Hi, I'm Elizabeth Jerow. I started my first blog in 1999 and have been organizing and sharing online ever since.

Take a look at some of my recent work and skills.

Other clients I've worked with include 800-CEO-Read/Porchlight Books, Inpro, MGIC, SAP, MSOE, Concordia, American Airlines, GE Healthcare, Plex Systems, BMC, Johnson Controls, Allscripts, Humana, Harvard Pilgrim, Allstate Insurance, Steelcase, Legendary Whitetails, KEEN Utility, and Miller Welding.

Articles/Publications

About Elizabeth Jerow

Graduate Degree
In 2012, I graduated from UW-Milwaukee's School of Information Studies with a Master's in Library and Information Studies. I studied a broad selection of LIS topics, with a special focus on user experience, web publishing, and digital information organization.

Undergraduate Degree
In 2007, I graduated from UW-Milwaukee's Peck School of the Arts with a degree in music. I studied music education, including educational psychology, musical pedagogy, the creative process, and inter-arts experiences.

Volunteering
I most recently volunteered as a tutor through Milwaukee Public Library. I worked with children and adults on schoolwork, English, literacy, and other life skills. I have also volunteered with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Urban Ecology Center, The Milwaukee LGBT Resource Center, and the Victory Garden Initiative.

Hobbies
Creativity and learning have always been important to me. I love trying things, learning new skills, and sharing with the world. In my free time, I do long-exposure photography, I write books, and I play music. I also enjoy gardening and baking.

Medical College of Wisconsin
Website Relaunch

MCW.edu - old site
MCW.edu - new site

Before-and-after snapshots of the MCW.edu web experience.

In September of 2018, my agency launched a new MCW.edu website experience. The site was completely redesigned, centering user experience and digital strategy. I was the UX lead on the project.

The biggest challenge was balancing and accommodating the needs of very, very many departments, institutes, centers, and stakeholders, and accounting for all of them in a flexible, scalable, templated UX design. We needed to create a powerful navigation system and clear, communicative page layouts, with lots of ways for content creators to communicate visually.

MCW.edu - navigation

The medical college has many distinct audiences with very different needs. The new site needed to support current and future medical students, graduate students, researchers, and faculty; as well as current and future patients, donors, and other audiences. A robust navigation system helps each of these audiences reach content specifically for them.

MCW.edu - audiences

The new site experience supports varying audience needs, giving users a fast track to the content they need, while highlighting the exceptional qualities of the Medical College of Wisconsin and the benefits they give to the community.

MCW.edu - user testing

I conducted user testing on wireframes and visual designs, asking real-life website users to complete tasks. This ensured that our launch was successful.

I also designed and conducted in-person training sessions to prepare more than 50 content authors to build out their content using the designs and templates we created. I instructed participants both in using the content management system and in usability best practices and maintaining the experience I created. See the training document.

BeforeAfter
Lack of goals, staffing, experience, and leadershipSupports strategic web goals and key audiences
Org chart-centric structure with deep page hierarchiesTruly user-centric experience; simplified navigation that will enable future growth
Dissatisfied usersRave reviews and positive press
Dated look/feel and technologyFresh, modern design
Inconsistent design; “rogue” departments on other systemsScalable system to support varying departmental and organizational needs on one platform
Outdated informationModern governance practices and reporting

By the numbers

Talked to over 100 stakeholders52 wireframes over 5 UX sprints

20 page templates and 54 page components designed

2.5 year timeline$2.5MM project budget

Porchlight Books

In 2019, I supported the transformation of 800-CEO-READ, a local Milwaukee book supplier and service provider, into Porchlight Books. As part of this effort, they launched a completely new website. I was involved in the strategy phase of this project, and also acted as the UX Lead for the replatform of this ecommerce site.

Before-and-after snapshots of the 800-CEO-READ
and Porchlight Books web experience.

This project required close collaboration with the tech team to integrate multiple data sources into one cohesive site experience. The website includes content migrated and loaded directly into the CMS, as well as data populated directly from Ingram, an outside source of book and author information.

