Primary Tasks:

Contextual Interviews, Desk Research, Competitive Analysis, Data Analysis and Synthesis, Journey Mapping, Persona Development

Background & Overview

The work of historic preservationists can mean the difference between saving or demolishing a historic site. What kind of tool, if any, might help preservationists in their work? To answer this I needed to learn about preservationists, who they are, how they work, and what their needs and pain points are.

With the goal of answering that question, I conducted:

  • Contextual interviews and desk/secondary research to understand the preservation process, the people and organizations involved, and to find examples of successful and unsuccessful preservation attempts.
  • A competitive analysis to see what tools exist, and what may be lacking.

I coded the collected data and used affinity diagramming to find patterns, themes, and insights. I synthesized these findings into journey maps, personas, and recommendations for next steps.

Full Report
Journey Maps/Personas
Competitive Analysis


This project was done as my master’s capstone under the advisement of David Robins, my academic advisor at Kent State University, and Eric Reiss, owner of FatDUX Group, who generously shared his time and expertise as my project advisor. Completing this project wouldn’t have been possible without the interviewees, who generously shared their time, stories, and experiences.

Eric came up with the idea based on his interest in historic preservation: To design a tool to make the work of grassroots preservationists easier, more efficient and increase their likelihood for success. It was a fascinating project, and I learned a tremendous amount about not only historic preservation and preservation advocates, but also about applying UX principles to a social cause.