The University of Pennsylvania,
School of Social Policy (SP2)

My role: Qualitative Research, UX Design, UI Design, Information Architecture, Creative Strategy, Art Direction, Branding, Project Management

Design Lead and Art Direction: Brittany Latham
Design Team: kor group, MB Jarosik, Vaishnavi Kumar, and Travis Tyler
Content Partner: 43,000 Feet
Web Partner: Michelle Curran Web

The Brief

For more than 110 years, UPenn’s School of Social Policy, SP2, has been a powerful force for good in the world. SP2 contributes to advancing effective, efficient, and humane human services through education, research, and civic engagement.  As the design lead for this project, I worked closely with kors creative director, content writers, and creative team to create a website that optimizes SP2s connection to Philadelphia and UPenn, highlights their research, increases donor participation, and empowers the user to navigate efficiently to what is important to them.


Over the span of five weeks, we led in-depth interviews with users and stakeholders to inform our messaging, user experience, and design choices. These qualitative research groups included speaking to internal representatives from current students, faculty, admissions, alums, Board members, Institutional Advancement, Enrollment Management and Global Outreach, Finance and Administration, and Marketing and Communications.

Users & User Types

  • Admission teams (Admin, Editor, Viewer)
  • Current and prospective students (Viewer)
  • Current and prospective faculty/staff (Editor, Viewer)
  • Alumni (Viewer)
  • Donors (Viewer)
  • Researchers and program directors (Editor, Viewer)
  • Prospective and active field placements (Viewer)
  • Media personnel (Viewer)

User Problems & Pain Points 

  • Navigation is cluttered and labeled incorrectly
  • Outdated site content and orphaned pages distract from key search results
  • Calls to action are lost within the page
  • Relevant content is dispersed on different pages or nested under irrelevant content
  • Current imagery shows a disconnect between SP2, UPenn, and Philadelphia
  • Site is overall inefficient and does not reflect the SP2 brand

Applied Research Outcomes

  • A robust navigation featuring a mega-menu easily scannable from top to bottom.
  • A reliable search function in-site and enhanced SEO for external searches. In-site search features now yield relevant options within the first three results. Rich snippet opportunities are optimized for high-value pages, and orphaned content is removed.
  • Relationships are established between content. Specific interdisciplinary collaborations and initiatives are organized by research topic area. Flexible program page templates are easily editable by program directors and ensure consistency from program to program.
  • Tagged content by news category. Users can filter through posts by tag categories, and relevant news features are cross-tagged to relevant faculty pages.
  • Storytelling demonstrates impact and better connects the School of Social Policy to the UPenn brand. Executed by imagery, video, testimonials, and showcasing a heat map of Philadelphia to illustrate the 200 agencies throughout Philly where SP2 students are conducting fieldwork and making an impact.

Design Highlights

  • Overlapping content cards highlight imagery and bring more attention to CTA’s.
  • B-Roll and imagery showcase the campus environment as students experience it.
  • Updated typographic and color treatments give the site a modern flare while living within UPenn’s brand guidelines.
  • Graphic elements call out important bulleted information.
  • Tab trays nest relevant, high-volume content when needed and limit user scrolling.

Concept Sketches


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