Last week, I was able to sit down with Intranet Connections’ Young He and chat about her experience at REACH 2023, a conference hosted by the Nevada and California credit union league in Las Vegas, to help in research in the development of Intranet 3.0.
Young went into REACH with two main goals
The first goal was to discover more about the personas that they were designing for.
- What did they care about?
- What was the nature of their industry?
- With ample opportunities for networking, socializing, and connecting with users, REACH was the perfect place for on-the-ground research.
The second goal was to demonstrate her ongoing project, Intranet 3.0, a new and improved product that would eventually phase out IC’s legacy application.
- Was it intuitive enough that people would be able to use it without any coaching?
- Could they complete simple tasks?
- What worked, and what could be improved in the next iteration?
“I tend to think about us as a product or UX designer when designing some products; we do not really know who our users are. We’re using our assumptions a lot. We assume they would like this; we assume their flow would be like this,” said Young He.
When it came to user flow, the biggest takeaway was the need for more visible indicators. On the mobile version of Intranet 3.0, the search function was not visible to the user – a problem Young is already working on fixing. Secondly, when a user went to look at an employee’s profile, the clicks she collected told her that they would often click on the employee’s profile picture rather than the name, signalling to her the need to offer more points of entry.
One user, in particular, brought up the dilemma of folders. In IC’s current intranet, we have built-in folders that categorize different information – Halloween 2023, Halloween 2022, and so forth. However, taking inspiration from Facebook or Instagram, the concept of folders doesn’t really exist. Content comes at us all at once. While micro-categorization makes sense in theory, the question becomes: Is it necessary with how we are used to consuming media today?
“[At IC] we are always using Legacy, so we have a lot of things we value in Legacy, but in the future, whether in the market or otherwise, it’s important for us to put a question mark on it and then do more research,” Young He emphasized.
More intangible was the desire for connection. Credit Unions were built on the foundation of giving back to their communities, doing right by their members, and taking care of their employees. With a history so interwoven with care for each other, it was no wonder how creating connections was a top priority for Credit Unions when looking for an intranet solution.
From empowering colleagues to give Kudos to each other, ensuring no loss of documentation during off-boarding, and giving admins the flexibility to create groups for certain communities – from parents to runners, lunch buddies, and beyond – connection is ever present in Intranet 3.0.
For Young, UI/UX design is about solutions and fixing pain points. By presenting a minimal design that efficiently gives people ways to find what they need, she feels like she is able to virtually connect with the user.
“That’s also the 1st reason I wanted to get into this field at the very beginning. It’s always about bringing solutions to people,” said Young He.
IC wants to have you shape Intranet 3.0
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