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A singularly unique intranet design challenge in which a balance needed to be struck between the requirements of disparate personas/roles that relied on the intranet for tactical support, location-based publishing requirements that "localized" the content strategy,  and the communication needs of the organization as a whole. User research focused on journey-mapping, persona-focused contextual inquiries, and workshops with break out groupings of  business stakeholders that efficiently distilled the goals of the initiative, thereby giving us the foundation to build a solid backlog and ultimately make informed, user-centric design decisions. An inclusive ideation phase that focused on validation through rapid prototyping proved to be the winning formula that got us to the finish line. 

Challenges

  • Balancing the requirements of locale, role, and organization within a comprehensive content strategy and publishing model.

  • Low user adoption stemming from poor product perception.

  • Supporting the needs of an organization that was continuing to scale.

  • Tactical support in the caregiver environment.

  • Connecting disparate locations to the greater whole.

Roles

  • Principal User Experience Strategist

  • User Researcher

  • Information Architect 

  • Ix Design

  • Content Strategy

  • Information Design

  • Visual Design

  • assist on Product Mgmt & Business Analysis

“I really can’t think of any way in which Greg could have done better in his role. He was a great listener and excellent at formulating our business requirements, and he was also very good at helping us understand intranet design best practices and shaping our requirements into something better than we could have designed ourselves. He was easy to work with, and met all the deadlines we had for the project. He also was a good counterbalance to the technical considerations the Neudesic development team had, so the end result didn’t just serve technical requirements but insisted on good graphic design as well. He was also well-liked by the project team and SMEs at MemorialCare, which is important in our high-touch culture and speaks well to his great interpersonal skills.”

 

Christopher Barnum
Executive Director, Technology Services
MemorialCare

User Research: Personas

In identifying and mapping  the wide spectrum of personas that had a stake in this ecosystem, a highly focused yet fluid approach had to be taken considering the time constraints I had to work with. A vastly varied set of usage patterns and role-based requirements quickly became evident, and identifying commonalities that translated into audience segmentation became a primary goal that gave us a baseline for content strategy and information architecture. Early rounds of interviews and contextual inquiries also revealed that personalization based on individual, role, and location would be paramount to a taxonomy that made sense.

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User Research: Journey/Empathy Mapping

Over the course of 3 days, a series of journey mapping sessions involving  participants/roles tasked with working together to achieve a common goal proved invaluable in revealing crucial design opportunities, while also providing context  for common scenarios and workflows that would inform the facilitation of team communication, patient care, etc.  

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Definition: Product Backlog

In lieu of the absence of an experienced client/product owner, I was tasked with providing mentorship and best practices in devising a searchable, sortable product backlog. Epic stories were created and categorized according to the theme, persona, etc. 

Definition: Information Architecture

Through inclusive affinity diagraming workshops, the core pillars of a taxonomy took shape that would inform navigation, content strategy, and key project requirements that would take shape into user stories. 
Key to the success of our content strategy was devising a publishing platform that facilitated personalized, localized, and corporate content. An interactive site map that visually called out content sources through color provided a single source of truth that the team could begin ideation around, as well as drawing a line around project scope. As the project progressed, "Hotspots" embedded within this document linked to design concepts, giving the client an overall sense of progress. 

Design: Rapid Prototyping

The need to quickly validate design concepts that involved more complex interactions indicated that rapid prototyping (using Axure) was the most efficient strategy.  
Given that a core aspect of our content strategy and IA relied on user-configured filtering controls, validating proposed functionality through user testing allowed us "kick the tires" on our approach. 

Visual Design

As design concepts were approved in our prototyping and wireframe stage, concepts were brought into the next level of fidelity. Color played a key role in identifying a content's source, which supported quickly scanning a page for relevant information based on context and scenario. 
Approved visual designs spawned the inception of an extensive style guide that supported governance and support across the entire organization. 

Success Metrics

  • Targeted publishing model optimized process and gave publishers a significant chunk of time back. 

  • Overall user adoption increase of 56% org-wide.

  • Optimize the path to critical resources for caregivers in tactical scenarios.

  • Support best practices and incentivize innovation occurring on a local level, while sharing out and sometimes implementing those innovations within the entire ecosystem. 

“I can say with confidence that our experience working with Greg was both collaborative and comfortable. He took the time to meet with multiple clinicians at each of our entities. After one of the visits, a clinical manager said he was so kind and seemed genuinely interested in the type of work she does in helping sick children live a better quality of life. She told me that she was confident that their meeting was not a waste, and that he would be able to capture “the spirit of the organization in his design work.” 
 
It’s this type of compassion, integrity and work ethic that makes Greg a respected, natural leader. We work with multiple vendors and consultants each year, but Greg is definitely one that we will remember.”

Sarah Mitchell

Marketing and Communications Manager at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center
MemorialCare

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