Back when I was an editor, I wanted to figure out all the things I could make my CMS do — whether the development team had intended it to be used a particular way or not. That’s why I ultimately pivoted to working with developers to help create a great user experience for content creators and other software end-users.

My responsibilities have included:

Capabilities Research

  • Identified the problems a feature needed to solve, based on customer requests, feedback from different departments and personal experience
  • Talked to developers (for in-house features) and/or delved into existing documentation (for in-house and third-party features) to understand the feature’s capabilities and, when applicable, why it was developed in a particular way
  • Used and experimented with the feature or software to ensure it met expectations and identified potential areas for improvement
  • Documented findings and, for in-house tools, proposed paths forward for future improvements
    Tools used: Google Sheets, Confluence, Jira

New Feature/Feature Improvement Requests

  • Identified the problems a new or improved feature needed to solve, based on customer requests, feedback from different departments and personal experience
  • Brainstormed potential workflows and interface designs with colleagues to ensure:
    • Customer requirements were met
    • End-users had an easy time using the feature
    • Features helped end-users compete their work as quickly as possible
    • Complications using the feature were minimized
  • Consulted with developers on different approaches’ potential benefits and complications from a development perspective
  • Wrote feature requests, detailing a feature’s requirements and how the interface should work
    Tools used: Google Sheets, Confluence, Jira

Site Building

  • Analyzed existing news websites’ structures and clients’ wishes for new sites
  • Developed site build blueprints to lead and expedite build team’s work
    Tools used: Google Sheets
  • Built and configured pages and features. Adjusted site CSS.
    Tools used: WP Bakery (Visual Composer), CSS, HTML, Simple Share Buttons, Time.ly, Gravity Forms, All Import Pro, proprietary plugins
  • Investigated new uses for existing tools to speed up site builds
    Tools used: WP Bakery (Visual Composer), All Import/Export Pro
  • Completed analytics analyses to determine SEO-driven site navigation
    Tools used: Google Analytics, Google Sheets

Troubleshooting

  • Investigated when a specific issue was reported to confirm whether it was a bug, potential feature improvement or evidence training was needed
  • Reported bugs to developers
  • Completed feature improvement requests if the reported issue wasn’t an existing capability for the software
    Tools used: Jira, Confluence, WordPress interface

Documentation

  • Discussed new and improved features with the developers who designed them
  • Experimented with different ways of using the software, then developed and documented processes for using new or improved plugins
  • Wrote internal documentation for colleagues to ensure everyone was following best practices
  • Wrote external documentation for sites to help customers understand how to use the product
  • Kept documentation up to date as processes were refined and capabilities advanced
    Tools used: All Import Pro, All Export Pro, Time.ly, Gravity Forms, Google Sheets, Simple Share Buttons, proprietary directory plugin, TablePress, additional plugins

Project Coordination

  • Guided customers through setting up technical configurations
  • Worked with sites to determine specifications
  • Brainstormed and investigated solutions to unique needs
    Tools used: WordPress, Google API Key Console, Time.ly, WSI Weather Widgets, MailChimp
  • Coordinated between sites, developers and the site building team to ensure everyone had the tools and information they need
  • Ensured sites and team members were sticking to deadlines
    Tools used: Google sheets, Google docs, Jira, Confluence

Quality Assurance

  • Provided quality assurance checks on newly-built sites to make sure pages were complete, links were working appropriately, text was copy edited, i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed
  • Investigated when a specific issue was reported to confirm whether it was a bug, potential feature improvement or evidence training was needed
    Tools used: WordPress interface, HTML, CSS, copy editing skills translated to the world of tech

Work samples

NH Magazine’s Brewery Directory
TulsaKids directory listing submission page
WNKY’s Meet the Team page/Bio templates
WMDT’s Weather Page

The Pitch’s newsletter signup page
Georgia Trend’s Georgia Trend Daily page