516-610-8669 maureenm5@me.com

“Hallway” to Various Intranets

Project Brief

The client had an inordinate number of intranets, sister sites, departmental repositories, and frequently used external resources. As such, it was very difficult for everyone in the organization to find the information they needed.

The goal of the project was to create a single “hallway” for accessing all possible intranets, cross-department repositories, and resources sites.

An additional goal was to provide a designation for items that are of particular importance to newcomers to the company.

Success / Feedback

Deliverable was well received as “a good start”. The client, however, had an idea of their own in mind….utilizing a “cards” approach. While I did not recommend that type of presentation because this UI was essentially a directory of links, I did render a version presented as cards.

Challenges I Overcame

  • Many departments were not aware of the project so user interviews required substantial time for introductions and level setting, cutting short the available time for discovery. Despite this I was able to gain a good number of insights.
  • While most departments agreed about the pain points, not all of them saw the project as solving the problem. My initial design was the simplest possible presentation and would’ve had a good chance at changing the mindset of those users. There were, however, some unsurmountable challenges.

Unsurmountable Challenges

  • The primary stakeholder (who was not going to be one of the users) wanted “more visuals” and a landing page. If this were any other type of interface, and if the users hadn’t expressly stated that they just wanted one destination to see all links to the many other places they need to go (and some help for users who are new to the company) I would have made it more visual and given it more depth.
  • I mimicked the “cards” presentation and merged my primary IA concept into it. S/He like liked it but still wanted more visuals./li>

Proof of the Pudding

Although I cautioned the primary stakeholder that some users were predisposed to not want the feature, did not want to represent their department in the interface, and considered it “just more work” s/he thought that because it was going to be created, management would force the users to use it.

Before my engagement was over (while we were still collecting user needs via email) one of the key departments expressly stated that they would not use the interface themselves and would not maintain a destination for visitation by other departments.

While I wasn’t able to see the final version of the interface, nor the reaction to the final version by the user base, the fact that a primary department decided not participate likely caused the project to either be scrapped, or not be useful to the other departments.

Direct Contributions

  • User Research (group interviews)
  • UX Design
  • Information Architecture
  • Prototype (in InVision)