Andy Madrick






Convo is a tool that uses peer–to–peer feedback to automate and distribute comment moderation. Convo can be used anywhere discussions are taking place online, but is particularly powerful when deployed on platforms that produce proprietary content and don’t have the resources or tools to moderate in–house.

Convo is an alternative to the dominant forms of moderation, namely systems in which there are assigned, human moderators or those that employ AI–based content curation. By relying on real people to moderate, Convo is more accurate, more nuanced, and less costly.


I was born in South Lake Tahoe, California. I spent my childhood in Northern Colorado and lived in Phoenix, Arizona, during my high school years, where I was a varsity football and tennis player. During my undergraduate studies at Colorado State University, I focused on Philosophy of Mind and Landscape Architecture. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2017 and worked as a landscape architect prior to enrolling as a graduate student at the University of Washington in the fall of 2020. During my time in the Master of Design program, I have relentlessly pursued design as a craft, focusing on Visual Communication and Interaction Design. 

The lens through which I view my design work is invariably tinted by the human experience, with a focus on how humans talk to one another in the digital media space. My current interests and projects center on making beautiful and useful tools that enhance the quality of online conversations. The theoretical underpinnings of my work are influenced primarily by the social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the economist Richard Thaler and the philosopher Mark Johnson. Practically, I use analog and digital tools to build things. I love to sketch ideas as much as I am obsessed with coding out final products. 


  • Karen Cheng, Chair
  • Audrey Desjardins


  • MDes, University of Washington, 2022
  • BA, Philosophy, Colorado State University (Fort Collins), 2017


  • 2021 – Gonzales Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Design, University of Washington School of Art + Art History + Design, Seattle, Washington

Excerpt from commentary by Heidi Biggs

Andy Madrick’s thesis is an attempt to reflect on ‘life in the comments’ as he designs to make online discourse more nuanced, productive, and generative through interface design. It is no new news that discourse and thinking have splintered and spiraled into factions, conspiracies, and parallel dimensions in recent years. It is a puzzle many are trying to solve: how to heal and regenerate some semblance of constructive discourse, which, many argue, has been torn apart by algorithmic recommendations and non-nuanced incentive structures like ‘liking’ something on social media.

Read full commentary.