Etsy News Blog

MICA Students Try Their Hand at Redesigning Etsy handmade and vintage goods

What do you remember about school? Maybe the part that made an impression on you wasn’t necessarily the book-learnin’ — maybe it was the art teacher who took you on a field trip to a museum where you got to meet the curator behind-the-scenes, or the play-doh brain you made for a science fair. I’m a firm believer that real-life, hands-on experience should be integrated into education.

Today, I’m excited to announce that we’ve been working with art schools to bring Etsy into the classroom. We think of Etsy as a community of curious minds: This is where many sellers learn how to run an online business and shoppers learn about the value of handmade and vintage goods. Last year, we released our API to the developer community, so that they can create innovative tools using the Etsy platform. Our work with art schools is another way to engage with learners and makers — in this case, students of art, web design, and marketing. We want to offer students the chance to engage with a professional platform, and see what kind of fresh perspectives they can lend.

Professor Jason Corace at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore) leads one such group of students for his Advanced Web Design class. The class is entirely based on the students creating mock-ups and prototypes for Etsy site features. I’ve been working with the class, giving them research questions, critiques in the Virtual Labs, and hosting them for a meeting at the Etsy office. Now, these students want to share their prototypes with you, the Etsy community. They want to hear your suggestions and constructive criticism.

Here’s Jason, who is pictured above in the lower left hand corner:

“Students from the graphic and interaction design departments have worked with Etsy to come up with speculative designs addressing some of the community’s most requested features. Over the next few weeks, the students will be revising their designs and would love to hear the community’s feedback on their initial proposals.”

Review the students’ work on this website they’ve put together. You can comment directly on each project there.

And in anticipation of this question — “Will Etsy be using these designs and releasing these site features?” — the purpose of this class is to give students real life experience, and your feedback is part of that! Etsy’s Product and Engineering Teams, as well as members of our Marketing, Support and Community Teams, will also be critiquing the work. While the student projects won’t be implemented at, we believe the sharing of ideas benefits everyone in the Etsy community.

Interested in Etsy’s work with schools and museums? Read about Etsy’s collaboration with PNCA, the Portland Etsy Team, and the Museum of Contemporary Craft — I Heart Art: Portland.

Shop Local Baltimore | Check out the Baltimore BEST Team | Etsy’s Roadmap

Browse some of the students’ shops in the Related Items below.

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt says:

    What a great project, can't wait to see what they've done! xo

    6 years ago

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie says:

    This is such a cool project! The students involved have such tallent. Very neat to see what they come up with.

    6 years ago

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts says:

    Great project!!

    6 years ago

  • Ayca

    Ayca says:

    Great project! Can't wait :)

    6 years ago

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa says:

    If you want to be involved, make sure to give em your feedback here:

    6 years ago

  • pishposhes

    pishposhes says:

    oh wonderful! i studied there for two years - mica's got some great talent!

    6 years ago

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds says:

    Great idea! I can't wait.

    6 years ago

  • warmnfuzzies

    warmnfuzzies says:

    This is interesting!

    6 years ago

  • DPKministat

    DPKministat says:

    Looking forward to it.

    6 years ago

  • doxallodesigns

    doxallodesigns says:

    MICA rocks!! This is a great idea to fuel creativity! Janice

    6 years ago

  • GwenDelicious

    GwenDelicious says:

    love this idea, what a great project!

    6 years ago

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta says:

    What a great project, off to see what they've done!

    6 years ago

  • slinkymalinkicat

    slinkymalinkicat says:

    What a great idea! I can't wait to see! Thanks Vanessa!

    6 years ago

  • craftpile

    craftpile says:


    6 years ago

  • sweetcarolinadesign

    sweetcarolinadesign says:

    I like the one student's ideas about the profile and shop pages... It was really interesting! It's always pretty awesome to see what a brand new pair of eyes comes up with.

    6 years ago

  • SatinandBirch

    SatinandBirch says:

    How lucky is Etsy to have these talented and driven people sharing there idea's BOY would I love to be a fly on the wall!!

    6 years ago

  • BuddhaLeDread

    BuddhaLeDread says:

    wow I really hope this goes through, I love everything they've done!

    6 years ago

  • envejewelry

    envejewelry says:

    fantastic idea! I really like all the proposals and think they would really enhance the site a great deal!

    6 years ago

  • moosomething

    moosomething says:

    YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!! Great stuff and thanks for everything!

    6 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Nice work, I remember doing stuff like this when I was in college.

