Make It. MSP.
Bringing talent to the MSP technology community.
My team worked with Make It. MSP. to develop a system of prototypes that provides a strategy in line with their goals. We wanted to innovate and create something that would be easily implemented into their existing structure.
Make It. MSP. is a collaboration of companies, cities, organizations, and individuals working to attract talent to the Twin Cities and surrounding area.
By 2020, the Twin Cities is projected to have a worker deficit of upwards of 100,000 people (the majority of those positions in the technology sector). Make It. MSP. is set on changing the perception of the Twin Cities to help draw talent from other cities across the country. The specific goal of our challenge was to develop a design strategy aimed at raising the profile of Make It. MSP and help attract workers to the region.
This project started by collecting and synthesizing all of the research that Make It. MSP. had already done. The team received a more in-depth description of Make It. MSP.'s goals by interviewing the lead consultant on the marketing team.
Once we understood the organization and their goals, we brainstormed and refined a design strategy that would address areas that we felt would help benefit their efforts by creating a system of prototypes that built on their existing solution. The team put together a report of recommendations that described the solutions and areas we felt could be improved upon.
Users and Goals
Make It. MSP. had already identified their target users through research. We learned their key user groups were professionals of color, young adults, and households with kids. Even though there was differences in goals among each group, we were able to identify commonalities in goals and shared values. This helped us create two user personas to design our strategy for.
"Our user is a young professional of color who wants a strong, diverse community where there is plenty of opportunity for career growth."
"Our user is a young professional in the tech industry who wants to work in a city with ample opportunities for family, a diverse culture, and active industry."
The system diagram shows the proposed flow of how users will access content within Make It. MSP.'s ecosystem. Currently, they target their users through an advertisement that sends them to directly to a landing page. From there, they have the opportunity to sign up for a newsletter.
Our proposed solution enhances their existing newsletter format and website by adding different types of content that gives the user multiple ways of connecting and gathering information. We created a system of prototypes that could be easily implemented into their existing system:
A way for people who are interested in the Twin Cities to connect with someone local and network to learn about what it's like living and working in the metro.
Membership and Weekly Newsletter
We would be able to raise the profile of Make It. MSP. by creating a weekly email with custom content and access to Ambassadors based off shared interests by having people sign up to become a member.
Weekly Blog and Podcast
A place for people to share what it's like to live and work in the Twin Cities. Content is created by members of the community and Ambassadors.
Increased Fly-In Events
With 81% of respondents saying that first-hand experience is the most important factor in considering moving, we wanted to expand the Fly-In program that Make It. MSP. had already created.
Our system of prototypes revolves around Ambassadors and the access people have to them. Ambassadors are a direct way for people to learn about the community and what it's like to live and work in the Twin Cities.
Talk with people who are potentially looking to move and have questions about living and working in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Keep a good relationship with members of the community who have moved and looking to network.
Telling Their Stories
Share their personal stories about what it's like living and working in the metro on the weekly blog and podcast.
Share their expertise and knowledge about resources and events.
Create a social media presence for Make It. MSP.
Promote the Twin Cities through speaking events at conferences and other opportunities.
Blog and Podcast
Blog posts and podcasts will feature ambassadors and community members with their personal stories about living and working in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
This could be an outlet for local professionals to talk about their own work or other projects.
Other topics would include industry resources, events and general subjects, with overarching themes that reinforce the key messages of Make It. MSP. Podcasts will be a more in-depth discussions based on the weekly blog post.
Guest bloggers and podcasters will be encouraged to share their stories on social media. Make It. MSP. can provide their own content as needed, and both types of features will be tracked by page views and clicks.
Membership and Weekly Newsletter
The membership offers the opportunity for people to sign-up for a weekly newsletter with content that is specific to their interests.
It also matches them to Ambassadors that share similar interests in personal and professional fields. This way they will get content that is written specifically by people that are similar to them. It gives the user an opportunity to see what is happening in specific industries and companies around Minneapolis/St. Paul and also things that are important to them regarding what itʼs like living in the metro.
The Fly-In Program was already started by Make It. MSP. to fly individuals in during Twin Cities Start-Up Week to experience a week-long conference focused around the technology community.
We wanted to expand on that idea by adding more events that were focused not only on technology, but also cultural events to share what it's like living in Minneapolis/St. Paul. We focused on outdoor events that happened at different points of the year to show the metro's diverse offerings.
This project was an interesting opportunity to work with a client and help build on what they have already started by taking research and creating a new system of prototypes. We wanted to make sure that whatever solution we had, it would be simple for them to implement. Having a defined goal was extremely important because it allowed us to always have a solid guide to look back on throughout your project.