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UX Research: Improve user experience, content relevancy, and adoption with deeper understanding of target audience goals and information needs.


Fannie Mae Foundation (now Fannie Mae Office of Community and Charitable Giving) launched KnowledgePlex, an online news and information portal for affordable housing and community development advocates, professionals, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders.

The foundation needed a refined picture of its target audience to help guide a redesign of KnowledgePlex that would resonate and better align with user needs and goals.


Experience by Design kicked off the project with a review of KnowledgePlex and available project documentation. We then conducted a series of informal work sessions with internal Foundation staff and stakeholders to come up-to-speed on the current state of KnowledgePlex, discuss lessons learned, and define objectives and measure of success for the UX research project.

Using the findings from the informal work sessions, we designed a plan for a detailed study that involved a round of internal research to be followed-up by user surveys, interviews, meetings, focus groups, and workshops with representative samples from each of the target segments.

We worked with internal Fannie Mae Foundation staff and resources to organize and conduct the internal and external research studies. We created an audience profile and personas for the primary targets and delivered important preliminary findings along the way.

Once the research was complete, we presented the findings and recommendations to Fannie Mae Foundation's leadership team and various other stakeholders and teams across the organization. We then worked with members of Fannie Mae Foundation staff to gather all the research together and document findings in a final report.


Fannie Mae Foundation's leadership and KnowledgePlex team received the insights they needed about their target audience’s goals and needs to guide a successful redesign and relaunch of KnowledgePlex, and resulted in increased usage and adoption.

The Fannie Mae Foundation leadership and KnowledgePlex team also made use of and built upon our research for several years to inform other knowledge-sharing initiatives, such as DataPlace, and future strategic planning efforts to align the organization's outreach programs with the evolving needs and goals of its target audiences.

List of Services   

  • Primary Research Strategy + Planning
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Stakeholder Interviews + Workshops
  • Subject Screening + Recruitment
  • Focus Groups
  • One-on-one Interviews
  • Target Audience Profile + Personas
  • User Research Reports

Explore Our Work

Explore Our Work

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