Cheryl Aldrich

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park home page

In 9 years at Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) I worked on many projects, large and small, including information architecture and UX Design. Many of the projects saved the agency money through cost of doing business and/or manhour savings. I was part of team awards for three of the projects. All of the projects provided improvements for our audience.

I left the agency almost two years ago so some aspects of the site have changed, but the site still reflects my design.


Responsive Redesign

For years I monitored analytics for our site and watched our users start to use our site on their phones. This was surprising as only a few years earlier many of our visitors were still on dial-up. I did research, explored ideas, and developed a plan for how Fish, Wildlife & Parks would deal with their growing mobile audience. It was decided to go responsive for several reasons:

  • The site was approximately 2000 pages, maintained by 2 people. Responsive design allowed us to maintain one set of code and content, which was much more feasible considering our staff size.
  • The responsive site allowed our audience to see the same content everywhere. Although it rearranges a bit on different screen sizes, there's still a lot of consistency.

Just before the launch, I did training with our front-line personnel throughout the state. Most of them were new to responsive design, so they needed understand how the site would change on different screen sizes. This was imperative as most were accustomed to telling customers (over the phone) to go to certain areas of the screen and staff needed to understand that things could be arranged differently if the visitor were on a phone.

FWP on mobile screens before and after responsive redesign

Montana WILD Site & Scheduler

Montana WILD is an education center that provides wildlife, biology, and ecosystem education for the public and school groups. Shortly after it opened we created a small site for them so they could let the public know about what services they had to offer. The center became very popular, very quickly. The manager of the center found herself spending at least half of her time scheduling school groups, time she could ill afford to spend on tasks that could easily be automated. I worked with her to design an interface for her to manager scheduling and an interface for school groups to schedule their visits. Our developers implemented the design.

The new product made it easier for teachers to schedule their visits, provided forms and information that had previously been emailed, repeatedly, and saved the manager easily 20 hours a week so she could spend her time doing far more valuable tasks.


Saves the agency 20 manhours per week.

Montana WILD scheduling page

Discover Montana's Ecosystems

The Discover Montana's Ecosystems project was my first project when I started at FWP. Our team was diverse and collaborated well to create a product that educators could use to teach school children about wildlife and ecosystems in Montana. It has been used successfully in schools throughout Montana.


Team received the Governor's Award.

Discover Montana's Ecosystems

Design & Construction - Digital Plans

The Design & Construction Unit manages all construction projects for all FWP lands throughout the state. There are many documents and plans that must be made available to all contractors around the state so they can bid on the projects. There are legal requirements about the documents and dates of various parts of the bidding process.

We redesigned their section of the website to make everything available online in a timely fashion. Their audience is particularly low-tech and they have been thrilled with the site and how easy it is for them to get up-to-date content at any time. The convenience has led to more bids than usual, which has occassionally led to lower project costs for FWP. It is difficult to calculate the cost savings from competitive bids, but they did calculate the print and postage savings at approximately $250,000 per year.


Saves the agency approximately $250,000 per year.

Design & Construction Upcoming Bids page

Design & Construction - Projects Tool

This was a very involved project intended to allow FWP personnel to enter data one time that could be used for the website and for accounting purposes. It could have saved countless manhours of work and reduced errors significantly had it been implemented.

Journey map for Design & Construction