The most challenging part of this project was designing for both native and external content, and ensuring that regardless of the level of complexity or completion of any particular page data, the page would function correctly and feel complete to the end user.

Side by side wireframes of the author detail page, at its least and its most complex. The new CMS gives Porchlight content editors the flexibility to draw on pre-populated data sources for many authors, while filling out much more robust profiles for their featured writers.

Skills

Component-based DesignI've worked extensively with component-based systems, designing component sets to support a variety of user and stakeholder needs. My goal is to build flexible, powerful systems that meet requirements simply and elegantly. I've worked alongside web development teams to refine requirements, functionality, and documentation for these systems.
Mobile DesignThrough collaboration with front-end development teams, and in consideration of mobile usability best practices, I've created and refined mobile and responsive experiences.
Audience ResearchI gather and summarize as many audience insights as I can prior to beginning creative work. This can include: in-person workshops, one on one interviews with stakeholders or end users (over the phone or in person), website surveys, demographic data, and other data sources.
StrategyI have a background in business and digital strategy. The most successful web projects happen when a digital team sets goals, reviews competitive sites and the current digital landscape, has an awareness of system and market limitations, understands their users, and has otherwise achieved strategic alignment.
Brainstorming and collaborationCreativity and strategy both get stronger when more than one mind work together to create something. I participate in, and lead, brainstorming sessions regularly. I believe in guiding the process towards and end goal while leaving enough space for new and unexpected ideas to come up and blossom. Work that begins with group brainstorming, in my experience, is always stronger.
WireframingWireframing may be the most well-known part of the UX process. I have been building wireframes regularly since the beginning of my UX career. Sketch is my current favorite tool, but I used Axure for about five years, too.
User TestingIf a UX process is intended to be user-centric, work MUST be tested and verified with end users prior to launch. I have experience doing user testing in-person and remotely, on wireframes, on finished sites, and everything in-between, using a variety of tools and methodologies. This is a critical final step in preparing any UX work for production.
Presenting WorkPresenting UX work is an art all on its own. Not only do I need to show the intricacies of my design and explain my reasoning and supporting rationale, but I often need to educate my clients on experience and usability best practices at the same time. I have experience presenting to stakeholders at every level of client organizations, from marketing interns all the way up to presidents and CEOs.
Iterative RevisionsIn the agency world, work needs to happen quickly -- and gathering feedback and notes along the way is the quickest path to a worthwhile final product. I believe in presenting draft work and gathering feedback from stakeholders, teammates, and end users at least once before finalizing any design.
Training and ConsultingWhen a web project is designed and built, clients need ongoing support to take ownership of their web property and do ongoing updates and maintenance. I design training documents and conduct training sessions with real users. My responsibility is to train them not only on the tactical processes of updating their content and creating new pages after their site is launched, but also to prepare them to adhere to usability best practices and to support the experience we've designed together.

Interlochen Arts Academy
Admission Form

User flow illustrating the people involved in the camp or academy application process. Click through for the full diagram.

When I saw this project come down the pipeline, I knew I had to be on it. Arts and education have always been important to me, and I’ve been a fan of Interlochen since I was a high school band geek. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with them.

We implemented a Salesforce-based admissions community to guide their prospective students through the admissions process. This was a particularly complicated process, due to the legal-minor status of most applicants, and the privacy issues surrounding that topic. The process may be further complicated for some families by repeat summer camp attendees and multiple children. I worked closely with the Interlochen staff over the course of a few months to hone in on the requirements and the eventual solution.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

Final design of application dashboard component, based on my wireframes and several rounds of review/iterations.

Early on in the project, it became clear to me that the client’s expectations were not aligned with the scope of what had been sold to them. However, in working with them, we were able to prioritize the most critical functionality for their students, and agree upon a change order for the remaining difference in scope. The end result of our increased scope is an elegant application suite, that has streamlined the process and removed roadblocks for both end users and administrators.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

Audition upload screen. Applicants may need to submit several auditions, writing samples, or other pieces of work to be considered.