    6 years ago

  • SerendipiT

    SerendipiT says:

    As a fellow Baltimoron I was excited to see this article; thanks!

    6 years ago

  • vixensnaturaljewelry

    vixensnaturaljewelry says:

    Wow Vanessa! So I looked at their site and read it all. I like the ideas. I would love for people to be able to shop local more. The idea about changing the front page would give more sellers the opportunity to get noticed. Love the idea of being able to link your facebook/ etc. These guys are really on to a lot of very cool ideas. I can not wait to see what they come up with! Thanks for sharing!

    6 years ago

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign says:

    I totally agree with the hands on experiences in school! I was never one to learn from books I need to actually do things to learn so if I could have done more of that in school then listen to a teacher talk or read a book I might have actually liked school!

    6 years ago

  • kissadesign

    kissadesign says:

    What an exciting project for them! Will definitely take a look.

    6 years ago

  • BizzieLizzie

    BizzieLizzie says:

    WOW - what a great project! Love hearing the opinions!

    6 years ago

  • skeptis

    skeptis says:

    Why not implement some of the ideas? That search local especially would be so much better than just seeing the most recently updated shops we have now!

    6 years ago

  • WoodPigeon

    WoodPigeon says:

    Great stuff!

    6 years ago

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel says:

    etsy is a perfect fit for aspiring artists to selling their work - i love this concept!! thanks for keeping us in the loop too!

    6 years ago

  • VedaArts

    VedaArts says:

    I'm sure the talented students will provide a fresh approach! Great idea!

    6 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio says:

    Neat project!

    6 years ago

  • ElegantHobbies

    ElegantHobbies says:

    Very awesome and cool...

    6 years ago

  • julieboyles

    julieboyles says:

    This is a great project! I really like the ideas for expanded profile pages. One of my wishes is that Etsy could incorporate something like this. The ability to add photos to our profiles and show previews of our own blog posts would be an incredibly useful tool. Way to go Etsy for utilizing such great talent!

    6 years ago

  • OhFaro

    OhFaro says:

    So exciting for the students. I wish them great success and can't wait to see what they do.

    6 years ago

  • mjboutique

    mjboutique says:

    So instead of hiring a team of qualified people, they just bribed a group of college kids to improve things. That seems odd. Hopefully they think of something useful and Etsy actually uses it.

    6 years ago

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy says:

    They have some great ideas!

    6 years ago

  • VintageTribe

    VintageTribe says:

    Good article! Can't wait to see the outcome!

    6 years ago

  • Floralina

    Floralina says:

    Brilliant idea,I wish I had this opportunity while I was in school. "Learn by doing!"

    6 years ago

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry says:

    Great article!

    6 years ago

  • BululuStudio

    BululuStudio says:

    That sounds fun.

    6 years ago

  • Whimsywares

    Whimsywares says:

    Excited to see the results!

    6 years ago

  • ZenAndCoffee

    ZenAndCoffee says:

    This is incredible! They are coming up with such fantastic ideas! Great article! Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

    6 years ago

  • pinkytoeclothing

    pinkytoeclothing says:

    Very Cool!

    6 years ago

  • JeansVintageCloset

    JeansVintageCloset says:

    Great learning opportunity for the students and great challenges the working world will prove tedious and challenging so they can Enjoy working with the Etsy Staff

    6 years ago

  • esworkroom

    esworkroom says:

    Bravo to both Etsy and MICA. As the mom of a MICA grad I was very excited to see not only the website work but the shops of MICA students. I will certainly check out MICA shops first when looking for art and gifts.

    6 years ago

  • foxpots

    foxpots says:

    Great project - good for Etsy members, good for the students! I reviewed some of the students' work on their website. Some interesting ideas there.

    6 years ago

  • lovahandmade

    lovahandmade says:

    What a neat project! There are so many great ideas! I love how most of the students were thinking about enhancing the overall community of the site as well as the features! Great work!

    6 years ago

  • moonstr

    moonstr says:

    ooooh! can't wait to see what's to come!

    6 years ago

  • MajafariDesigns

    MajafariDesigns says:

    Awesome! My son, James Connors, attends MICA, and is due to graduate on May 17th. His art work can be found at JamesConnorsart.blogspot. A sample of his art can be seen also on MICA most recent brochure. James was the first to tell me about Etsy, and he was right. I have never seen such a marvelous venue for buying and selling hand made art.

