Mari Steffen
UI/UX Designer

Digital Media & Learning

branding & web design for the MacArthur Foundation

Project Overview

The Digital Media and Learning Competition is designed to find and to inspire the most novel uses of new media in support of connected learning. The Competition has awarded over $12 million to more than 100 projects — including games, mobile phone applications, virtual worlds, social networks, and digital badge platforms — that explore how technologies are changing the way people learn and participate in daily life. The Competition is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the University of California, Irvine. The interdisciplinary alliance HASTAC helps to administer the competition on behalf of UCHRI.

My Design Role

I was the visual designer for the bi-coastal HASTAC/UCHRI team that supported the annual DML competition revolving around a different theme. I led the design process from concept to pitching to execution, sometimes pivoting midway when the theme changed completely. I was responsible for designing custom vector illustrations, icons, web graphics, website navigation, email and social marketing designs, digital ads, and calls for proposals with an eye towards bright palettes to reflect the common theme of innovation for education, digital media, and civic engagement. All designed materials were vetted to meet the high expectations of The MacArthur Foundation.

Tools Used:

Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Wordpress, GitHub

Status:

Website shipped in 2011 for DML Competition 4; redesigned for annual themes until its conclusion in 2016

Web & Print Design: MacArthur Foundation

Success Metrics: DMLC6

The 6th Competition, Playlists for Learning, awarded eleven winning projects a total of $700,000.

Winners received between $14,000 and $100,000 each to develop their projects over the course of a year.

Winners included youth-serving institutions, non-profit organizations, museums, libraries, school systems, and universities committed to developing viable pathways to higher education and employment. These included digital citizenship, creative career readiness, urban agriculture, environmental science, computer programming, music, arts, and other interests highly relevant to youth and life-long learners.

11
projects funded
$700k
total awarded
Web & Print Design: MacArthur Foundation

Success Metrics: DMLC5

The 5th Competition, Trust Challenge, awarded sixteen museums, libraries and nonprofit institutions a total of $150,000 to engage young people in the development of apps, badges, curricula and other tools that make the online experience more civil, safe and empowering. The 5th Competition was carried out in collaboration with Facebook, the Family Online Safety Institute, and Mozilla.

Competing for grants of up to $10,000 each, the 266 applicants from 41 states plus Washington, D.C., included libraries, community organizations, advocacy groups, museums, non-profits, cultural organizations, youth-serving institutions, and arts organizations.

266
applicants
41+
states
$150k
awarded

Web Design

I have worked on the following websites under the Digital Media & Learning Research Hub of The MacArthur Foundation:

Digital Reports

I also designed printed programs and signage for the DML Conference, as well as and digital reports, including:

Web & Print Design: MacArthur Foundation