Design an iPad tax preparation app as part of the H&R Block At Home suite of tax preparation products.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams

iPad Tax Prep

Design an iPad tax preparation app as part of the H&R Block At Home suite of tax preparation products.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors

Deliverables: Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams

1040-EZ Mobile   Design a mobile tax preparation app as part of the H&R Block At Home suite of tax preparation products.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors   Deliverables:  Wireframes

1040-EZ Mobile

Design a mobile tax preparation app as part of the H&R Block At Home suite of tax preparation products.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors

Deliverables: Wireframes

Block Mobile   Redesign of H&R Block's mobile app to allow for logging into an account, uploading documents, and viewing tax returns.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Service Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, Mobile Prototype

Block Mobile

Redesign of H&R Block's mobile app to allow for logging into an account, uploading documents, and viewing tax returns.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Service Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, Mobile Prototype

Block Mobile iPad   Optimize the redesigned mobile app for iPad.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Adaptive Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, Mobile Prototype

Block Mobile iPad

Optimize the redesigned mobile app for iPad.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Adaptive Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, Mobile Prototype

Block Live   New product to enable tax prep from home with a live tax professional.   Tasks:  Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Service Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping   Deliverables:  Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, High Fidelity Prototype

Block Live

New product to enable tax prep from home with a live tax professional.

Tasks: Conceptual Design, Interaction Design, Service Design, Collaboration with Visual Designers and Vendors, Prototyping

Deliverables: Wireframes, Workflow Diagrams, High Fidelity Prototype

TaxCut Support Site   Project to reduce call volume to the support center.   Tasks:  Information Architecture, Series of Card Sorts, Content Inventory, Usability Studies   Deliverables:  Content Inventory, Sitemap, Wireframes

TaxCut Support Site

Project to reduce call volume to the support center.

Tasks: Information Architecture, Series of Card Sorts, Content Inventory, Usability Studies

Deliverables: Content Inventory, Sitemap, Wireframes

TaxCut Welcome Sequence   Project to reduce confusion around creating multiple tax returns.   Tasks:  Data Analysis, Interaction Design, Usability Study   Deliverables:  Functional Requirements, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes, Functional Specification

TaxCut Welcome Sequence

Project to reduce confusion around creating multiple tax returns.

Tasks: Data Analysis, Interaction Design, Usability Study

Deliverables: Functional Requirements, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes, Functional Specification

TaxCut Support Reports   Redesign of support reports to make it easier to track issues, find new user requirements, and evaluate implemented designs.   Tasks:  Data Analysis, Information Architecture, Card Sorting   Deliverables:  Report Templates, Reporting Structure

TaxCut Support Reports

Redesign of support reports to make it easier to track issues, find new user requirements, and evaluate implemented designs.

Tasks: Data Analysis, Information Architecture, Card Sorting

Deliverables: Report Templates, Reporting Structure

DeductionPro Donations   Project to clear up user issues with data entry workflow in H&R Block's deduction tracking software.   Tasks:  Data Analysis, Interaction Design, Usability Study, Usability Walkthrough   Deliverables:  Functional Requirements, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes, Functional Specification

DeductionPro Donations

Project to clear up user issues with data entry workflow in H&R Block's deduction tracking software.

Tasks: Data Analysis, Interaction Design, Usability Study, Usability Walkthrough

Deliverables: Functional Requirements, Workflow Diagram, Wireframes, Functional Specification

 

Publications

Teaching digital skills: learning usability testing by peer training, Open data design at the U.S. Department of the Interior, February 2019

How we rebuilt our open-data homepage part one: design, Open data design at the U.S. Department of the Interior, December 2018

Fostering Trust to Build Community, UX Matters, April 2018

Recipe for Productivity: A Haiku, Human in the Machine, August 2017

Remote Friendly User Experience: How to Keep and Hire Top Talent. User Experience Magazine, 17(1). February 2017

Engaging Citizens: A Review of Eight Approaches to Civic Engagement. User Experience Magazine, 15(5).  November 2015

Visualizing Tax Returns: Showing the Impact in Design. User Experience Magazine, 15(3).  July 2015

If Congress Went Agile.  UX Matters.  May 2015