case study


project details
UX Lead
UX Research & Design
May - August 2020


CULPA is Columbia University's professor and course review site. Used by thousands of students every semester, CULPA is a fundamental resource to help students choose their classes.

Built on Ruby on Rails in 1997, CULPA became outdated and dysfunctional. I led CULPA's complete redesign, working swiftly with engineering and database teams to transform the website in the space of four months.

How might we help university students find engaging classes?

Finding Pain Points.

I carried out two activities with Columbia students to understand CULPA’s two main user paths:

Write a Review

I asked upperclassmen interviewees to write a review for a class they had taken recently.

Pick a Professor

I presented students with three professors who teach Contemporary Civilisation, and they had to identify their top choice.

Write a Review.

How might we incentivise students to write reviews?
How might we help students write clear, concise, helpful reviews?
How might we prevent reviews from containing libel?

Pick a Professor.

How might we help students utilise nugget ratings?
How might we present contrasting reviews in a helpful way?
How might we help students judge reviews according to context?

Realising Opportunities.

New design for Write a Review.
New design for Course Page.
Font styles and colours for CULPA's new site.


What was challenging?

Creating a visual style that both innovates and celebrates CULPA’s legendary brand.

Completing a remote sprint across four timezones.

Collaborating with engineer and database teams as the sole UX Designer.

What's next for CULPA?

Designing and implementing the administrator journey on the internal site.

Creating a new badge system to help students differentiate between professors beyond nuggets.

Design at Columbia

Co-founding Columbia University's first and only design community

Designing a service-led experience to make design a visible, accessible, and legitimate career path, now at 800+ members.

User Research
Service Design
Content Design

Venue Management App

Building the design vision for a SaaS startup

Rapidly designing a full high-fidelity MVP by leading the founders from ideation to sketching to prototyping.

UX Design
UI Design
Rapid Prototyping