Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Information Design | Research | Information Architecture | Website Design | Visual Design

Designing and communicating key research findings & frameworks intended to improve student outcomes in postsecondary institutions.


Advising, Student Advocacy, Education

My role

Information Designer | Researcher | Information Architecture Designer | Website Designer | Visual Designer

Project timeline

September 22, 2021 — May 12, 2023



Making the research actionable

Our UX design team was tasked with developing an easy-to-understand information design solution to present extensive research aimed at improving student success and equity in postsecondary institutions. The research was conducted as a part of a project commissioned by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, which examined the initiatives of 13 institutions from the Frontier Set aimed at addressing inequities in students’ experiences.



The tools, methods and resources needed to be streamlined and curated for multiple mediums

The project aimed to unite stakeholders under the banner of using digital skills to communicate extensive research informing various frameworks and processes from a wide range of existing materials on a digital platform. Our task was to design and develop two websites that would house a variety of communication products and resources, as well as infographic-rich summaries and storytelling tools, to communicate the research findings effectively.



Using storytelling to better communicate convoluted research

To develop an effective design solution, we conducted interviews with various participants, including program officers from within and outside of the Gates Foundation, intended audience/users of the research (institutional leaders), and stakeholders. We conducted a discovery phase to identify key messages and short stories in the data by trawling through the research reports, spreadsheets, and technical figures. We experimented with different ways to tell these stories, testing our ideas on sample users. We developed final full concepts, ran them through more testing and iteration before arriving at chosen solutions to move into design. The final data visualizations were shared in a range of communication products.


Results & Takeaways

Aligning stakeholders across organizations

We designed and developed two websites with a clear, functional design system to communicate the research findings effectively. We also developed infographic-rich summary reports and storytelling tools. The key to keeping the project moving forward was the immense number of individual and group stakeholder interviews to gain alignment. The design principles we had created at the beginning of the project included ensuring that the site is easy to use, intuitive, and adaptable, with two understood goals we were aiming to solve for: 1) The site needed to be a resource that is syncing on and offline, so the entire process isn’t entirely digital. We wanted to make sure that these guides, decks, and conversations are all syncing up with the website and make sense. 2) The second is user role orientation and action. Because of the varying levels of knowledge and exposure to the research, we designed a tool that was applicable and navigable by a broad user ecosystem.