Recent Submissions

  • Designing accessible websites is crucial for creating an inclusive online environment, as it enhances usability, ensures equal access to information and services, and promotes the principles of universal design

    Lizardi, Ryan; McWilliams, Ryan Hugh (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-08)
    This paper outlines the author's proposal to create a responsive website showcasing their creative work and skills as a visual and information designer. The website adheres to the most recent Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and incorporates best website design practices. The website includes a homepage and four main landing pages (Audio, Video, Image, and Text), displaying various content types cohesively through an emphasis on universal design principles. The author aims to achieve a high Signal-to-Noise Ratio, providing clear visual and textual hierarchy, while integrating various media elements effectively. The paper conducts a literature review, exploring effective website design elements, usability, and future design trends. It highlights the significance of accessibility for individuals with cognitive disabilities and the importance of combining aesthetics with functionality. The research outcomes discuss the evolution of WCAG, from version 2.0 to the upcoming version 3.0. It emphasizes the relevance of adhering to accessibility guidelines and incorporating alternative text, captions, and keyboard support to ensure an inclusive user experience. The paper concludes by stating the importance of ongoing improvements to meet evolving accessibility requirements and standards.
  • Briefing SUNY Poly’s President on Why We Should Continue with Slate as Our Official CRM

    Schneider, Steven; Lizardi, Ryan; Swancott, Aaron (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-05)
    Slate is a comprehensive platform for admissions & enrollment management, student success, and alumni & advancement. Slate, by Technolutions, is the only customer relationship management software (CRM) to provide a single interface for outreach communications, travel management, online applications, alumni and donor engagement and more. I will include a review of how SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) previously processed applications, hosted events, and effectively communicated with students before the use of Slate. Then I will assess how Slate has enhanced SUNY Poly’s undergraduate admissions office improvements on production and effective communication with students. My goal is to provide advanced data to show a proposal on why Slate should be your institutions official CRM and include recommendations on how to be a premier user. A journal will demonstrate the theories and methods on how other institutions use Slate and how they have designed and implemented successful plans at their institution. This conclusion should explain why Slate is the best CRM for any institution, specifically SUNY Poly.
  • Design Analysis & Redesign Proposal: SUNY Poly IDT Web Page

    Schneider, Steven; Jofre, Ana; Fasano, Alyssa (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-05)
    When it comes to web design, industry standards, best practices and trends are all constantly evolving to adapt to the needs and desires of users. In the Digital Information Age, it is critical to remain as up to date as possible with regard to web page and information design. The SUNY Polytech IDT webpage was designed back in 2016 and has not been updated to reflect the current professional recommendations for web design, more specifically, the design of a graduate program page. A review of other graduate program web pages, web analytics for the IDT page and a review of the current professional literature on web design has been completed to provide a research-based proposal for the redesign. This project aims to conduct a comprehensive design analysis of the current IDT web page, provide a consultant report that includes findings and suggestions for improvements and to provide the Office of Communication and Marketing at SUNY Polytech with a clickable prototype to aid in the implementation of the design. The new design for the IDT web page aims to enhance existing page content, better showcase the IDT student experience, improve the user experience and optimize page usability, convert more prospects into applicants, and create a space for current IDT students to connect. The long-term goal of the institution is to increase program exposure to more prospective students and ultimately convert them into program applicants.
  • Able2 Enhancing Potential Inc. Consultancy Report

    Schneider, Steven; Stam, Kathryn; Burhans, Gabriele (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-05)
    Able2 Enhancing Potential Inc. has been trying to increase their social media presence and hired a consultancy agency to help investigate what could be improved and changed. The consultant investigated previous reports, current posting status and researched post content and design ideas. It was determined that Able2 would allow the consultant to devise a social media annual calendar with content themes for a month and employ these content ideas into current postings.
  • The Intersection of Emoji and Data Visualization: Creating Effective and Engaging Visualizations

