WEB & EVENT EXPERIENCES
Welcome to my first career portfolio website! I prepared for you an overview of my journey presenting the most meaningful projects related to the customer, user, or visitor experience I had a chance to realize. First you will see the most recent examples.
My name is Paulina Stachera-Diaz and I have an exceptional talent to connect people with the right resources. Some call it “delivering delightful customer experience”. So, if you want to see your business thrive, you found the right person to engage with.
I am a Polish expat, living a Spanish life in Ireland. Currently a Customer Success Manager at IBM, previously working in all types of customer-centric services. Eventually, I specialized in E2E planning and organization of premium IT sales meetings (C-level), customer experience process management, and sales support.
Hopefully we can create something together!
FOR COFFEE LOVERS
Website project at National College of Ireland
Together with a colleague, we chose a small neighborhood café offering specialty coffee. In the course of work, we used GitHub to enhance the collaboration and maintained regular touchpoints in all phases. The final product was delivered in four weeks.
The chosen business is a small neighbourhood café offering speciality coffee. In our assumption, this is something new to the area and for this reason, the website should educate our customers about different types of brewing methods, encourage them to participate in the events.
Our end users live in a city of less than 100k population. It’s a group of modern people (Millennials and Gen Z) but with no access to speciality coffee in the area, which leaves them behind with some ongoing trends. They are concerned about the environment but didn’t have a chance to apply this in some parts of their daily lives (I.e., reusable coffee cups). We’d like to satisfy those needs and combine them with delivering pleasure. Our goal is to show there’s much more in a single cup of coffee than just a drink.
Once our persona was defined, we researched various café websites. We looked at popular coffee places from Dublin, looked up pages listed in rankings of best coffee place websites to recognize trends. We discussed, what might be most appealing to our personas and we decided to go with a design that would feel sophisticated. The focus was on creating a website that feels light, with plenty of white space, a colour scheme that is more on the neutral side with few accent colours and fine line fonts for the body of the website, with strong impact font for the header.
Wireframing in balsamiq.com
Design, testing and deployment
To ensure responsiveness for mobile, tablet, and desktop sizes, we used the Bootstrap framework (flexbox grid) and media queries. All elements have been re-styled with custom CSS and adapted to meet set-out design and functionality requirements. We developed the website using GitHub and deployed it on Github pages.
For testing, we performed markup validation using W3C, run the Google Page Speed test, and verified the Network function from the Developer tools. Most improvements came from optimizing images, on average we gained around 10-15 performance points after reducing the image sizes. There were some elements that we decided not to modify as this would impact the overall website experience (for example reducing the size of a video, removing interactive map, etc.).
For SEO optimization we included relevant META tags with individual page descriptions and appropriate titles. We also used appropriate heading tags throughout the website. We also used Google Trends and Ubersuggest to see how future SEO strategy could be shaped.
FOR SMALL BUSINESS
Doesn’t it look familiar? Yes! the website you’re currently visiting used to be my blog. It’s digital upcycling. Blogging adventure didn’t work out but it definitely helped me to develop a great deal of new digital skills.
I started this project during the pandemic after finding myself in a new country, without a job, and locked down at home. My idea was to explore ways of building a personal brand online in order to become visible and competitive on the market in the new normal.
My first steps, apart from constant reading, were taking up a Udemy course to learn WordPress and obtaining a Google Digital Marketing Certificate.
As the process was enjoyable I kept on educating myself, mostly in the area of social media marketing, Google Analytics, and UX.
The website in Polish can still be found here.
In order to establish my personal brand, I needed to define how to do this and who my audience would be. At this particular moment in time, my decision was to become an advisor to small business owners or entrepreneurs who wouldn’t have much experience with customer exposure and digitization. As a consequence, I wanted to gain visibility and recognition in the CX industry.
The research I carried out was mostly based on taking part in online discussions (groups, forums, social media) aimed at people with this profile. I also verified Google Trends to see how popular the phrase “customer experience” was and spoke to my mastermind group, which consisted of four entrepreneurs on different stages of their business development.
In this case, first I started experimenting with WordPress to see what is actually possible. Once I got familiarized with the tool in practice and saw how a website could look in different layouts, I went ahead with wireframing and information architecture.
All my wireframes were made on paper, including the customer journey (how to attract traffic to the website with the use of social media, etc.). An interesting stage was designing newsletter automation.
One of the research outcomes demonstrated that in order to gain customers’ trust visual consistency should be key in my approach. I chose fonts and leading color that repeats on many elements of the website, including covers for each article and social media posts.
Although the process was enjoyable, I discontinued the project for personal reasons. However, I kept the website to test some of the new functionalities.
As a Sales Support and Customer Experience Team Leader, I had a chance to organize a workshop aimed at re-designing the on-site customer journey for office visitors.
I was leading a team of four responsible for end-to-end planning and coordination of on-site sales events. At some stage, we noticed this experience needs to be enhanced in order for our organization to remain competitive.
The design thinking workshop was conducted by a specialized organization and, together with my team, I was responsible for delivering the projects we decided to carry out.
Customer journey digitalization was the element I was taking care of. It consisted of researching digital technology that would enhance service demonstrations and allow customers not only to see but also to do (hand-on approach and experiential selling). The next steps of the project were related to estimating the budget, building a business case, crafting use cases, managing the orders and delivery.
Due to a career change, the final stage of the project (implementation of the technology) was taken over by my colleagues.
FOR WOMEN IN TECH
As an experienced event coordinator, I was appointed by the Center Director to organize a graduation event for the participants of an “Outstanding Women in Leadership” program. The project was realized with Global Learning & Development representatives.
Similar to other events, I maintained regular communication with sponsors, stakeholders, and vendors to ensure smooth execution. The project lasted six months and was carried out in parallel to other day-to-day activities.
Key deliverables included:
- planning (opening session, awards ceremony, managing group work, etc.)
- consistent branding (agendas, standees, lanyards, pens, notepads, welcome gifts, awards, diplomas, etc.)
- logistics (accommodation, dinners, transportation, catering, cultural tours, etc.)
- coordination during the event (office space management, use of conference room, flow of the participants)
- visual documentation and marketing materials (videos and photographs)
FOR THE RIGHT PERSONA
In my career, I had a chance to organize more than 200 sales meetings – no doubt I could bring the process to perfection.
Every time a request for a sales meeting came in, my responsibility was to identify sponsors and stakeholders in order to define event goals and expectations.
Through regular touchpoints with this group, I was able to define who were the guests, what were their roles and objectives. I was also trying to understand what is their buying power in the organization and what is their approach to our company (i.e. ambassadors, distractors, etc.). One should also remember it was key to understand also the sales stage and proposed solution (if that was the case).
Based on the research I was coming up with a draft of an agenda that served as a base for further discussions. Once the draft was approved, I engaged technical experts to design each session and be sure it meets the customer’s expectations. This was a really dynamic process, where different interests had to come to an agreement in order to serve the purpose.
On top of that, I was responsible for managing event branding (from agendas to posters, standees to branded stationery items) and logistics (catering, transportation, dinners, city attractions, etc.).
I was organizing approximately hundred visits per year – two visits per week with usually two weeks for preparation.