Background

This was a small project that was part of a complete makeover of a large corporate HR intranet. I joined the team in the middle of the project and upon reviewing user surveys, discovered that users could not locate forms they used on a daily basis in a timely manner. I set out to work with the team to include, and resolve, this issue so that we could meet the release date.

intranet_before

Intranet before redesign

Problem

Hundreds of forms, some repetitive, existed as simply a list of links on a Sharepoint site. Because the company was decentralized, it’s possible that one form is referred to in as many as 5 different ways depending on location of the user. This makes searching difficult and lengthens the time to locate the correct file. Users were coming up with their own solutions that led to confusion and sometimes costly mistakes.

Solution

The goal for this project was to make the forms easily accessible in a matter of a few seconds versus a few minutes by any user in any location. I needed to learn how users refer to these forms and then create a database that is easily searchable, returning the correct form choices to the users in a matter of seconds.

Process

This project started with the creation of personas based on information collected from a third-party survey as well as through user interviews. Personas were created, and some conclusions were drawn about basic needs for the new forms database.

persona_example

Next,  a card sorting activity was performed with a sample of users. Users were recruited through existing relationships with people on the project team. A detailed testing document was created to guide those leading a card sort test for the first time in how to do so.

Users were asked to sort a stack of cards with the names of forms on them into piles that made sense to them. Then they were asked to name those piles with names that made sense to them.

The Data was collected and synthesized into a large spreadsheet. Included in this information was comprehensive tagging information.

sort_results

Results of card sort activity

Wireframes were then developed and passed on for review. After wires were approved, they were passed to development that put them into production.

 

intranet_wireframes

Wireframes


The final product was released and is now in use.

intranet_after_redesign

Intranet after redesign

Results

Users report that they can find what they are looking for easier and more quickly. They are also less likely to download a form to their desktop, which leads to forms being used that are out of date. Workflow has improved as a result.