Official Pride Week Opening Event
Capital Pride
CLIENT
Capital Pride
DATE
2010-2018
The most visited museum in the world, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, approached BYT to collaborate on the first ever official open to the public ticketed after hours event at their Washington DC location.

I managed all production of the event including creative direction, client communication, budgeting, staffing, vendor management, bar and catering ops, talent booking and stage management, sponsorships, volunteer management, attractions, security, ticketing, site plans, setup, and teardown.

The first event in 2017 was such a success, we were asked back in 2018 for a second event, totaling 3,800 tickets sold and over 4,200 attendees.
The sold out events featured music talent from Washed Out, Moon Boots, & The Range, special Voyager Golden Record mini-music meditation sessions in the planetarium from Take 5 and Songbyrd, plus the official opening of the new interactive museum exhibition re-creating the famous hotel scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The events also featured unique sponsor activations from SKYY, PBR, & Effen Vodka, a promotional and branding partnership with the Yuri's Night organization, custom green screen floating-in-space photobooths, unique roaming performers, TED-style space talks, scavenger hunts, a midnight Ready Player One screening, and specialty cocktails and food from Service Bar, Snowing in Space, Sweetgreen, Bar Pilar & many more.
Photos © BYT Media, Inc
I co-created The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival in 2009 with BYT and Tig Notaro. The goal was to create a comedy festival that both entertained the audience, but also treated the talent well, something that was severely lacking in the industry at the time. After bringing the fest back annually in 2013 it has attracted over 25,000 people and become known for showcasing both top and emerging talent with one-of-kind shows at Washington DC's top venues, unique performances in unlikely spaces, and plenty of surprise guests and after parties. My involvement in the festival included end-to-end production and logistics, creative direction, talent booking, venue relationships, marketing and ticketing, sponsor management, customer service, micro-site design, staffing, plus showrunning and hosting.

featuring

  • Sarah Silverman
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • Bill Burr
  • Jessica Williams
  • Jonathan Van Ness
  • How Did This Get Made?
  • Amanda Seales
  • Nick Kroll
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Jenny Slate
  • Janeane Garofalo
  • John Hodgman
  • Adam Friedland
  • Jim Gaffigan
  • Chelsea Peretti
  • Ira Glass
  • Phoebe Robinson
  • Patton Oswalt
  • Doug Benson
  • Dr. Katz
  • Reggie Watts
  • Al Franken
  • Rob Corddry
  • Tim Heidecker
  • Brandon Wardell
  • & many more!
"...it was really a magical weekend."
Washingtonian
"...boundlessly creative"
salon.com
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Photos © BYT Media, Inc

brief

The Zeit end-to-end UX concept was a seven-week project completed for DesignLab’s UX Academy. The task was to design a responsive ecommerce web site for a fictional company offering time travel vacation packages.

Research

General market research and a competitive analysis were conducted, along with remote video user interviews and a survey in order to determine how users searched for vacation destinations. The user persona of Larry was developed, a 67-year-old retiree traveling with his wife who was looking for adventure, but also safety, was motivated by good deals, and primarily was interested in seeing sites/attractions, nature, and to learn about history.

LARRY

"The flight is at noon, so we need to get to the airport by 6am..."

Age: 67
Occupation: Retired
Status: Married
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Archetype: The Bucket List Cruiser

LARRY

"The flight is at noon, so we need to get to the airport by 6am..."

Age: 67
Occupation: Retired
Status: Married
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Archetype: The Bucket List Cruiser

DEFINE

Project goals were defined, a feature roadmap was created, a preliminary sitemap was established, and wireframes were quickly sketched. A card sorting exercise was conducted remotely but did not yield any actionable items. A User flow was created for Larry detailing the process of booking a trip.

DESIGN

Annotated responsive wireframes for desktop, tablet and mobile were created for the home page and a desktop wireframe was created for the trip listing page.
The brand identity was established through an iterative logo design process and the creation of a style tile, but as UI design began, the color was shifted to a dark mode palette to help the project stand out from competitors. Initial responsive designs were created for the desktop and trip listing pages. The style tile was then upgraded to a UI kit to match the new direction.
Usability testing was done both through in-person moderated testing using a Figma prototype as well as unmoderated remote testing through Maze. As users were generally successful in completing the task of finding and booking trips, the second prototype was mostly fleshed out with additional fidelity, pages and features with only slight modifications to the layout.

Next...

