The Quick Read

Minneapolis Tech Month had its inaugural event in April 2019. The side project of two Minneapolis Tech Hire employees. They saw it as a chance to better engage those people who are currently underrepresented in the tech work force in Minnesota. The project goals were to build a calendar of tech inspired event throughout April each year, to better engage the community in those events and to gather attendee demographics.

The initial year was a success but the growth opportunities were obvious. The website was just a few lines on the mayor’s page and the tracking/engagement components had yet to come to life. My team worked with the stakeholders to create a path forward. The strategy outlined below tells a tale of Chanel, a woman from Minneapolis looking for a new career. She learns about MPLS Tech Month through paper marketing materials in her community and follows up via Mobile App that gives her access to free transit and childcare.


  • 5 Minute Touchpoint Presentation

  • Implementation Map


  • Axure Rp

  • Sketch

  • Secondary Research

  • Heuristic Analysis

The Full Story


What can a municipality do to engage underrepresented communities in the tech industry?

How can a small team build a centralized calendar management system and an inclusive marketing packet?

These are some of the questions I had the privilege of working on with Minneapolis Tech Hire in their quest to build and showcase April as the month for Tech and engagement in Minneapolis. My design team started the project looking in to how we might work to engage a larger community and after a few hours decided to concentrate on the demographic of Women of Color. Women of Color currently make up 3% of the employees in the technology industry and were a great market to hone in on for directed marketing, potential for massive job placement improvement and representation.

The current marketing set-up for Minneapolis Tech Month resides of the Mayor’s Office website for the city of Minneapolis. There is essentially and endless opportunity for improvement with information, engagement and integration. My team set a path to create a manageable plan to bring the event up to date and ready for the future.

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Utilizing secondary research as the main source of information and looking at the other events in the marketplace allowed my team to build an immediate plan with the client. We got input from the client early on. They loved the look, feel, and interaction of the Twin Cities Startup Week website. An annual October event that has been around for many years and has a fully flushed out web interface.

With a look and feel idea on the table we were able to move to creating a persona for our idea user. Looking into the demographic led us to create Chanel Martinez, a 27 year old single mother of 2 (ages 3/7.) Chanel is a high school equivalency graduate with a CNA Certificate. She works long hours, lives on the very edge of poverty and is starting to think there may be another way to make a living. She is looking to be the role model to her children that she didn’t have in her youth. Chanel does not have a car, internet at home, or a computer, but does have a smart phone with social media accounts, and access to the library for internet use. She knows how to use basic computer programs required in her job role.

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– Engage more members of the community in accessible tech programming.

– Build an app that allows those attendees to RSVP and attend events.

– Track attendees demographics and event feedback.


My team designed a 4 step process to engage Chanel. Starting with the tagline “Start Seeing Yourself in Tech.” The first touch point in the process is tangible printed media. Specifically Brochures designed to showcase stories of women of color that work in technology. There is also a quick quiz that shows what aspects of tech she might excel in based on personality traits.

With a brochure in hand she heads to the library where she takes a look at the website. There she sees more stories of success, testimonials of training programs and a calendar of events. All in plan language designed around a 10th grade reading standard. There are options to read the site in 10 different languages that are spoken in her neighborhood and the free events can be searched by language, location, access to transit, demographic, and free child care.

Chanel registers on the site, entering her demographic details which allows MPLS Tech Hire to track analytics and engagement. With a confirmation email in hand she can use the library wifi network to download the smartphone app that will send her reminders, allow her free metro transit rides, and follow-up surveys.

The Phone app will also track events attended with a certain number of events giving her access to massive discounts at partner trainings.

Take 5 minutes and see how we chose to present this material to the client via Keynote slideshow exported to video.


Minneapolis Tech Hire can start today putting a plan in action. I created a 2 year plan to engage and reengage the community. Tracking attendees from the first clicks on their new website through training and employment. The goal is to create a circle of engagement that bring Chanel out into her community to bring other women of color into the tech industry.

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With a new look and feel to the website and the addition of a mobile app MPLS Tech Hire will engage the community in events and training programs. Which will lead to more jobs in Tech in Minneapolis.