I spent the summer of 2010 working for Aetna, Inc. in Hartford, CT. I performed a variety of IT tasks, but my main task was developing and designing a business proposal for Aetna executives for a health care application that is intended to a younger generation. I led a team of interns to come up with such a proposal while competing with three other teams. By using data based on Aetna's health care payments to users ages 18-30, we decided to build an application aimed at reducing pregnancy costs. Our proposal for an online and Iphone application that provided pregnancy information, health tips, and other functions won the competition and was sent to higher management for consideration.
As part of a team, I was brought in to analyze and evaluate an information workflow at the University of Michigan law school's Office of Admissions. The office wanted to better analyze and understand the process by which student applications were received, read, and filed. Through the use of contextual inquiry, affinity diagrams, numerous client interviews, and various consolidated models, we determined that infromation was being centralized with only one member of the office's staff, which could lead to serious problems if that staff member was not present. We presented these findings to the client and the client reported great satisfaction with the findings.
I participated in Alternative Spring Break, which is a week long internship in March. I was assigned to Georgetown University's library and was tasked with assisting in a series of card sorting exercises. Card sorting is a way to determining the best way to organize the data of a website or database. It consists of organizing the information categories (such as "Research," "Ask a Librarian," etc.) and asking test subjects to organize the data in ways that make logical sense to them. After conducting several of these tests, you can begin to develop a sense of how users expect the data to be organized, and build your website accordingly. I helped run several of these tests, which were very interesting and a good experience for understanding how to use information design in a real world setting.