    Jofre, Ana; Stam, Kathryn; Tomono, Mai (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-05)
    The project delves into effective data visualization techniques to describe the story of emojis through data. The current era is marked by an overwhelming amount of information, with data quality becoming increasingly complex. While the term big data has gained popularity in recent times, there is a growing desire to derive meaning from data. Emojis have had a significant impact on how people communicate in the digital age. They serve as a visual communication system, allowing individuals to express themselves in a playful and intimate way. Over time, they have evolved to fill an emotional gap in the way we express ourselves online, allowing for greater nuance and depth in our digital conversations. By exploring emotional iconography as emoji content, I aim to gain a deeper understanding of visualization and digital communication through the project. The project discusses the importance of data visualization in effective communication of insights and decision-making. Explore the need to choose the right tools to effectively communicate data through visualization, follow graphic design best practices, and create insightful stories. It also highlights the role of well-designed representations in improving accessibility, and comprehension. By incorporating design methods that understand human interaction, such as affordance and universal design, it suggests that effective data visualization can be realized by incorporating design methods that understand human interaction, such as affordance and universal design, to support cognitive related processes. The project explores that with a thoughtful and intentional approach, data can be transformed into an engaging and effective tool for communication, enabling the creation of data visualizations that are clear, engaging, and support messages.
  • Teaching Remotely: Analyzing the Instructional Use of Google Classroom

    Lizardi, Ryan; Jofre, Ana; Dewey, Patrick (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-07)
    Through an ethnographic study and analysis of Google Classroom, this project explores how teachers utilized software tools in a remote environment during the Covid 19 Pandemic. Specifically, by interviewing 4-grade school teachers in rural and city locations in the upstate New York area, to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Google Classroom as a platform for online instructing. Furthermore, to examine key features of the tool, such as information structure and navigation, that made online instruction accessible when virtually teaching in a remote setting. The names of the interviewees will be anonymized to the reader for personal confidentially. The questions that were asked were both by questionnaire and in-person interviews. They were specifically formed to relate to the use of Google Classroom and focus on the assets of the collaborative tool that were utilized to do their job.
  • Best Practices for Hybrid Meetings

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Sylvester, Anthony (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    Video conferencing technology has become ubiquitous in the professional and personal lives of millions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While this technology had been steadily becoming commonplace, the lockdowns in response to the pandemic rapidly accelerated this trend. A consequence of this seemingly overnight shift in how work was done was that users were left to figure out for themselves how to best utilize this technology, which resulted in negative effects such as distractions, stress, and inefficient meetings. While offices eventually reopened as the threat of the virus subsided, many companies continued to allow employees to work from home, giving rise to the concept of hybrid meetings. The aim of this project is to identify best practices for hybrid meetings through research of participants and facilitators of meetings and large presentations and to put this information in a condensed infographic.
  • The Information Architecture of Military Spouse Architect Licensing

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Arnold, Christopher (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    The study investigates the information architecture of state central licensing agency and licensing board websites and forms through the lens of accessibility to determine their usability, discoverability, and findability for military spouse licensing applicants. One hundred websites and forms were examples. In addition to the accessibility evaluation, state statutes were examined for providing accommodations to military spouses through comity, reciprocity, temporary licensing, expedited licensure, and enhanced licensure via affidavit. Board policies and regulations were also evaluated to determine the impact of license requirements on portability and whether or not they were made accessible. Findings suggest that despite the availability of a variety of policies to facilitate license portability, most state central agencies and licensing boards have not made these policies accessible. Findings were visualized using Tableau in a series of choropleth maps, histograms and scatterplots.
  • Building an Educational Website Dedicated to Increasing Cybersecurity Awareness for All Ages

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Hanselmann, Elizabeth (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    As technology advances, so does the need for appropriate safety measures. When people are not given the proper tools and education to combat today’s existing cyber threats, they leave themselves and others vulnerable. Antivirus software and other tools can help fight these cyber attacks, but the human firewall remains the strongest defense. Using a blog format as well as existing research, I have examined the pitfalls that tend to affect certain groups of people and created a resource to help educate them.
  • Banning the Bildungsroman: A Digital Exhibit Visualizing Censorship and Cultural Trends in Young Adult Literature

    Stam, Kathryn; Jofre, Ana; Kerns, Halie (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    Censorship of young adult books has a history that predates the genre itself. This paper aims to contextualize this history through specific challenged books and an evaluation of government instances of book censorship of young adult titles. This information has then been displayed through a digital library exhibit for college students using information design principles and data visualization.
  • Mobile Application Development for the United States Figure Skating Association

