This week’s interview is with Zachary Long, a user experience (UX) analyst in the Office of the Chief Information Officer here at the Library of Congress.
Describe your background.
I grew up in upstate New York and went to Syracuse University getting my BFA in communication design. I have worked in print design, web design, marketing, advertising, user interface design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media management, and more.
How would you describe your job to other people?
As a user experience analyst I work with the Library of Congress to research and assess usability for Congress.gov, and provide suggestions or recommendations on how new features should look and function, or how to improve existing functions.
What is your role in the development of Congress.gov?
As a UX and graphic design expert, I work with the User Experience team at the Library of Congress to provide information architecture and user interface support for Congress.gov.
What is your favorite feature of Congress.gov?
The fact that it manages to encompass all congressional data and present it in a way that caters to so many diverse users. It helps with transparency and gives Capitol Hill staff and public alike the ability to search an enormous amount of information. Whether a user is just casually curious as to what’s going on in Congress, or needs detailed information on a very specific piece of legislation - Congress.gov has it all.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the legislative process while working on Congress.gov?
I only had a basic understanding of the legislative process before. Working here, I am always learning more, and learning that there is still so much I don’t know. I’m constantly amazed at how complex the process actually is. One example that stands out: I had never even heard the word “cloture” before.
When it came up, while doing user testing on Congress.gov’s Advanced Search form, I not only learned something new about the legislative process, but started to realize how many different types of information a user might want to see. Users have a variety of different ways of wanting to search for information.
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
I am fairly open, I can’t think of anything no-one knows. The most notable things to know about are that I’m a drummer and guitarist, I’m married, and my dog is absolutely adorable! (see photo below)