Cheryl Donahue

Cheryl Donahue

Writer and Website User Experience Designer


Welcome to my online CV!  I'm a writer and user experience designer for the web with more than twenty years of experience, largely in the public and nonprofit sectors. 

I’ve written policy reports, articles, op-eds, speeches, press releases, blog pieces and web content.

On the web side, I work with designers to create concise, easy-to-navigate websites that effectively communicate the client's message and give users the information they want.  I specialize in taking complex content and breaking it down into clear, comprehensible language for both print and online media.




Highly skilled writer and editor.

Website Usability

Expert in developing well-organized websites that deliver concise, user-driven content.


Extremely proficient in using HTML and CSS to develop websites (including HTML5 and CSS3).  Understands the need for cross-browser testing and compatibility.  


Highly skilled in creating, editing and maintaing custom websites with Wordpress themes and templates. 


Solid understanding of relational databases. I work with programmers to develop server-side web applications with open-source software such as PHP and MySQL.


Solid understanding of Javascript or Jquery. I work with programmers to develop client-side web applications with Jquery, HTML and CSS.

Digital Audio (editing)

Familiarity with editing digital audio, including layering tracks, using effects, setting levels and mixing.  Experience with Audacity, Logic Pro and Sound Track Pro.

Digital Video (shooting and editing)

Familiarity with shooting and editing digital video footage, and with compressing content for the web.  Experience with Final Cut Pro and iMovie editing software. 

Work History

Work History
1995 - Present


WorldWide Writing
May 2013 - Present

Web Consultant and Developer

American Institute for Innovative Apprenticeship (AIIA)

Overhauled existing website to improve organization, content and clarity.  Managed the creation of a new, interactive content section -- Occupational Standards (developed the architecture, wrote the HTML and CSS, subcontracted for and managed programming and data entry staff).  Managed a design redevelopment to a cleaner, brighter, more professional website. Retained as website content and usability manager.

Oct 2012 - Present


Kratos Learning Solutions

Reviewed the Department of Education's LINCS and Adult Career Pathways websites for usability, and made recommendations to improve the user experience.  Also did a detailed content and copy edit of both websites.  Ongoing consultant to Kratos on website content and usability.

Oct 2013 - Oct 2014

Usability Consultant

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture

Helped newly launched website for significant cultural project reorganize content, streamline navigation and make other improvements for greater usability (recommendations pending).

Jan 2011 - Dec 2013

Consultant/Web Developer

Cork Folklore Project (CFP)

Brought oral history archive to life with a map-based, database-driven website (original test website created for UCC Computer Science Master's project).  Retained by the CFP as consultant to improve and build upon the new resource ( [Note: the website design has been changed.  See screen shot at top right for original design].

May 2012 - Sep 2012

Consultant/Web Developer

An Lab Theatre Company

Made it possible for theatre staff to update the An Lab website with new events and photos via secure, online forms.  Old events are automatically sorted onto the archive page.  Created the system with MySQL, PHP, AJAX, JQuery and CSS.

Jun 2011 - Jun 2011


University College Cork

Helped Irish high school students make short films for a national competition by co-teaching a one-week class on digital video editing techniques.  Introduced the green screen and explored a range of shots and cuts.  Some of the student videos created are viewable on YouTube at

Jan 2010 - Jan 2011


Educational sabbatical

Reinvigorated technical skills by pursuing a Master's in Interactive Media, Computer Science Department, University College Cork.  Graduated December 2011 with 1st Class Honors.

Jan 2008 - Jan 2009

Human Being

Voluntary creative sabbatical

Pursued creative interests in photography and writing.  Established a stock photography portfolio on iStock, maintained an online blog with nonfiction essays on various topics, and had several poems chosen for publication in Irish literary journals.

2006 - 2007


Kerry In View

Wrote several commissioned articles for weekly magazine of news, features and opinion.

2006 - 2007


Kerry County Museum

• Distilled 100 years of Irish history into explanatory panels for a national traveling exhibition titled “Seen but Not Heard – A Century of Childhood in Ireland,” a joint project of County museums across Ireland. • Created a coherent story line for a special standing exhibit at the Kerry County Museum -- “William Melville: Spymaster” -- by editing explanatory panels.

Jan 1995 - Jan 2007


DTI Associates, Inc.

Provided up-to-date information and interactive communication forums for state and local recipients of federal grants from the Departments of Education and Labor via user-centered, audience-driven websites, including:

  • STAR pilot project and online Toolkit (, Principal Developer. Helped adult basic education teachers use evidence-based instructional research in the classroom by organizing the print version of a valuable research paper into a multimedia, online tool (the Toolkit itself is accessible only to state partners).

  • ACRN website (a version of this website is maintained at, Content Manager. Reorganized content; improved navigation; worked with team to restructure databases and search functions; developed new content and maintained fresh, relevant and user-centered material from 2002-2007. Won Standard of Excellence award in 2006.

  • School-to-Work website, 1995-2002. ( - archive address), Developer and Content Manager. Took fledgling government Web site with minimal content and developed a comprehensive, organized, customer-focused site that went from approximately 20,000 hits per month to 200,000. The website won several awards.

  • One-Stop Toolkit, 2002. Developer. Improved usability of large resource library for a Department of Labor Web site by reorganizing resources into discrete subject areas, clarifying links, and writing brief descriptions of each. Met and consulted frequently with team and clients to ensure that the site met audience needs.

1997 - 2001


American Youth Policy Forum

Helped influential Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization publicize programs and policies that demonstrate research-based, positive outcomes for youth.  Analyzed large amounts of evaluation data to distill major findings and track similarities, differences and trends. Condensed findings into consistent and readable summaries for publication in print and Web site reports. Consulted and communicated with client extensively on data results and presentation (

1995 - 1997


The Urban Institute

Condensed large research reports into short, focused articles for publication. Worked extensively with researchers to ensure articles accurately reflected research findings.


Weavers Way Community Farm, 2014.  Working twice weekly on urban farm connected to Saul High School to bring local produce to local tables.  Weed, wash, harvest, weigh, pack, plant and do whatever else is needed to help farm supervisor.

Scrogall Community Television, 2012.  Worked with the Corca Dhuibhne (Dingle Peninsula) local, online television station to help organize, update and streamline their website. Also worked on community stories.

Age Action Ireland, Dingle Branch, 2010.  Taught older adults basic computer and Internet skills in an intensive, one-on-one, six-week course sponsored by Age Action Ireland (we met once each week for the six weeks).  Volunteered for two rounds before funding for the Dingle branch was cut in recessionary Ireland.