A wonderful and talented group of students and professionals built this website.
Building this site was a team effort that required a variety of skillsets. The STC Arizona Chapter would like to recognize the following students and professionals (our Agile scrum teams) for their efforts:
Claire Nickell, Mark Mastaw, and Mika Conner served as our product owners.
I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where I still reside and work as a System Administrator at Wisconsin’s largest home seller, Shorewest REALTORS®. My background is quite varied. I have worked in areas such as asset management, inside sales, consumer lending, and for a time, I was even a Blackjack dealer!
In 2012, I obtained an associate degree in computer information systems from Bay Mills Community College before continuing to Lake Superior State University where I completed a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking degree in 2015.
I am an avid and life-long lover of films and music. Over the years, I have attended dozens of concerts and a number of film festivals. I am happily married to myself, but I do share my life with a beautiful blue-nose Pit Bull named Olga.
I am currently approaching the final semester of a Master of Science in Technical Communication program at Arizona State University. I become a member of the Wisconsin and Chicago chapters of STC in 2018 and just recently added the Arizona chapter to my STC membership.
It is a truly incredible organization, and I am thrilled to be helping on this website redesign project. After I graduate in December, I will be pursuing a Certified Professional Technical Communicator (CPTC) certification from STC as well as a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification through the Project Management Institute.
My affiliations with ASU and STC have been incredibly rewarding and I fully expect they will continue to be so and will make my future all the brighter. If you are considering a career in the technical communication field, I highly encourage you to look into both of these amazing organizations. I doubt you will be sorry. I know I’m not.
Product Management Notes for Mark Mastaw
Mark exhibited strong project management skills from the day he volunteered to serve as a product owner. He adapted quickly to the demands of leading a team and working with product management to complete the goals defined in each sprint.
Mark recommended the Trello software that we used to track our Agile development efforts. We found that Trello was extremely intuitive and substantially decreased the time required to manage our sprint work.
Mark also demonstrated an impressive ability to communicate with each of his team members and show empathy and direction as appropriate.
The STC Arizona Chapter is grateful to Mark for his service and dedication. He would be asset to any organization.
Agile Team Members
I’m from beautiful shoreline Connecticut, and while I’ve lived elsewhere for brief periods, I always find my way back. I work as a veterinary receptionist and am earning my Bachelor of Science in Technical Communications from Arizona State University’s online program (I graduate in February 2020!). It was through ASU that I heard of this site redesign project!
I was previously in school for Marine Biology, but after two and a half years of study realized I was still terrified of the ocean. After taking a year to work and reevaluate, I decided to return to school with two stipulations, that my degree had to be 1. writing-related and 2. a Bachelor of Science. Tech comm was the way to go, and I’ve loved my coursework ever since!
Going into this project, I had no idea what I was doing. I had only two tech comm courses under my belt when we started and was unsure what I could contribute. However, this project has not only been a fantastic learning experience, but it has also been an absolute joy to be a part of. I’m excited to continue working with STC in the future!
Product Management Notes for Emily Vollmer
Without hesitation, Emily volunteered to serve as our Agile team secretary and managed our meeting history by recording our meeting minutes and inserting her own (and greatly appreciated) style and commentary. She then promptly posted the minutes on our Slack site for the other team members to use.
Emily was instrumental in designing our new logo and helped with many of our project decisions. She created and updated several pages on the website, including our Officers page.
Her ideas, enthusiasm, and demeanor were enlightening and elevating. Emily was a wonderful team member and contributor, and we would eagerly and highly recommend Emily for any position that interests her.
We analyzed, planned, and built the site together, step by step. Some of the things we covered included:
- Identifying our stakeholders. Who will use the site?
- Creating user personas and scenarios. What are the backgrounds of our stakeholders, and what would they need from the website? We created personas for the following audience types:
- Technical communication/user experience (UX) students
- Technical communication/UX educators
- Technical communication/UX professionals
- Employers/hiring managers
- STC officers/chapter members
Here's one of our persona examples:
- Setting website feature and content goals. What features and content did we need to include in the website to meet the needs of our audience?
- Conducting UX analyses (including a card sorting exercise). We discussed our UX results in our planning and development sessions.
- Building the site in WordPress. We used WordPress as our website application, and all participants assisted in developing the site as administrators.
- Testing the site for browser compatibility and responsive design. We made sure our theme and features work in all major browsers and device types.
To complete the project on time, we:
- Worked as scrum teams to complete our user stories in five monthly sprints (April 1–August 31).
- Held weekly standups (using Zoom webinar software, conference calls, etc.) to discuss our progress and goals.
- Collaborated and helped each other complete our tasks so we could put the site online by August 31.
We used the following tools to manage the project:
We used Slack to manage our group and team communications:
Agile Methodology and Trello Software