    6 years ago

  • vintagelife

    vintagelife says:

    Wow! It was fun reading and visualizing what changes the students would make. Great article and ideas!

    6 years ago

  • KatDesignsNYC

    KatDesignsNYC says:

    Great project can't wait to see it.

    6 years ago

  • Minxshop

    Minxshop says:

    Jaw dropping. They have some brilliant ideas.

    6 years ago

  • swanmountainsoaps

    swanmountainsoaps says:

    Well done! Bravo!

    6 years ago

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField says:

    Sounds fantastic!

    6 years ago

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood says:

    I'm sure there are good ideas but I love the design of etsy - it's very easy on the eyes.

    6 years ago

  • IndyGrrrlProductions

    IndyGrrrlProductions says:

    Yay, Baltimore!

    6 years ago

  • TwistedRiverClay

    TwistedRiverClay says:

    I like it.

    6 years ago

  • katiefenwick

    katiefenwick says:

    There are some awesome ideas here that I would love to see implemented!

    6 years ago

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead says:

    Fascinating proposals from the students. I love the ideas, and that Etsy is so open to new innovations.

    6 years ago

  • LibertysBelle

    LibertysBelle says:

    Woot! I'm a Baltimore girl, and I am just so excited that you all have partnered with MICA on this. Couldn't pick a better design school, in my humble "Bawlmer Hon" opinion ;)

    6 years ago

  • Zyada

    Zyada says:

    Many, many good ideas to improve some of the less elegant aspects of the interface. I'm glad to see that no one tried to change the general look and feel of the site. Please add this: Please, please, pretty please? I find the color tool useless (even if fun) as it stands.

    6 years ago

  • sihaya09

    sihaya09 says:

    YAY MICA! Love to see local peeps on Etsy. I hope to take a soldering class at MICA really soon!

    6 years ago

  • ToBoldlyFold

    ToBoldlyFold says:

    YAYYYY! Go MICA! (my alma mater) Great job everyone!

    6 years ago

  • crochetgal

    crochetgal says:

    What wonderful collaboration between Business and education. Kudos to Etsy!

    6 years ago

  • knotworkshop

    knotworkshop says:

    Oh my gosh! Hire them when they graduate! Awesome ideas!

    6 years ago

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions says:

    That's great!

    6 years ago

  • elemegibere

    elemegibere says:

    Wonderful ideas!

    6 years ago

  • FavreBijoux

    FavreBijoux says:

    Good collaborative project. I will read it all!

    6 years ago

  • JessicaTorrant

    JessicaTorrant says:

    What a brilliant idea including these young, creative minds in the process of evolving Etsy! Well done!

    6 years ago

  • sweetirie

    sweetirie says:

    Well that sucks....let's implement some of the ideas! hehe ;) I am a web design student and man, I wish we had something this fun in class!!! Wanna call the Art Institute to set it up Etsy? Please? lol :)

    6 years ago

  • StephUp

    StephUp says:

    Wow! The student's work is amazing. I'd love to see some of these ideas made real. I LOVE them. Especially the shop local and My Lists ideas. What talent. :]

    6 years ago

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy says:

    Saw this on the Community Council's page as well-looks absolutely fascinating! Plus, it's great to give the site's design a new set of fresh eyes, kudos to the students for putting so much wonderful effort in! Cheers!

    6 years ago

  • HomeStudio

    HomeStudio says:

    This is such a great idea. Kudos to Etsy. hmmm how about also offering this challenge to the sellers?

    6 years ago

  • megsmonsters

    megsmonsters says:

    I went to MICA and it was a great experience! It is so nice to see MICA working hand in hand with ETSY. Go MICA!

    6 years ago

  • FrucciDesign

    FrucciDesign says:

    fantastic idea!!

    6 years ago

  • BlissStreetJewelry

    BlissStreetJewelry says:

    I love the MICA ideas. I have left comments there but I would like etsy to implement at least two of them the profile page showing our other shops and feeds. Social networking is part of business and makes an artist more exciting. Etsy should get on board and that way people will subscribe to our shop for more than just products and the color tool. just out of pure selfishness. All my backgrounds are blue so the color tool as it is designed now is totally useless. Excited to see some of the student's shops (one or two do have them)

    6 years ago

  • LizardsJewelry

    LizardsJewelry says:

    Wonderful and was very excited to see this with MICA - my and my husband's Alma mater!

