The White House

Office of Digital Strategy Intern

Washington, D.C.

Summer 2016

As an intern in the Obama White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, I worked on national policy campaigns ranging from climate change to immigration to health care policy. In this role, I:

  • Designed digital campaigns to increase engagement with national legislative initiatives

  • Conducted user research on engagement with the White House’s Facebook Messenger bot

  • Contributed to product strategy with the White House’s product manager

An example of one of these projects is the rollout of the American with Disabilities Act campaign. I initiated and led a human-centered campaign that detailed the policy elements of the act. The details of the campaign are below:

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Digital Campaign Celebration

 

1. Conducting Research

A. Scoping the project

To outline the project's mission and goals, I interviewed individuals familiar with the ADA legislation, including citizens, members of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, and experts on disability policies. 

I landed on the following three central goals for the project:

  • Outline President Obama's record on improving disability rights

  • Increase awareness of the ADA's lesser-known legislative components

  • Highlight individuals with disabilities working in the White House

B. Research Considerations

Once I determined the project's direction, I designed the a research map to cover the areas that would be necessary for this campaign. Below is a sample of research considerations:

  • 1: How do we choose which legislative components of the ADA to highlight?

    • A: Design A/B tests to analyze which topics prove to be the most promising

  • 2: How do we transform seemingly dry legislative jargon into compelling content?

    • A: Humanize the legislative components by providing tangible examples of individuals who have benefitted from the legislation

  • 3: How do we make the content on social media accessible to those with disabilities?

    • A: Provide descriptions of images in social media captions that can be read with screen readers

C. Collecting Data

To decide which direction to take when creating the ADA content, I designed an A/B test with different content variations to test which content would be the most compelling. After evaluating the results from a small sample, I decided to center the focus on employment legislation.

2. Designing Assets

The following discussions shape my approach to designing content for each of the White House's digital platforms. 

Redesign of the WhiteHouse.gov Disabilities Page

Based on research that most users come to this page with the goal of learning about President Obama's record on disability rights, I redesigned this webpage to include more introductory content on President Obama's record at the forefront of the page.

I proposed and implemented a redesign of the WhiteHouse.gov page on disabilities to alter the content based on user interests. Previously, this page was quite long with the bulk of content featuring legal jargon. However, since the majority of the audience consisted of citizens interested in President Obama's record on disability rights, I adjusted the flow of the page to include more written and video content on the Obama presidency at the forefront while placing the legal intricacies toward the bottom of the page. 

Blog Post

Since the White House Blog features relatively longer content, I decided to shape my post around the narrative of my mother's experience with the ADA. Since her story aligned with the tested topic of employment, I thought that it would offer a moving perspective on the impact of the ADA's employment legislation. Read the post here

Instagram Posts

To highlight White House staffers with disabilities, I proposed an Instagram takeover in which White House staffers with disabilities explained their paths to the White House. One of the amazing staffers on the ODS engagement team helped me bring this far-out concept into fruition, from contacting the Office of Public Engagement's Disability Rights liaison really to organizing the photography sessions of the staffers with disability. This was probably my favorite part of the project because it really inspired me.

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