Building a User-Focused Employee Intranet
Client: Levin Papantonio Law Firm
Levin Papantonio (LP) is a law firm based in Pensacola, Florida, with over 150 employees. The firm relies on an intranet system for employee training and internal communication. I was brought on board to redesign and reorganize the firm's exisiting intranet.
Establish the LP intranet as an essential training and communications asset, through the development of a customized content management system and an updated visual design.
LP's existing intranet system was using an outdated version of Drupal, and featured a difficult-to-navigate and unbranded visual layout. The site wasn't responsive, which was important for attorneys, who sometimes needed to access the intranet remotely via iPad. Several employees needed to be able to zoom in using browser controls, but found that zooming in would cause the site's layout to break.
The intranet also featured an employee directory, which was useful for quickly looking up fellow employee's phone extensions and email addresses. The Information Services (IS) team at LP wanted to improve the usability of this and other features, including the events calendar, conference room scheduling, and employee training documents.
I was hired as an independent contractor to evaluate, design, and rebuild the LP intranet. I worked with LP's IS director, and one member of the IS team who acted as a project manager (PM). The PM helped me to investigate the various issues and challenges that employees were having with the existing intranet.
I also coordinated with various departments, including HR and Marketing, to learn more about how different employees use the intranet, and to gain insight on visual design preferences and branding guidelines.
User Experience Design - Goal: improve the overall intranet experience and ensure the site is easy to navigate for the following user types:
- Administrators: Streamline the content management and event scheduling processes
- All employees: Simplify navigation to help employees quickly locate essential resources
- New Hires: Facilitate training by expanding the existing LP University
User Interface Design:
- Develop a responsive interface with a cohesive and appealing visual design
- Ensure that design integrity is maintained at all screen sizes, even with the use of the "zoom" feature on desktop browsers.
Front End Development:
- Convert existing content management system to WordPress
- Develop custom theme functionality and layout structure
- Integrate third-party plugins as appropriate
- Test all features, views, and interactions, and facilitate site installation
After researching a variety of paid WordPress themes, the LP team and I agreed that building a custom WordPress theme would be the best development choice for this project, based on the wireframes that had been approved.
I designed the responsive UI and built the theme, including a custom-built plugin to support the employee directory. For the conference room schedule and events calendar, I used the Time.ly All-in-One Event Calendar.