Chris Scholtens, UXC

I am experienced in leveraging user research to provide qualitative and quantitative data to guide design for the best user experiences. I love to design useful things, because a simple, easy to use website or application can be a beautiful, engaging experience that brings joy and satisfaction to a user.

Understanding users helps design a website or application they actually want to use, which leads to increased engagement, satisfied users, uncovering and solving new problems proactively, and ultimtately, building a culture of independance and success for users.


Experience

Web Designer, Front-End Developer

Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA)
  • Identify, engage, and coordinate with key stakeholders across all business units to coordinate content, develop new features, create intra/inter-connections, and reduce redundancy
  • Originate and edit web content related to business information and communications
  • Maintain WHEDA.com, WHEDAnet, and Transform Milwaukee.com’s architecture, including site map, information hierarchy, data connections, and file directory structure
  • Interface across all business units to recommend hardware/software, functionality, and technical upgrades
  • Conceive strategies and solutions, build consensus, and sell/execute solutions
  • Guide visual development with creation of graphics and other treatments to enhance WHEDA’s brand standards
  • Develop, modify, and have oversight of WHEDA brand styles, standards, and processes for professional quality presentation, continuity, and editorial integrity
  • Demonstrate ability to work individually, pursuing new projects independently, as well as a team member/team leader
  • Educate, guide, or train employees/users on new features and products in a comprehensive, easy to understand manner
  • Improve web performance, optimize loading times, and lower expenses
  • Coordinate data driven analytics, analyze and evaluate, form business cases based on data
  • Manage information, data, and user flow through website and web application experience
  • Coordinate and lead technical & business discussions
  • Develop and maintain project roadmaps, complete with goals throughout
  • Evaluate emerging technologies/industry trends for best practices and standards
  • Provide technology guidance and mentorship
  • Identify user requirements through research and analysis
  • Design information structure, work/user/data flow, navigation
  • Translate technical data, project needs, and analytics into business cases for higher ROI
  • Create custom code to enable new features and interactivity on WHEDA.com, using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
  • Act as a champion for WHEDA and it’s mission
  • Oversaw design, UI testing, business unit review, and rollout of corporate website redesign (2015)
  • Led WHEDA Advance development, training, and morale growth team (2015-2017)
  • Acted as Project Manager for redesign of web-based Find a Lender application (2017)
  • Led a process review of the consumer facing web pages for the Single Family team, evaluating the overall process, user experience, information architecture, and marketing strategy (2018)
  • Attended trainings in leadership development, technical skill development, and project management (2015-2018)
June 2015 - Present

Web Artificer

Chris Scholtens Design Studio
  • Meet with clients to discuss project scope, responsibility for content, timeline, desired features, branding
  • Establish Information Architecture for site content, driving hierarchy, design, and navigation decisions
  • Create art mockups of sites
  • Wireframe site prototypes for multiple devices/platforms
  • Design and create client driven websites, with a content-first, responsive design
  • Conduct user testing for real world results and analysis
  • Ensure design conformity, continuous branding, and excellent user interface
December 2010 - Present

Communications Manager

First United Methodist Church
  • Develop and maintain church website, Facebook™ page, Twitter™ feed, and other social media platforms
  • Coordinate all incoming digital correspondence
  • Build and maintain database of church member information for publications
  • Produce and/or proofread and approve all written and digital communication for content and branding compliance
  • Produce all digital graphics and videos for worship, website, and digital signage
  • Led Communications Task Force in drafting a Communications Policy (2013)
August 2012 - June 2015

Education

Cornell College

Bachelor of Arts
August 2005 - May 2009

American Public University System

Master of Arts
June 2010 - May 2012

Kirkwood Community College

Web Design Certificate Program
June 2014 - May 2015

Skills

Programming Languages

Web Content Managers
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Ektron
  • Episerver

Software
  • Morae
  • Viewport

Workflow
  • Content-First, User Focused Design
  • Iterative Updates for Improved Experience
  • Interactive Engagement on Page
  • Research Driven Decision-Making

I strive for two things in design: simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things.


Interests

Apart from being a designer and artificer, I love tinkering with gadgets, drinking tea, listening to old jazz and blues music, and spending time with my family.

When I disconnect from the electronic world, you can find me playing a brain-burning board game or reading either sci-fi/fantasy novels or graphic novels.


Certifications & Professional Affiliations

  • Nielsen Norman Group User Experience Certificate
  • Information Architecture Institute Member
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation Member
  • Attended World Information Architecture Day 2017, 2018
  • SiteImprove Web Accessibility Certificate (WAI/WCAG 2.0, Section 508, ADA)
  • SiteImprove Web Governance Certificate

Portfolio

A selection of sample web design and user experience design projects

Find a WHEDA Lender

The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority had created an in-house web application to catalogue all the mortgage lenders they work with. The application had not been maintained, and was barely functional, and very difficult to use, leading to a high bounce rate for users.

Re-designing the user interface, accounting for the findings of user research, and examining analytics for the application helped drive design decisions, ultimately leading to a modern, helpful, and much more user friendly application. This in turn led to record breaking engagement, capped off by one of the best years for WHEDA mortgages ever.

Visit the Site

Find a WHEDA Lender app
Old WHEDA Lender List app
Find a WHEDA Lender app



WHEDA Email Subscription Service

WHEDA had an outdated, unintuitive service to sign up for email news alerts. The design was not accessible on mobile devices and it was generally difficult to complete the signup.

Updating the form fields to be grouped in logical, labeled clusters, creating an interactive county selector map, and providing quick access to list definitions all helped modernize the web application, and greatly improve the user experience.

Visit the Site

New Subscription Service
Old Subscription Service
New Subscription Service
Old Subscription Service
WHEDA Email Subscription Service Login
WHEDA Email Subscription Service



Summer Games University

Each year this website must accomodate over 600 campers, youth volunteers, and adult volunteers. Providing quick, identifiable access to the appropriate registration, forms, and other materials is crucial.

Visit the Site

Summer Games University website
Old Summer Games University website
Summer Games University



Marengo First United Methodist Church

Located in small town Iowa, Marengo First United Methodist Church needed to update their website to introduce new branding, and include the capacity to post sermon videos online. I designied a simple, easy to maintain website, with clear organization, which was crucial for a church that relies heavily on volunteers for updates.

Visit the Site

Marengo FUMC website
Old Marengo FUMC website
Marengo FUMC