When specialty cake shop Icing Dreams co-owner Dana Thomsen mentioned to Chamber of Commerce member (and MSB Campus Director) Jim Beck that she was dissatisfied with their business website, he passed along that news as an opportunity to Minnesota School of Business IMGD Chair Mike Chau, who then shared it with instructor Marty Sundvall.
Sundvall agreed that it was an exciting prospect and incorporated the idea into a service learning project for his Design Studio class. And from there, the students took over.
Krista Day, the current president of the IMGD student association, agreed to lead the
project as Account Executive and made the initial contact with owners Dana Thomsen
and Karen Kuhn.
“I offered some suggestions on a more dynamic and user-friendly site,” she said. “They
liked the idea and agreed to let us mockup a new site for our Design Studio
From there, members of the class took over various aspects of the project, including
mockups for the website design.
“We had creative discussions and critiques to narrow it down to three mockups to
show the client,” explained Day. “Brittany Kapsner and Cyndi Johnson then worked on editing and optimizing photos for the gallery. Once the clients decided on the direction
they wanted, I began coding the basic structure of the site.”
Thomsen and Kuhn agreed that working with the students was exciting—and somewhat of a relief.
“They knew what they were doing,” Thomsen said. “We do cupcakes—not computers.”
“It was great to get experience,” Kuhn added.
The project was not without its challenges. As the clients entered their busy holiday season, they were not always able to provide the content or feedback needed to advance the project forward.
Still, Day is confident in the outcome. “We were able to build the bones of the site and are ready to pounce as soon as the client is ready to start up again.”
Thomsen and Kuhn are looking to a February debut of the new website.
Day reflects that this applied learning experience will transfer directly to her
“Anytime that you work with a client and get to discuss your design and why you made the decisions that you did, it is great practice and helps you to refine your skills. Not just your technical skills, but your professional skills. It also allows you to go through a real world design process.”
Icing Dreams boasts unique cakes in 20 flavors—like raspberry chocolate chip and salted caramel—that are made from scratch and never frozen. MSB-St. Cloud boasts that it serves Icing Dreams cakes at every graduation ceremony!
Indeed, it is a sweet partnership.