Before handoff, another round of usability testing would need to be completed on the new pages, especially the checkout screens and a mobile prototype would need to be created and tested as well.
All photos and images used for educational purposes only.
Official NASA Gear (https://officialnasagear.com/) is an ecommerce merchandise store owned and operated by the NASA Ames Exchange, an instrumentality of the US Government, located at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The brand was created with the sole purpose of supporting NASA employees, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to employee morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR) activities. Impressed with the work done by Oxcart Assembly on the Launch America Space X project, they approached us with a desire to elevate the aesthetics, professionalism, and usability of their existing site to better house the higher quality products they wanted to bring in.
The original site was an unreadable jumbled mess.
In designing the new logo for the brand I wanted to utilize the classic NASA "Worm" logo, which is beloved by designers and helped elevate the "cool" factor of the site. The final design was based off guidelines from the 1976 NASA Graphics Standard Manual, specifically taking inspiration from the Cover Design specifications and the Ames Research Center Tech Briefs. Leaving the word "Official" off the logo also helped get this design approved faster, a request from the client.
I chose a new BigCommerce theme that had a sleek and modern feel, better readability, a mega-menu, and a product card feature which would give them a way to promote new products and specials without having to solely rely on an automated carousel. I revised the site map, streamlining navaigation and getting rid of categories such as "Novelties" that did not fit with new aesthetic. Featured products were given new photo treatments, custom product card and carousel banner images were created and a brand guide was delivered.
The final product, Desktop screenshot
"I am very stoked at how it turned out, it's extremely professional and All looks outstanding."
- Kenneth Ashford, Executive Director, NASA Ames Research Center Exchange

Events DC

In March of 2019, Events DC wanted to create an activation at SXSW that would celebrate and elevate the District's place in the vibrant e-sports community. My goal was to customize the activation for every attendee, no matter their gaming experience level. A “levels unlocked” concept, allowed guests to choose-their-own-adventure and advance further into the activation from casual gaming on retro arcade cabinets to the chance to compete against professional players on the latest platforms, along with music performances from national acts, video game-inspired craft cocktails from Drink Co., custom LED tunnels and projections, Loot Box scavenger hunts, and playful, interactive scenic installations. Later in the year we continued the campaign in DC with a block party experience in conjunction with the opening of Drink Co.'s new eSports theme pop-up bar.
All Photos © Advoc8, LLC
Advoc8 was tapped to bring new life into the long running food festival that can only happen in DC: a cooking competition between embassy chefs. I chose passport stamps as the anchor in the creative design concept with custom gobos lighting up the epic Ronald Reagan Building atrium. Additionally we created custom passport holders to house the program and various communal dining areas themed to different regions to once again create the feeling of travel and adventure.
All Photos © Advoc8, LLC

additional event work photos

2019 Citi Open Tennis Tournament
CNN Political Hangover Brunch
TOMS Shoes End Gun Violence Together Rally
Google Digital Africa Reception
Camp Amazon at St Judes
AEM Infrastructure Week Reception
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All Photos © Advoc8, LLC

SOCIAL MEDIA

I was also put in charge of the lackluster Advoc8 social media accounts, here are two videos I did creative direction on, working with the super talented video and motion graphics team:
I turned a money-losing afterthought into the biggest Capital Pride fundraiser of the year that has attracted over 23,000 attendees since 2010. This co-promoted event to kick off the Pride weekend has covered dancefloors in glitter at prestigious venues like The Newseum and Arena Stage to complete build-outs of unique warehouse spaces like the Wonderbread Factory and Hechts Warehouse. For 2018 we helped turn Echostage into a new go-to destination for the LGBT crowd.

I also brought in MGM National Harbor as a major sponsor for Capital Pride. Activations included an interactive element-inspired backdrop photoshoot wall, themed drag and dance performances promoting their upcoming concerts, and a video photobooth that simultaneous created instagram-ready clips for personal use, and advertisement-ready clips for Metro ads to run throughout the weekend.
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rei united outside campaign

The nation’s largest consumer co-op engaged BYT extensively in 2016 as a key partner in their east coast flagship store opening. The nearly year-long project included a number of in-house produced events such as the #UnitedOutside launch party at the National Museum of American History, the beef jerky celebration Jerky Fest, and the Wild Kitchen outdoor dinner series supporting conservation partners, all culminating in a massive six-day opening celebration at the new store.
All Photos © BYT Media, Inc.

Library of Congress & National Archives

Two institutions partnered with an outside organization to host after hours events for the first time in their history. Bibliodiscotheque, a celebration of disco culture at the Library of Congress sold 1750 tickets in under 1 minute and featured a live performance by Gloria Gaynor, while the National Archives event celebrated the opening of the Spirited Republic exhibition covering the history of alcohol in the US, featuring craft cocktails from local mixologists with sponsorship from Heineken, Budweiser, and Tanqueray.
All Photos © BYT Media, Inc.

fotoweekdc

From 2014-2017 BYT took over production of FotoWeekDC, Washington DC’s largest visual arts festival, a truly citywide celebration attracting 40,000+ visitors annually to 150+ exhibitions, programs, and events highlighting world-class photography, and providing exposure for photographers working locally and worldwide.
All Photos © BYT Media, Inc.

