Digital Workplace Overhaul

I was UX lead on a digital workplace project for a large financial services corporation. The effort included research, strategy, and design. Due to a recent merger, the company was experiencing phenomenal growth - doubling in size in the span of a few years. Rather than adapting in a standardized way across the organization, their tools had proliferated and been neglected. In phase I, my job was to help figure out who their employees were, and what they needed to be the most happy and productive in their roles. Moving into phase II we’ll be working to select and integrate the right tools for the job, as well as redesigning two company-wide intranet sites used by employees at all levels within the organization.

Now you know it’s a design project.

Now you know it’s a design project.

Phase 1 deliverables included:

  • User personas for 10 key groups within the organization

  • Journey maps detailing a day in the life of each persona

  • A consolidated list of use cases and business requirements

  • Identification of process bottlenecks and improvements

 

 

Stakeholder Research:

Research involved travel to 6 cities , 63 user interviews, 4 days of job shadowing, 5 group interviews, an electronic survey, a town hall meeting, and a stakeholder workshop.

 
 
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Interviews consisted of spending at least 30 minutes face-to-face with each individual, and wherever possible included an hour of job shadowing as well as asking follow-up questions by email.

Because some of the interview were to be conducted by other team members I created an interview instrument to guide the sessions, and a persona template to record initial impressions during and immediately after the interview. Additionally, each interview was recorded and of course I took lots of notes.

 

 

Communication:

Throughout the project our team kept in touch through daily scrum meetings, bi-weekly working sessions with our main client contacts, monthly check-ins with the project sponsor, and daily emails with a developer embedded within the client’s organization.  Because of our close contact with the client, work to implement a standardized messaging platform throughout the company was started during the discovery phase so feedback could be gathered and implemented throughout the project. 

Obviously, this isn’t my team, but we all like pictures.

Obviously, this isn’t my team, but we all like pictures.

 

 
Seriously, it was a lot of spreadsheets.

Seriously, it was a lot of spreadsheets.

Synthesis:

Because of the sizable amount of data involved, we sorted and condensed aspects of what we had learned in interviews into more manageable chunks by using several methods.

Pieces of information, such as what systems a persona used, recurring pain points, and notable quotes were all indexed in Excel to their corresponding personas to look for patterns before beginning to draft personas and journey maps.

Subjective data and anecdotes were merged into online text documents and edited in team workshops.

All told, our research turned up 69 different apps or systems in daily use company-wide with some 10 personas managing as many as 15 systems each at any given time. 

 

 

Personas:

Final iterations of the personas included all of the typical information; motivations, goals, pain points, responsibilities - but also a listing of the primary systems the persona uses and the frequency of use for each system. Also listed is the persona’s comfort level with technology and a notable quote from our interviews.

With thousands of employees in this role, working through highly repetitive tasks, this was an important persona.

 

 

Journey Maps:

Points on the journey were graphed according to customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and also, since the systems we were mapping are workplace based, company satisfaction (in the form of productivity and efficiency). Also, top business requirements were called out. Some of the key data points regarding each aspect are listed along the bottom of the map, and listed in the middle portion of the map are the systems being used and how the employee was using them.

 

 

Strategy and Requirements:

Included in the Phase I deliverables was a set of prioritized business requirements for each persona to aid in the prioritization of new features and processes within the strategic roadmap for phase II of the project. The top three business requirements were cross-referenced on the journey maps to provide additional continuity and to tie our research more clearly into our recommendations.

 

 

The client was thrilled with the work and as of today, the project has moved into phase II, a full redesign of the client’s intranet and a migration to more unified software platforms.

Site Map:

One of the first steps in the redesign was an information architecture overhaul for the existing site. The company’s rapid growth led to a disjointed and sprawling site which employees found difficult to navigate. Page hierarchy was often ad hoc, and much of the site’s information was buried in outdated or redundant content. In fact, the site map was so labyrinthine that I only officially documented the first few navigation levels in the interest of conserving time and expenditure. The consolidated site architecture not only did well in testing, but was able to accommodate all existing content during the transitional period while a content audit, content strategy, and content tagging were in development.


Site Designs:

Site designs were delivered as annotated wireframes in three breakpoints, matching visual design comps, and an interactive InVision prototype.

Pivotal to the designs was a new homepage which consisted of a highly personalized, customizable dashboard. Our research had revealed a proliferation of overlapping systems, many of which only provided one or two functions to each employee. By working closely with the client’s developers to determine which system’s APIs we could access I designed modules which provided the functionality of multiple systems in one consolidated dashboard. I was able to design a system which took call center employee’s from an average of 12 active windows on their desktop to only 3 or 4.

 

An important facet of the site redesign was reimagining department pages. On the existing department pages, extensive content for all users was intermingled and information hierarchy was largely absent. In the redesign I created two separate pages: one page to act as a portal to department services for outsiders, and another customizable page to act as an information repository and forum for those within the department, I was able to create two dedicated experiences which connected both sets of users directly with their goals. The design was also modular, allowing easy swapping of modules with changing departmental priorities.

Reactions to the designs have been overwhelmingly positive as the client’s team works to bring them into reality. They are currently gathering departmental requirements and conducting content strategy efforts in preparation for further development.

Awesome, right? Want to check out more of my work? (Of course you do!)