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NODA Virtual Annual Conference

NODA is an association that is home to over 2,100 professionals who work in the field of orientation, transition, and retention on college and university campuses across the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted NODA to move their conferences online, and I begun strategizing with them to develop an online experience to replace their largest, annual event. After having interned with the association, I had already created all of the branding for this event, assuming it would take place in-person. This experience taught me to totally let go of some work, as much of what I designed was print material like signage and drayage.

Taking an event that usually happens in-person and creating an online experience that attendees would actually enjoy was interesting. This process required a lot skills from my UX toolkit, thinking from the perspective of the user in addition to the planner, and communicating these perspectives in meetings about conference planning. I created wireframes with user journeys, designed mockups, and ultimately developed the site using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This project was also challenging at times as I was developing my first, full-stack website professionally without guidance from a development or IT team, knowing there'd be little time to test the site in between content submission deadlines and the actual conference beginning. Because knowing that hundreds of users would be on the site simultaneously when the conference began, I ensured the server the site was being hosted on was able to handle that amount of traffic without lagging load times and optimized my code to allow for such traffic.

Throughout this process, I found using the MoSCoW method of organization incredibly helpful for the conference planning team and myself to prioritize ideas, as well as collaborate on how to convert events that usually take place in-person into an online experience. It was an incredible experience to watch this event take place, see the website being used and posted about on social media, and see our traffic on Google Analytics spike when the event started. I look forward to creating more virtual and hybrid events!

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