Case Studies

WaveCentral SharePoint Intranet UX

About the Client: NewWave is a globally-recognized, federally-certified provider of innovative business solutions for government and industry.

Users/Audience: NewWave Employees and some contracted staff members. Users are all employed in NewWAve corporate departments or contract programs, and were already existing users of NewWave’s Microsoft SharePoint sites as at the very least, a secure, internal document repository.

Project Details: In Summer 2019, the Workplace Experience and Human Resources teams began to assess employee feedback that indicated problems and inconsistencies with corporate communication, lack of context for new employees with regard to where to find corporate resources and information about work outside of their program, lack of engagement with staff and our social media channels, etc. This problem caused them to reach out to Creative Services, Microsoft Services and Infrastructure teams to form a workgroup that would reimagine the internal user experience for staff. Because NW is a Microsoft partner, it was required that we continue, but modernize, the SharePoint usage across the organization.

My Contribution: My role was to lead the workgroup through user research and interviewing to discover how each team was using their SharePoint sites, and to learn more about what info and resources staff felt they needed to be able to access quickly in a one-stop intranet hub. I guided brainstorming and planning sessions around how to connect the dots between disparate groups, their needs and the patterns/uses they wanted to stay the same. I mapped out a modernized restructuring that would provide a landing page that featured all of the immediate announcements, news and a stream of our social media content for quick viewing each day, news posts that can be created organically within each group and published to all staff, a corporate calendar with a color coded system, auto-population of work anniversaries and new hires, navigation to resources for each team’s SharePoint site, a new landing page layer on their sites that has quick resources that visitors would be looking for, quick access into their internal, protected site documents, and global UI navigation with QuickLinks leading to the top corporate resource links. I set the direction for the UI styling, and visual design elements on some of the pages, and then worked with my team to finish it out the rest. 

Each department or program has it’s own SharePoint site landing page in WaveCentral, in which there is a News widget that puts the power in the hands of those teams to manage and publish noteworthy news to all staff on the What’s Happening page. I designed a few, and directed team members in some of the designs as well, keeping an overarching view on the whole set. These news header designs are intentionally different in design, in order to capture the personality of the teams represented, and to create variation in the announcement listing thumbnails shown on that main page.

In Fall 2019, Human Resources revealed that they had separately been working on developing a ServiceNow help desk for staff to be able to put in tickets for IT, HR and Workplace teams. This uncovered some duplication of capabilities between the Help Center and WaveCentral, so I helped the group assess any cross-over, make decisions about which platform should host those features, built in a Help Center link in the WaveCentral navigation, and designed UI and visual elements for the Help Center that would be modeled after the WaveCentral employee hub, to create a seamless transition between platforms without alarming users. 

We built and disseminated staff training and communications together, presenting it together as a joint solution. Internal social media posts were published in phases to remind staff about features now available, and analytics were set up for reporting metrics.

Outcomes: The WaveCentral Employee Portal and Help Center successfully launched in Spring 2019, post pandemic-sending-everyone-to work-from-home. The new remote-centric work structure spurred us to consider the platform to be even more imperative due to the loss of personal interactions with team members and relaxed, connected chats at work. The digital transformation of NewWave’s internal communication was furthered by this initiative and general employee feedback was positive in our followup discussions – they can now trust that all announcements and access to key resources are in one, connected and modernized place.

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