As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time for reflection. When you review your annual goals, what you accomplished in 2016, the unexpected surprises, and yes, the things that didn’t quite work the way you expected.
Given my interest in education, I wasn’t too surprised that the majority of my work in 2016 was spent on education.
Specifically, I spent a fair amount of time conducting WordPress and digital education training for clients of new websites as well as clients who no longer had technical support for their sites.
My off-work time was spent traveling and photographing as I enjoyed the Philadelphia Flower Show, attending the US Open Series tennis tournament in Cincinnati, and weekend trips to locate birds in southeast Michigan and beyond.
Here are some of my highlights from 2016:
While I launched several sites in 2016, my favorite web project for 2016 was the redesigned Canton Goodfellows website.
As a local nonprofit focused on providing Christmas gifts and clothing to needy children in our community, Canton Goodfellows was looking for an update to their site.
Their previous website consisted of two pages with 15+ paragraphs of text and one banner image.
It wasn’t responsive, held little visual interest, and required users to dig deep to find out how to help, get involved, or donate.
After listening to their needs, learning more about their organization goals, and finding out about the families they serve and donors, I redesigned the new Canton Goodfellows site to be mobile-friendly, professional-looking, and easy to update.
Their site was redesigned with community members in mind: those looking for assistance and those looking to help, whether through volunteering or donating.
Writing and Curation
- Wrote and published 229 posts on this site, including 50 web design and development news roundup posts as well as over two dozen recaps of conferences and events
- Published 16,000+ tweets about web design, development, accessibility, WordPress, user experience, productivity, and technology. It was easy to tell which months I live tweeted conferences and annual events!
- Participated in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) in November, publishing a post every day
My most popular post for 2016 was 15 things to know about Twitter’s alternative text for images, which explained how the new alternative text feature worked on Twitter for web and mobile.
Writing about alternative text for images prompted me to later research what Buffer and Hootsuite were doing about adding alternative text for images.
I was glad to hear Buffer has added alternative text to their roadmap, but disappointed to discover Hootsuite hasn’t made any definite plans.
— Deborah Edwards-Oñoro (@redcrew) December 28, 2016
A follow-up tweet with Hootsuite today wasn’t promising:
We can confirm the Product team is actively reviewing this, but we don't have an ETA or resolution yet 🙁 ^AD
— Hootsuite Helpers (@Hootsuite_Help) December 28, 2016
My second most popular post was the return of Delicious, the social bookmarking service. Unfortunately, it seems the new owners of Delicious haven’t been able to keep the site up and running.
Meetups and Conferences
- Helped to plan and organize almost 20 events for Refresh Detroit and Metro Detroit WordPress
- Attended and managed Twitter engagement for Ignite UX Michigan 2016
— Ignite UX Michigan (@IgniteUXmi) March 15, 2016
- Event organizer for the third annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Detroit event
- Attended and wrote about the five WordCamps (WordPress conferences) I attended this year: WordCamp Lancaster, WordCamp Northeast Ohio, WordCamp Columbus, WordCamp Cincinnati, and WordCamp US
- Hosted for the eighth year, along with my friend Scott Williams at the University of Michigan, the meeting room for the Accessibility Summit conference
- Stepped down from co-organizing Detroit User Experience meetup group and joined the planning team to bring back the Michigan User Experience Professionals Association, previously known as the Michigan Usability Professionals Association
Thank you to my clients and colleagues, I truly enjoyed working with you in 2016. Can’t wait to get started in 2017!
How about you? How was your 2016? Share your thoughts in the comments.