In writing applications to supplement PeopleSoft functionality at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we were reminded that a user-centered iterative approach was the only way to ensure success. But what strategies can system designers employ to truly work from a user perspective? This paper will discuss our approach and its results. Electronic collaboration between the Graduate School and 120 academic departments virtually stopped with the new student information system. We needed solutions that suited over 200 users and a new approach that centered on the user and encouraged change as needs changed and as our understanding of processes improved.