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MakerDAO, Community Development

Branding, UI Design | 2020 - 2021


The client:

MakerDAO is one of the most established projects in cryptocurrency, and Comm-Dev is its robust, decentralized, global network of contributors.

The ask:

Comm-Dev recently relaunched its documentation portal, which is built, written, and maintained entirely by community contributors for community contributors. Comm-Dev's original portal was hosted on Gitbooks, but over time the site had grown informationally dense and visually drab, and didn't reflect Comm-Dev's vibrant personality. The team's goal was to migrate the portal from Gitbooks to its own stack while undergoing a complete visual redesign.

Comm-Dev is part of MakerDAO, but operates relatively independently with its own goals. To mirror this relationship, Comm-Dev contributors wanted a visual identity that is in conversation with the core Maker brand (futuristic, clean, soft gradients), but with its own spin: a bit more casual, inviting, and humanized, with greater emphasis on community engagement than pure finance.

The result:

First, I consulted with the MakerDAO design team who owns the core Maker brand - not only did I want to leverage existing materials in the Maker ecosystem, it was important to me to balance the MakerDAO team's comfort with how I might draw from their work while centering Comm-Dev's vision.

V1 of the project had a quick, 2-month turnaround. In that time, I compiled a community survey to assess desires for the portal to look and feel and proposed three distinct visual themes to core contributors. Then, I honed a visual theme based on feedback, applied it to a design system in both light and dark UI modes using semantic design tokens, assisted front-end styling, and created custom graphics to bring the Comm-Dev world to life.

After V1 of the portal launched, I applied the rebrand across social media and marketing assets, documenting and templatizing styles so they can be modularly reworked by anyone.

After the launch of V1, the site's bounce rate dropped by 25% and its weekly unique visitors doubled.


Myself - Designer
Project Manager
Lead Developer
Content Strategist
UX Designer
5-6 Content Writers


Gatsby.js (React framework)