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Mayor’s Office Project Why Visual Design Associate - AmeriCorps VISTA Service Year

The City of New Orleans VISTA program is implemented by the Office of Mayor LaToya Cantrell. The City is seeking passionate individuals to build capacity to break the cycle of poverty and empower our community. New Orleans is a welcoming city with a unique culture, plentiful outdoor spaces, and a reputation for hospitable and friendly residents.

Project Why is designed to address challenges to implementing policy priorities due to a deep mistrust of government and lack of meaningful feedback loop between the City and our residents. It is an iterative design process that engages heavily with stakeholders to collect observations, data, and other important revelations about individual’s lived experiences and perspectives, in order to design, test and improve interactions with residents in a way that is trauma-informed, collaborative, inclusive, and equitable.

As the VISTA Project Why Visual Design Associate, you will work with the project’s VISTA Operations member to develop a Universal Design, highly-accessible user interface strategy and design, including a “Visual Cues Library” to help address the needs of a population with extremely low rates of literacy among adults and a growing population of limited English proficient (LEP) individuals. Developing the user interface standards and visual library establishes a new vernacular of non-verbal cues for use across City operations, processes, and communications that are intuitive, self-explanatory, and inclusive.

This project will support efforts to strengthen our community and engage with every resident, with an awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion, by removing the institutionalized barriers that disproportionately impact the ability of certain populations to engage with government. Your involvement in this program will serve to move New Orleans forward in transforming how government understands and responds to the needs of our residents and businesses.


Throughout one year of service, the VISTA member will work to:

  • Learn history of Project Why initiative, learn and practice iterative design and establish the process, timeline, and protocols for prototyping cycles (understanding the problem, ideations).
  • Work with staff to identify circumstances that are chokepoints, bottlenecks, frustrations for residents when interacting with government, or other conditions that undermine the City’s competence.
  • Develop a strategy and design for non-verbal, language-based design vernacular through environmental design and user interfaces that is intuitive, universally accessible and inclusive to improve interaction with residents, including when, where, and why visual cues are appropriate.
  • Prototype and deploy solutions, monitor and measure their impact, and work with departments and agencies to develop circumstances where non-verbal cues are appropriate, for circumstances and topics they want to know about, in ways they can understand.

If you are interested in serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA, please note the following:

  • AmeriCorps is a national service year requiring 12 months of service, full time work hours (M-F, 9-5, in-person) and flexible hours on occasion.
  • Team members must either be fully vaccinated or present a negative test every week to work at City Hall.
  • For their national service, members receive a bi-weekly living allowance of $575, reduction of education costs, health insurance, and enriching career experience. Upon completion of service, members will also receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $6,345 or an end-of-service cash stipend of up to $1,800.

Visit our website to learn more about our program, the AmeriCorps National Service benefits and how to apply: