Making the browsing experience of a thousand-class catalog a serendipitous experience

RISD Continuing Education, Big New Ideas Client 2010-11

RISD Continuing Education offers a thousand classes a year, across 24 disciplines, and all age groups. In 2011, they were seeking ways to grow registrations, 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 classes that they never thought interested them.



Designing Serendipity

We designed and built a platform from the ground up to make it easy for these diverse audiences – from credit-seeking college students to parents with young children to retirees – find discover learning opportunities they might not have thought of. 

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.



Adopting the modernist architect credo "Form follows function"

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.



Communication Strategy

Information Architecture

UI/UX Design

Web Design

Account Management

Project Management