The site launched in 2016.

Boston Consulting Group
Collaboration Community

In 2015, I worked closely with Boston Consulting Group to work on a product demo for their annual consultant meetup. The assignment was to create a proof of concept community for consultants to collaborate together on business problems — accessing documentation, reviewing assets, collaborating on solutions, and sharing deliverables. We used the Jive platform to enable functionality the client was looking for.
The process began with story boarding, requirements gathering, and phase definition, during an in-person workshop in Boston, including experience mapping and use case prioritization.

Interlochen -- status dashboard
Interlochen -- status dashboard

I identified the phases each BCG engagement follows, and which key activities would need to be enabled during each phase. Micro-wires helped the client envision each step in the process before I built out higher-fidelity wireframes.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

Developing the dashboard wireframe was the biggest challenge, and also the most satisfying part of this project for me. I put the prototype through many iterations to get to the final product.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

This was a highly collaborative process between me, my internal team mates, and the client. All parties were able to contribute meaningfully to the final product through frequent online collaboration and one intense in-person workshop in Boston.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

Google
Community Analysis

Interlochen -- status dashboard

I had the opportunity to collaborate on a project for Google, who engaged my company for some quick improvements to their Partners Community. I consulted with team members of mine who created wireframes and designs to address some of Google’s quick needs. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, I did a deep analysis of the structure, content, and functionality of their community, and made greater strategic recommendations.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

I looked at more than 250 different pages throughout the community, and evaluated them against a variety of criteria.
In February of 2016, I presented my findings to Google. I made recommendations that included additional wireframe/IA work, to expand the scope of the work 7Summits did this year. I also made format recommendations that would improve search results and document display, as well as recommendations regarding evaluating business goals and context to consider adding community strategy to the 2016 roadmap.

Interlochen -- status dashboard

The suggestions were well received, and resonated with the Google staff. 7Summits’ professional relationship with Google continued after the conclusion of our initial engagement.

Bristol Hospital
Site Relaunch

In Fall of 2019, Hanson Dodge launched a new website for Bristol Hospital in Bristol, CT.

The process began with a trip to Bristol to meet the team, tour the facilities, and conduct a workshop with over a dozen stakeholders. This workshop helped my team to understand the stakeholders' hopes and dreams for the new site.

Bristol Hospital - side-by-side desktop and mobile wireframes

My team recognized early on that about 2/3 of the users were on mobile devices. This research finding necessitated a mobile-first approach to UX. Many web clients are hesitant to work mobile-first, so we began by developing and presenting desktop and mobile wireframes side by side. However, as the process continued, we made the switch to presenting mobile work almost exclusively.

Bristol Hospital - component example

I developed corresponding mobile and desktop components, in collaboration with strategy and front-end development teams, to ensure that users on any device have access to the functionality and information they need.

Visit Milwaukee
Site Relaunch

Interlochen -- status dashboard
Interlochen -- status dashboard

Before-and-after snapshots of the VisitMilwaukee.org web experience.

My agency was contracted to re-brand and re-launch the VisitMilwaukee.org digital experience. I love Milwaukee, so I was excited to have the opportunity to portray my city as more than just brats and beer.

Visit Milwaukee -- Food & Drink map

Through my agency's brand work, we discovered that there was a lot more to Milwaukee than Laverne and Shirley, beer, and Brewers. Our branding team came up with the "wonderfully random" concept, which reflects visitors' experiences with Milwaukee. It's not what they expected -- it's full of surprises and experiences they didn't expect.

Visit Milwaukee -- Randomizer

The site launched in March of 2018. Since then, it has won multiple awards and other recognition:

Gold "Website features - User Experience" award (W3, 2018)Gold "General Website" award (W3, 2018)Gold "General Website Categories-Tourism" W3 award (W3, 2018)Website of the Year -- ESTO (Travel Association's Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations)

Platinum website design in the Travel category (dotCOMM, 2018)Platinum MarCom award (Digital Media/Website/Tourism)CommArts featured siteGlobal Site of the Month - Kentico BizJournals feature