Bringing Tech Talent to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Design & Content Strategy // Information Architecture //
Data Analysis // Wireframes

For this project, we worked with Make It. MSP. to develop a system of prototypes illustrating a design strategy in line with the organization's goal. This meant thinking about the problem space and how we might innovate on their existing structure.


Make It. MSP. is a collaboration of companies, cities, universities, and nonprofits working to attract, welcome, and elevate the workforce of the future. With projections of an imminent (by 2020) worker deficit of upwards of 100,000 people, Make It. MSP. is set on shifting the perception of MSP into a thriving, collaborative, cutting edge culture within the tech industry. The specific goal of our challenge, in collaboration with the Make It. MSP. tech team, was to develop a strategy aimed at attracting skilled workers to the region and increasing retention.


The project began by synthesizing the research we received and learning more about the goals of the organization from the innovation and digital marketing consultant heading up the Make It. MSP. tech team. Once we were confident in knowing our client, users, and the goals of each, we began brainstorming, refining, and mapping out a design strategy that would address the opportunities for growth in the organization. Our final deliverable would come in the form of a recommendations report detailing our solutions and what they might look like.


Make It. MSP. already had a body of research for us to review and analyze. We learned that our user group was made up of young adults, professionals of color, and households with kids. While the specific hierarchy of goals varied from group to group (and likely from person to person), we were able to define a shared goal: users want to secure a globally impactful job and a high quality of life in an area that values community and connection.

The most insightful data point we found was that 81% of respondents reported that visiting and experiencing the destination first-hand is the most important resource when considering a move. Our question became, "How do we get our target segments to see MSP for themselves?"


Our solution includes a reorganization of the current content on Make It. MSP. and the introduction of two new ideas aimed at giving users the tools and knowledge necessary for them to consider MSP as a potential region for relocation.

See & Stay

With 81% of research participants stating that visiting a place is the #1 tool they would use to decide whether or not to make a move, we wanted to make a trip to MSP as easy as possible.

Find Your Reason

The Find Your Reason tool was born out of the idea that people want to have a personal connection to the place they live. We wanted a way to create a unique set of content that was curated around their specic interests.

Site Reorganization

This enables target segments to clearly and confidently get smarter about MSP.

See & Stay

The See & Stay program was conceived of as a way to make it easy for interested tech workers to visit MSP and get a genuine feel for the area.

By partnering with local businesses, industries, and leaders, See & Stay helps visitors forge connections with the MSP tech community by offering customized incentives, suggestions, and introductions.

This new program would compliment the fly-in initiative already taking place during Startup week, but expands on what participants experience. It would also make it possible for individuals to take advantage of the program at their convenience, or for recruiters to use it as a tool when working with distant talent.

A final piece of the user journey would be to incentivize participants to share their stories online and with their own community.

Find Your Reason

The Find Your Reason tool is an interactive quiz that provides users with customized resources for learning about MSP.

Users are looking for real, genuine connection, and
for cities that align with their goals. The Find Your
Reason tool is designed to satisfy both, using an
interactive quiz focused on work, life, and
experience. The generated results report serves as a starting point for them to dig deeper into what
they care about.

The goal of this tool is to assist people in thinking about how to make a decision, as well as provide structure for next steps.


Landing Page

To get to the solutions described above, users will begin at a personalized landing page arrived at either through a Facebook ad or an email. From there, people can customize a journey, envision an itinerary, and discover all that Make It. MSP. has to offer.

The major call to action is getting users to apply for the See & Stay program, and everything from the site organization to the various integrated tools will guide users to this point.

Site Reorganization

All the effort spent in getting people to visit Make It. MSP. means very little if users cannot or are unwilling to try to find the information they are looking for. The current site makes finding content difficult by relying on a structure that works for the organization itself, not the average user. We reenvisioned the way content lives on the Make It. MSP. website, reorganizing existing and new content into spaces our target market might be interested in going: information about working in MSP, living in MSP, experiencing MSP, connecting to MSP, learning about MSP, and visiting MSP.

Additionally, the home page needs to send a clear message about what Make It. MSP. does and what people can do on the site. By clearly aligning the navigation structure with user goals, users are able to find the information they want without frustration. Clear calls to action let them know what their next steps might be.

The site would also benefit from more consistent structure and language, including unchanging navigation bars and footers.



This project was an extremely interesting exercise in exploring, mapping, synthesizing, and prototyping a solution system for a real client. Having to identify a series of goals for various users and clients was a definite challenge, but also provided an insightful look into how nothing is ever created in a vacuum. For something to be impactful, there are numerous facets to consider and endless combinations of solutions that can be created.

Defining a goal is so incredibly important; it can be difficult at times, but having something solid to lean on and guide yourself towards is invaluable.