Creating a compelling and collaborative experience
for colleagues by redesigning their digital workplace
Barclays Bank wanted to rethink the way their colleagues engage with each other, and to give them the tools they need to do their job effectively. A modern intranet would make it easier for colleagues to know who to contact in other parts of the business, to know what other teams are working on, and where to find up-to-date information.
I led the design of three key projects: Collaborate, Search and Role News for desktop and mobile experiences. This included running user research with the bank staff in different divisions, mapping user journeys, creating clickable high-fidelity wireframes, and pitching new design concepts to Barclays programme executives.
Barclays business divisions ran their own intranets disconnected from each other by different teams and on different platforms. The main focus points were to improve awareness of a single intranet platform and collaboration through teams, communities, flexible working and a smooth on-boarding process.
- Make colleagues aware of the existence of a functioning intranet and its uses and how it works for them
- Help colleagues find and access relevant up-to-date information across the business (such as onboarding, news or mortgage rates)
- Help colleagues across the bank view each other’s details, workgroups and work related content (considering access right privileges)
- Help colleagues communicate with each other, build teams and share information easily
The project was initiated with a stakeholder workshop where we learnt about the project scope and the anticipated user groups.
To match expectations, I described the research process and design activities, and mapped those to the delivery roadmap.
Information security vs. openness and collaboration
We engaged with a range of colleagues to gain an understanding and consensus on some of the key challenges they faced. We heard that due to the tight security mind-set, systems were designed in a way that made it difficult for colleagues to get access to each other’s work, or even know that teams who may be working on the same topics even existed.
We found that information managers in departments had authority over what was being shared and to whom. It was a manual process that blocked legitimate work progress and wasted colleagues’ time.
We identified the main reason colleagues use the intranet is to search for people or information. Some were not aware they were “on” the intranet while using Search, and were frustrated when search results were not accurate leading to abandonment of the entire intranet experience.
Unlike Google searchers, intranet searches were expected to display a single correct result, based on up-to-date information, business sector and tailored around me.
I created an Eco-map of Barclays’ business intranets and Search engines to identify the type of available information and technologies that are being used. This helped cluster information according to business units, topics and relevancy across the entire bank.
Through co-create workshops we mapped the current ways of working in journey maps for the different user groups. We then created clickable wireframes of the user journeys and tested them with different user groups. Based on colleagues input we updated the wireframes and made changes to the designs.
For collaboration tools, we created Teams where colleagues can be invited or request join and start workgroups with access controls, allowing everyone to see which teams exist, and the topics they are working on.
We also created Communities, where colleagues posted non-work related topics such as hobbies and interest groups, something that already existed but was done by word-of-mouth rather than in an organised way.
Tailored News is where all important updates relating to colleagues line of work are displayed in one actionable and monitored feed.
A functioning intranet service was something that colleagues relied on to do their work and was received successfully leading to 70% increase in use over previous years.
Our project won 1st place in the Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g) awards 2020 Best Intranet category, and the Institute for Internal Communication #IoICAwards19 awards 2019. Thanks to a great team effort and for Barclays own team’s support.