Design Community

We’re a group interested in gaining more user experience design skills when it comes to creating our own campus digital experiences. Our intention is to teach each other skills, giving people who do the work of designing the confidence to create better experiences. We also want to look at how our individual designs make up the larger campus digital experience.

The core of making a better experience is to understand the needs of our users and provide them with experiences that are usable, valuable, accessible, intuitive, engaging, and consistent.

Join the community

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Get involved

  1. Offer to speak at an upcoming session.
  2. Tell us what you want to learn.

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Get connected

  1. Join our Teams group.
  2. Join our email list by sending an email to:

Subscribing and unsubscribing to Google Groups

2024 events

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June 13, 2024: A Year of Celebration: Inside the UW's 175th Anniversary Campaign

With guests:

  • Nick Gonzalez from the UW Office of Strategic Communication
  • Morgan Sachs from the Wisconsin Foundation & Alumni Association

March 18, 2024: Find gaps and share your ideas through Service Design

With guests from the Center for User Experience:

  • Laura Grady, User Experience Architect
  • Maria Dahman, User Experience Architect



January 12, 2024: Representing our diverse community through photography

With guests from University Communications:

  • Bryce Richter, Photographer and Digital Asset Manager
  • Jeff Miller, Director of Photography


2023 events

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December 14, 2023: Career journeys and lessons learned from UX professionals

With guests:

  • Kedar Joyner, Product Designer (UX/UI), DoIT Web Platforms/Services
  • Nick Gonzales, UX and Content Strategist, University Marketing
  • Christine Anderson, User Experience Architect, Center for User Experience
  • Norman Cuaño, UX Web Designer, PBS Wisconsin


September 27, 2023: The storytelling process through video and podcasts

July 24, 2023: How do you write emails people will read?

With guest Dayana Kibilds from Ologie who led an email strategy and writing workshop.

June 21, 2023: Putting university values into action through the digital accessibility policy

With guests Leah Bowers and Laura Grady from the Center for User Experience.

May 17, 2023: The Stories We Tell: How Narratives Can Make (or break) Us

With guest Kacie Lucchini Butcher from Public History Project.

April 5, 2023: Design trends and metrics inspire the new face of TechNews

With guests Kyle Henderson and Justin Masuga from DoIT Communications.

February 22, 2023: UW brand font transition explained

With guests Danielle Cranmer and Kelly O’Loughlin from University Marketing.

January 23, 2023: Best practices for inclusive and diverse photography in higher education

With guests Cydney Scott, Susan McSpadden, Amanda Pitts, and Glenn Carpenter from the University Photographers’ Association of America (UPAA).

2022 events

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December 15, 2022: Send even better emails: Insights gained from emailing 50,000 people

With guest Kyle Henderson, creative associate director with DoIT Communications.

November 17, 2022: Content: How it can support—or impair—your DEI efforts

With guest Dayana Kibilds, strategy director with Ologie.

October 27, 2022: Build a better email: Tips and tricks for using Eloqua to send communications

With guest Rebecca (Bex) Quigley, Web Solutions Analyst with WIDA.

September 28, 2022: Design Community: Now Better and more Design-y?

We discussed your feedback, adjustments we’re making to our session format, and future topics.

August 25, 2022: Design Community Retrospective

With guest Bryan Husk, Administrative Associate Director, MS in SMPH’s Biotechnology Program.

July 21, 2022: Kickstart your Search Engine Optimization

With guest Jonathan Dedering, software engineer with DoIT.

June 30, 2022: Swag: If you buy it will they come?

With guest Alison Caffrey, an instructional designer with the Instructional Design Collaborative in the College of Letters and Science.

May 20, 2022: Color Theory: Using color to enhance your design

With guests Al Nemec, web operations manager at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and Kedar Joyner, product designer at the Division of Information Technology’s Web Platforms/Services.

April 22, 2022: Design thinking: problem-solving through creativity

With guest Mandy Morrow, Associate Director and Instructional Coordinator of the DesignLab.

February 28, 2022: Make Your Work Better By Understanding Your Users

January 24, 2022: The Hidden Benefits of Plain Language

With guests Jennifer Sell, Karen Parrillo, and Beth Gaytan from Cultural Linguistic Services

2021 events

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December 1, 2021: What should go on your homepage?

With guests Jenna Klinner and Matt Goins from WiscWeb

October 27, 2021: How to know the right way to label your content (card sorting)

With guests Adam Hills-Meyer and Laura Grady from the Center for User Experience

September 22, 2021: Three usability design techniques for your website (that you can implement today)

With guest Sandi Arendalkowski from the Center for User Experience.

Design resources

Make it accessible

Incorporate accessibility into your content, design, and development and support all people, including people with disabilities.

Content design

Best practices to plan, create, and manage digital content that is accessible, usable, and meet the needs of your audience.

UW–‍Madison brand

The visual and tonal identity of UW–‍Madison starts here, with our brand rationale, positioning statement, and pillars.

Design services

Design Strategy

Understand your users and their needs, or how to make things simple and intuitive.

Digital Accessibility Evaluation

Discover if a website, application, product, or tool can be used by everyone.

Design Research

Learn about what your users need, or what they might say about your product or tools.

Design Community Co-Chairs

Laura Grady

Position title: User Experience Architect, Center for User Experience


Mary Cummins

Position title: Web Development and UX Manager


Christine Anderson

Position title: Web Platforms/Services Manager


Together we can realize meaningful results when it comes to our shared goals of increased engagement and efficiency, student satisfaction, employee productivity, and making our digital campus easier to use.