Principal UX Architect Creates Designs to Tackle Climate Change


Purple graphic of principal UX designer Elisha Hardy who works in Bloomngton Indiana.

This blog is a part of our Making an Impact series, where we explore MetroStar’s employees, their passions, career paths, and inspirations. 

Growing up and attending college in Indiana, Elisha found herself back in her home state after a brief stint away and ready for her next challenge—tech and climate challenges to be exact.

Working from MetroStar’s Bloomington Headquarters, Elisha, a Principal UX (User Experience) Architect, works alongside a cross-functional team within our Client Solutions Group (CSG) to win tech challenges.

A tech challenge: Coders, creatives, designers, engineers, and innovators pursuing technology-forward opportunities within a set timeframe and under certain challenge constraints.

“You need to be very flexible, adaptable, and always be evaluating the situation at hand during a tech challenge. There is a lot of thought around the end goal of a tech project during a challenge. We are essentially trying to win a contract, showcase innovation, and present our best selves and creativity,” Elisha said. “Tech challenges are a lot of showing the world what makes you stand out, which can be a different mindset than working on client projects.”

It may take months for a team to prepare for a tech challenge. Yet, in a single demo day,  MetroStar showcases our unique ability to challenge the status quo with new technologies and processes that propel innovation in government and technology forward.

“The government sets the format for the challenge. You usually present your demo then do a round of questions. Your team has time after your presentation to implement a live change to showcase how you can operate in tight settings. We practice quite a lot to be able to handle whatever is thrown our way,” Elisha said.

UX Design for Climate Change

For Elisha, challenging the status quo in the industry goes beyond tech challenges. She’s forging a way to make technology and UX design better serve the environment. Tackling climate change is a group effort, and Elisha believes many roles beyond scientists can help drive the mission forward.

She took a climate designers course as a part of her career development plan at MetroStar. The Terra.do courses hope to “get 100 million people to work on solving climate change,” and Elisha is one of those people.

Design, tech, and climate change go together more than many everyday consumers believe. Something as simple as sending an email or streaming your favorite shows can impact the environment, and UX designers are tackling those issues with environment-centered design solutions.

“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our lives. I’m taking this climate designers course to learn how to influence users to make better decisions for the environment," Elisha said. “I plan to share what I’ve learned with MetroStar, so we can implement those design changes together.”

Through ICDP, an award-winning continual learning and training program at MetroStar, our people can actively grow their skills each quarter. From certifications to new skills unlocked, upskilling allows our people to stand out and fight for the things they are passionate about.

Elisha is interested in working with others at the company who have similar interests or are involved in a project that has a climate change factor.

“Working for a government contractor, like MetroStar, will help me make a greater impact on the designs we see in government and change how our country approaches climate change,” Elisha said. “Every industry, and every role, can help the environment.”

There are many ways to have an impact on climate change. The government will be responsible for implementing many changes in all sectors, from tracking Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to decreasing energy use. Other changes include increasing overall energy efficiency, transitioning to all-electric and renewable forms of energy by 2050, and most importantly, considering climate justice and making sure we implement equitable changes.

“The government needs to continue research and development on carbon capture, convert conventional agriculture to regenerative agriculture, and create resilient local food systems,” Elisha said.

Whether she’s working on a fast-paced tech challenge or striving to create a difference for the environment through design, Elisha is making an impact at MetroStar and beyond.

Interested in joining a tech challenge team or joining a company dedicated to your growth?

contact CSG