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Krenzel, Jessica (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    This project is about researching how to build and develop a mobile application for the skating community that interacts with events and information from the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA), which does not yet have one official place for information. Many USFSA members have to score through different websites and social media accounts to find specific information. Having one application has made it an easier, more organized, and accessible way to access all types of information and help the figure skating community come closer together. The main objectives for having an app are User Growth, Engagement, and Brand Awareness. Having all these types of content in one location will help skaters, fans, coaches, and more have easy access to information. The research will include the type of design needed to make the application user friendly, software programs needed to create the app, IOS and google play versions, etc. The mobile application prototype will be created using design softwares such as Figma, Canva, and Adobe photoshop. I used human-centered design when designing the app and took into account factors such as the business needs (how to make it commercially successful), empathy (Is the design focused on the people?), creativity (what creative ways are there to solve users' issues?), or user friendliness. This paper looks at the development of other sports apps and how they have helped improve engagements with their own members to be more involved in their sport and connect fans from around the world. This paper will also look into the effect mobile applications have had on our society. Link to prototype: 6&scaling=scale-down&page-id=32%3A192&starting-point-node-id=9675%3A26
  • Applying Navigability & Accessibility to a Self-Coded Digital Interactive Portfolio

    Jofre, Ana; Lizardi, Ryan; Zuch, Robert (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-12)
    In this work, I have expanded upon a digital portfolio that I had created from scratch. This improved digital portfolio encompasses several methods of allowing for accessibility and easier navigation of the content within it. This was done through the creation of new features such as a landing page, prevalent ALT text, reduced motion toggles, buttons which filter portfolio content by categories, search functionality, tab key navigation, and more. Improving the visual presentation was also a focus, which is reflected through responsive layouts for mobile users, animated background graphics, and the revising of the portfolio’s visual hierarchy. Despite the existence of website builders, I have come to the conclusion that self-coding your own website allows you to express yourself beyond the content you upload to it. With enough dedication and alacrity to learn the basics of coding within HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, developers can create their own designs that convey their unique personalities. My revised website can be found at, and seeks to serve as an example of that dedication and expression.
  • Creating Prototypes: Products of the Design Thinking Process

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Moon, Alex (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    In a product design scenario, the design thinking process (made up of five phases: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test) helps to find solutions to problems by putting the needs of the target audience first. Studying how people connect to a product (or to their environment in general) and collecting data based on those findings allows designers to craft answers to everyday problems in a myriad of unique and creative ways. Relying on the accompanying steps of the design thinking process for its effectiveness, prototyping can be the deciding factor in the success or failure of a project. There are a number of different tools and techniques used in prototype creation. From physical to digital, advancements in technology have helped to shape the design world, providing endless opportunities for designers to stay up to date with the ever changing design needs of society. On the current forefront of that technological trend is mobile application design. Utilizing cutting edge software such as Adobe XD to produce high fidelity mobile application prototypes, designers can take projects from the brainstorming phase to a fully functional mockup in no time.
  • Mid-Century Modern Furniture Identification App: Using the Naturalist Field Guide Model for Mobile Identification and Learning

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Gaygan, Ann (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    Currently one of the most popular styles of home décor, Mid Century Modern (MCM) identifies a period of design between approximately 1933 and 1965 and is typified by minimalist clean lines and classic design. Outlets for collector acquisition of this style of furniture include garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, vintage and antiques shops, along with a variety of online shopping sources. Studying the Mid-Century design era, the popular designers and their specific creations in order to become fluent enough to confidently identify a piece in the field requires both time and diligence. In the absence of either, a shopper routinely turns to the internet for answers. Unfortunately, the internet offers up as many wrong answers as it has right ones and searches made from the shopping field are time consuming and often fail to provide the required information. The need for an alternative to Google searching is obvious and may be found in a mobile app designed specifically to identify Mid Century Modern furniture while out in the field. An app designed for field identification while shopping could provide an attribution and valuation to a piece, while also supporting a longer-term education in how to identify and recall specific iconic Mid-Century Modern furniture pieces. This paper explores the creation of a well-designed mobile field guide-style app for on the fly identifications by identifying similar style apps. It also explores how the purposeful design and inclusion of specific app features supports ease of use and further learning of the subject matter contained within the app.
  • Applying WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria to SUNY Webpages: Are they WCAG 2.1 compliant?

    Lizardi, Ryan; Stam, Kathryn; Iannucci, Brittany (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    In this thesis, I investigate the meaning of web accessibility, the types of disabilities that affect web use and common assistive technologies, the most widely accepted web accessibility standards in the United States and which tools/methods can be used to check for web accessibility. Additionally, I describe the State University of New York (SUNY) system and their attempts at web accessibility. By applying the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool to selected pages in a sample of SUNY schools, I was able to determine that only ten percent of the schools reviewed were fully accessible.
  • Peak of the Parks: A User-Centric Website Revision

    Stam, Kathryn; Jofre, Ana; Cook, Krista (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    This paper outlines the use of service design principles and methods, with the incorporation of people’s psychological needs, as applied to a user-centric re-design of a website. The website in question, “Peak of the Parks,” is an interactive informational website with the goal of helping U.S. National Park visitors compare locations visually on a map and details on the park’s activities, landmarks, and facilities all in one place. The original website helps to give enough information at a glance to create informed opinions, but was initially made with little outside input. Using service design methods offers a user-centric way to find out what the expanded audience needs, create goals grounded in this research, and choose improvements that directly work towards those goals; this ensures that these efforts are not only solving problems, but solving the most important problems according to stakeholders closest to the product or service.
  • Graphic Design Principles Can Improve Functionality and Effectiveness Of Technology Knowledge Bases

    Stam, Kathryn; Jofre, Ana; McInerney, Michael (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2023-05)
    Many classroom technology knowledge bases in higher education are created by technicians whose natural inclination is to create overly detailed text-based articles. Their aim is to cover all scenarios an end user may encounter, and provide as much information as possible. These articles are unattractive, cumbersome, and often deter the institution’s faculty and staff members from utilizing them as an information resource. By developing these articles with graphic design principles in mind, they become more user-friendly and functional as a tool. Strong emphasis on images, color, and simplicity provides an effective alternative to large blocks of text. Many studies have concluded that people in a variety of age groups perform better as learners when information is presented in multi-modal format, such as infographics. These methods combine text with images to provide a more concise and clear delivery of content. Beyond better understanding, they also cite that the experience is more enjoyable, which may lead to repeated use of this format. This project reimagines the information in a typical knowledge base and applies a new visual aesthetic using Gestalt’s principles of design, consistent iconography, and interactivity. It aims to create a more intuitive and simplified experience for the institution's end users.
  • World Wide Web (Block): Understanding and Exploring Online Censorship and Content Distribution Around the World

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Frenette, Kyle (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    The 21st century has advanced the accessibility and functionality of the Internet exponentially, eventually giving rise to the social media technologies commonly utilized today. In the present day, the ability to connect with the Internet - from both desktop and mobile devices - has given rise to many communication platforms and services; including shopping, social, educational, and more. However, with the widespread use of digital information in much of the developed world also comes the ability to block or censor certain content. The restriction of data can be caused by social and cultural values, the prevention of harassment, or in some circumstances, the control and ideals of certain governments. The goal of this meta-analysis thesis is to explore the various methods and causes of censorship around the world, and to understand how to better control and respond to the restriction of specific groups of content. Through quoting and analyzing a diverse range of scholarly literature concerning digital technologies within the last 13 years (2009-2022), my research aims to evaluate several trends/examples of censorship, and as a result, formulate suggestions as to how Internet consumers can achieve safe, secure, yet also independent encounters on the web.
  • Creating Branding Guidelines For A Small Business

    Stam, Kathryn; Ibarra, Sandra (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2022-05)
    Nowadays, the use of technology has become essential for business. People can buy anything on the internet by clicking a button and receive their purchase on the same day. This has helped small businesses to be visible to more customers other than in the traditional market such as in-person sales. However, it can be still difficult if the small business lacks a crucial marketing tool: a Brand. The branding guidelines summarize the concept of the business and serve as a standard to visually display the purpose and products of the company. This tool is critical not only to being a small business and attracting clients but also to show that the business is solid, professional, and safe to buy from there. This paper supplies an overview of the development of branding guidelines for a small business called Sanedu; and their use on digital assets such as websites and social media, and physical assets such as business cards.
  • A Self-Reflection on Creating My Professional ePortfolio on Social Media through a Critical Exploration of ePortfolios, the Perspectives of Marshall McLuhan, Douglass Rushkoff, and David Sax, and My Experience as a Small Farm Owner: A Literary Review

    Stam, Kathryn; Lizardi, Ryan; Carambia, Christina (SUNY Polytechnic Institute, 2021-12)
    This literature review investigates the value of creating a professional ePortfolio on a private website linked to social media to establish an online, professional identity for the author, who has trails of transcripts and decades of personal, academic and professional experience, through a self-reflection process by the author, which is based on a combination of insights gained from a critical examination of ePortfolio research, the perspectives of media theorists, and the author’s experience as a student and small farm owner. The author concludes there is value found in the process of creating, publishing, and maintaining a professional ePortfolio for the purpose of communicating a professional identity to a target audience, when ePortfolios are crafted by integrating ePortfolio research and media theory and utilized to illustrate one’s holistic understanding of knowledge through reflection-based commentary provided for each artifact or project presented in a professional ePortfolio.

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