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Growing Home

A digital hub highlighting Microsoft's programs, contributions, and partnerships with communities and residents of rural America.

Microsoft's Community Background

In recent years, Microsoft invested millions of dollars in closing the opportunity gap for residents of rural America. Measured in access to broadband, healthcare, STEM education, or job opportunities, rural America was being left behind.


In efforts to combat the long-standing issue, Microsoft teamed with local partners and kicked off several innovative initiatives: Airband connectivity, supporting youth through 4-H and FFA, educational programs like TEALS and TechSpark, and modernizing agricultural data to name a few.​

My Services Provided

UI Design


Content Strategy

Information Architecture


Mockups (Desktop & Mobile)


Listen Agency

Navigating a tricky landscape

In order to gain knowledge about the various programs and partnerships, users had to navigate to each page separately. As a result, this made locating the initiatives complicated and time-consuming. Additionally, data showed that oftentimes users viewed certain pages more than others due to inefficiencies of cross-linked websites.

Several examples of Microsoft's initiatives and supporting program pages

Challenges & Client Must-haves

  • Integrating both Microsoft-owned programs and affiliate-owned programs into one location while still maintaining respective ownership

  • Highlighting the big impact of programs that quickly captures users' attention

  • Creating an easy-to-view map of all of the currently ongoing programs

  • Adherence to Microsoft's overall brand and style

My vision for a clearer picture

The business goal for this new site was to highlight the commitment to geographically based investments and create a connected platform to unite impact for rural communities. I needed to create a unified, digital hub for all of Microsoft’s rural initiatives. There were 3 key requirements for the site:

There are multiple audiences and programs to cover but we need to create a cohesive story before opening different user journeys.



Simplify + Prioritize

We can reflect language from other Microsoft and partners pages, but we also need to be a unique resource and POV.



Reflect not recreate

If someone visited the hub for just 30 seconds, would they walk away with a new awareness of why growing rural opportunity matters?.



Advocacy in 30 seconds

Mapping It Out

To better visualize the content of the new site and its structure, I created several versions of sitemaps. Based on the requirements and goals I captured, I included all the key areas that were highlighted. 

Working out complex details in a l0-fi environment

What would be the flow of the landing page? What data should we surface higher on the page? What are some of the major data points that users care to know about our programs? We addressed all these questions through multiple rounds of low-fidelity designs and wireframes.

We went through several iterations of rough sketches of the home page to see what worked best for meeting business requirements as well as satisfying user needs. We tested the wireframes and incorporated new feedback with each new design. Working this out in low fidelity meant I could quickly iterate without creating complex UI that would be difficult or costly to change.

Iteration 1

Iteration 2

Iteration 3

Iteration 4

Microsoft's Centralized Hub for Rural Partnerships

I was thrilled when Microsoft rolled out the newly designed rural digital hub known as Growing Home. The site gives users a first look into the beneficial partnerships and programs that Microsoft offers while telling a story to users who may be unfamiliar with their impact on the community. I ensured that the branding and style were consistent with the company's brand which integrated flawlessly into their ecosystem of sites.

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