Information Architect/Portal Svcs. Mgr., Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Rachel E. Yang is information architect and portal services manager at the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory. She is a born-again librarian who moved from life sciences research to human computer interaction research.
With more than 12 years experience in research and information management, Rachel has led several organizations to improve their customer’s online experience by institutionalizing user research methods and making a genuine effort to understand the user. Rachel is driven by the process of educating colleagues in the art and science of user-centered design and how building useful, thoughtful products makes for enthusiastic, engaged customers.
Rachel holds a master’s degree in information management from University of Maryland, College Park.
The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a not-for-profit center for engineering, research, and development. Located north of Washington, DC, APL is a division of one of the world's premier research universities, The Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The Laboratory has been a major asset to the nation since it was organized to develop a critical World War II technology in 1942.
JHU Applied Physics Laboratory has developed a major project to transform how it communicated internally. Through Connexus, the brand for its Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration program, it has laid the groundwork for better communications, more thorough understanding of its own internal processes, and a more open work environment. I will present the strategy around the Knowledge Sharing & Collaboration program at APL including the three “legs” of our approach: Policy | Culture | Tools. The focus of the talk will be around the architecture of the suite of tools built to support the knowledge management life-cycle, but will also include how understanding and clarifying sharing policies has encourage staff to share their information appropriately and openly. I will also cover how we have incorporated feedback from formal (usability testing, surveys, structured interviews) and informal (hallway conversations, meetings, emails) channels have added to innovative thinking and improved over-all user experience.