Make browsing RISD Continuing Education's thousand-class online catalog a serendipitous experience.

RISD Continuing Education, Big New Ideas Client 2010-11

The RISD Continuing Education department was seeking ways to increase class registration and generate revenue, but lacked a strong online presence. With over a thousand classes offered, the challenge is to design an experience where users can serendipitously come across content that they never thought interested them.



RISD Continuing Education offers a thousand classes a year across 24 disciplines for everyone 4 years-old and up. The challenge is to design a single website for all audiences to find what they are looking for – credit-seeking college students to parents with young children to retirees. We had to understand the needs for each audience groups and their decision making patterns, distill the information relevant to them, and then design the experience catered to them.

Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations. – Paul Rand


Our information architecture is designed around the decision making patterns of our users. By identifying the key factors that influences their behavior, we were able to find the common denominators and design the database with the fewest possible data points.

Our UI/UX design follows a simple philosophy of form following function – designing an experience influenced by the same research we applied to the information architecture. We focused on how user made decisions. Through a tailored discovery process, a powerful search feature, and strategic cross promotion, the RISD CE website allowed users to serendipitous flow from offering to offering, rediscovering interests and finding a course that is just right for them.


The project was a terrific success, catapulting RISD CE online and gave them a powerful and effective tool to reach prospect students. As technology evolves, the website that we designed in 2011 is no longer online in its entirety.



Communication Strategy
Information Architecture

UI/UX Design
Web Design

Account Management
Project Management