National Geographic Partnership

In a unique partnership with National Geographic, BYT was given unprecedented access to their entire DC HQ where I created an annual after-hours museum experience selling over 15,000 tickets since 2012. The events were a choose-your-own adventure of info-tainment for the well-read DC creative class, featuring TED-style talks from emerging Explorers, music performances and dancefloors, pop-up interactive science exhibitions, craft cocktails, and much more.
All Photos © BYT Media, Inc.

Everything else

RAGNARÖCK - A Hirshhorn Late Night
Snallygaster Beer Festival
We The Party People @ Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Into the Blue - National Portrait Gallery After Hours
Wonder At Night & Murder House Party @ Renwick Gallery
All Photos © BYT Media, Inc.
“BYT have staked their claim in the DC events scene and are quickly becoming a destination for brands and sponsors to create content, connect with consumers, and generate impressions.”
-Kevin Burke, Regional Marketing Manager, Coca-Cola

brief

Holmes Run Acres (HRA) is a small woodsy mid-century modern community in Falls Church, Virginia. When the first homes were built there in 1951, the modern architecture was a radical departure from the typical colonial and ranch houses that dominated the post-war building boom in the Washington, DC area. The Holmes Run Acres Civics Association (HRACA), the organization that maintains the community website, was looking for a refresh, as the current site had not had any significant updates since first being built in 2014.

Research Survey

As the site was maintained on a volunteer basis using the Weebly platform with minimal budget, research was needed to prioritize only the essential updates. I had access to the neighborhood email listserv, an active and opinionated group, in order to conduct an initial survey, which garnered 87 responses. Key findings included:

1) 62% only visited the site a few times a year
2) 36% visited the site before moving to HRA
3) 50% visited the site on a mobile device or tablet
4) 58% did not feel they were able to find all the information they needed

LARRY

"The flight is at noon, so we need to get to the airport by 6am..."

Age: 67
Occupation: Retired
Status: Married
Location: Hilton Head Island, SC
Archetype: The Bucket List Cruiser
The site was only partially responsive, so unsurprisingly when asked for general comments and features, mobile-friendliness was high on the list. Additionally, users wanted to see more photos of homes, get help with renovations, and have a place for general neighborhood news and updates.

tree testing

Due to the haphazard and piecemeal navigation structure of the original site with ambiguous categories such as "Resources" and grouping a number of miscellaneous items under "More...", along with the consistent feedback from users that information was difficult to find, as well as doing some market research on other neighborhood community sites, I began to craft a new IA from scratch. I proceeded to test this new structure through four unmoderated iterative tree tests with 40 individuals (both HRA residents and the general public) using two different test platforms.
Results were consistent over both tests, with the new navigation outperforming the original on each task. Additional moderated Zoom interviews were conducted to confirm results and get general feedback.

Design

The original non-mobile friendly home page included a slideshow of photos which included many poorly cropped and badly lit images along with some high quality shots that were of outdated community events not relevant to the general public. It did not do the neightborhood justice. The page also utilized a vintage map as a background image, which in other contexts may have worked, but felt out of place here and in user testing actually confused someone who thought some of the map text was clickable:
I reached out to a local architect who had done some recent renovations in the neighborhood and successfully pitched a win-win if we could use his photos for the site. This was important to me as the survey revealed a number of users had visited the page before moving to the neighborhood, and a general goal of the HRACA was to prevent developers from knocking down homes to replace with "McMansions", thus having professional quality photos on the site would be a way to attract new residents that would appreciate the unique architecture.

Along with implementing the new IA, I also created three quick link icons for the home page in mid-century modern signage styles calling out two of the survey respondents most frequented pages along with the newly created News & Updates blog, a requested feature:
When testing the site on a retina display, I noticed the new icons were blurry, so I replaced them with SVG files hand coded into the page and added some CSS hover animation, since neither were things Weebly natively supported.

Upgrading the Weebly theme to a more modern version fixed most of the responsive issues. I also reached out to additional photographers in the neighborhood who contributed a number of great photos that I used in the new and improved slideshow as well as throughout the site:
The original site also utilized a strange array of inconsistent headers, poorly cropped and heavily compressed images, random colors, and difficult to read text:
I standardized fonts and style throughout the site and implemented a collection of Mid-Century Modern pattern headers for each section:

NExt...

Additional user and tree testing could be completed to further refine the IA as some additional changes were made after the initial round of testing. Secondly, a case could be made to move the site to a more robust platform as Weebly has quite a of of limitations, but at this time the HRACA board is happy with the results and feels more comfortable making updates on the system they already know.

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