    6 years ago

  • JDStar

    JDStar says:

    I skimmed over their projects and the one that stood out to me was the Seller Networks. I think that's got some big potential with street teams and group advertising! ~JD

    6 years ago

  • monakayathome

    monakayathome says:

    I love these ideas, and have left comments, including answers to Stephanie's questions, and I will definitely visit frequently. But are there really no plans to implement any of the ideas?? Say it isn't so!! The local idea would mean all the difference to my shop, as most of my items are too big to ship. My problem, I know, but what a great feature that would be!!

    6 years ago

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts says:

    Great ideas.

    6 years ago

  • pasin

    pasin says:

    wonderful ideas

    6 years ago

  • JeweledAmbrosia

    JeweledAmbrosia says:

    wow, great ideas!

    6 years ago

  • GoodGriefGlass

    GoodGriefGlass says:

    Lucky students!

    6 years ago

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead says:

    Fabulous ideas, I love this.

    6 years ago

  • TwinDreamCreations

    TwinDreamCreations says:

    What a fun project!

    6 years ago

  • mirthmarket

    mirthmarket says:

    There are such great ideas here! I like the Shop Local, the lists, the color tool - so many things! Are you sure you're not going to implement them???

    6 years ago

  • SundraSandrusi

    SundraSandrusi says:

    What a great idea!

    6 years ago

  • SundraSandrusi

    SundraSandrusi says:

    What a great idea!

    6 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Nice idea.

    6 years ago

  • 3squares

    3squares says:

    i am SO impressed with their work. smart ideas!!

    6 years ago

  • girlsewcute

    girlsewcute says:

    Sounds like a dream opportunity to me! Thanks for sharing!

    6 years ago

  • krize

    krize says:

    I love the idea!!

    6 years ago

  • SavageArtworks

    SavageArtworks says:

    There are some really great ideas there. Well done!!

    6 years ago

  • zoijioz

    zoijioz says:

    I thought it was fun to see all these cool site improvements that Etsy will never implement in a million years, when, incidentally, they'll still refer to themselves as a startup company...

    6 years ago

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations says:

    Dear Etsy, Thank you for continually restoring my faith in this world. Your deep sense of community and your willingness to share, give, and teach makes me very happy. This is such a great opportunity for these students and I really enjoyed reading about and looking at their work. Keep up to good work!

    6 years ago

  • HornCatCreations

    HornCatCreations says:

    Great idea!

    6 years ago

  • sweetirie

    sweetirie says:

    This is wonderful!!! Man, how I do wish we could have most of these tools brought to life!

    6 years ago

  • craftwin123

    craftwin123 says:

    Future genius minds! I love all the proposals. So intuitive!

    6 years ago

  • SpiceofLifeDesigns

    SpiceofLifeDesigns says:

    Beautifully done! I especially liked Allie's 'Shopping Local at Etsy' and Yvonne's 'Improving Favorites Lists'. I certainly hope the Etsy tech folks can implement so of these wonderful ideas!

    6 years ago

  • MaiAutumn

    MaiAutumn says:

    It would be amazing to see most of that for real! Such great ideas!! :)

    6 years ago

  • jared Admin

    jared says:

    This is so great! A very large number of great ideas have been suggested. I'm falling in love with MICA students.

    6 years ago

  • JenniferFeld

    JenniferFeld says:

    Very exciting stuff.. I wish I would've had an opportunity to do something like this when I was in school..

    6 years ago

  • cherspassion

    cherspassion says:

    Some VERY cool ideas! I look forward to their fruition! :0)

    6 years ago

  • SEOWebDesign

    SEOWebDesign says:

    I read through the ideas that these young people have posted on their Web sites and every idea sounds wonderful. If Etsy follows up on these ideas and incorporates them into . . . that would be awesome for everyone here. Very creative and promising students!

    6 years ago

  • JetWhitePonytail

    JetWhitePonytail says:

    MICA rocks, please consider adopting some of these ideas!

    6 years ago

  • Mumbot

    Mumbot says:

    I LOVE their shop local addition to the site idea!!!

    6 years ago

  • CraftyStitches

    CraftyStitches says:

    I love Stephanie's Idea!!! The profiles and shops would be a great combo. This way I am not trying to keep up a blog, and other sites - twitter... all in one through Etsy. Many times, I'm stretched with trying to maintain etsy and blogs, and twitter and all that... this way I just do it all on ETSY. I WOULD LOVE THAT!

    6 years ago

  • NagihanDesigns

    NagihanDesigns says:

    I love MICA they are rocks.......(

    5 years ago