When the pandemic lockdown began in March 2020, thousands of organizations found themselves moving to a fully remote model overnight. To ensure culture and communication could grow in this new environment, we custom designed and built an intranet solution for a global consulting firm to unite their now distributed workforce around a common set of tools and resources.
Reinventing an Existing Corporate Intranet
The firm approached Happy Cog to reinvent their existing corporate Intranet, which was hobbled by a dated and error-prone user experience, poor author experience, and bloated information architecture. While they had close to a dozen online tools and SaaS products for various needs, they were lacking a central unifying tool to serve as the hub for this information. The reimagined intranet was meant to serve this exact purpose. Rather than requiring all employees to remember various tool names and URLs and to share bookmarks, we were tasked with building a tool that would improve internal communications and expand internal awareness of the breadth and reach of what they could offer to staff.
Linking Vision to Core Product Functionality
With high aspirations for the future, the firm worked with Happy Cog to hone the visions of a variety of stakeholders into a strong and well-defined roadmap for the initial launch and beyond. They came to us with a broad list of ideas and possibilities, and we helped shape the product into a reasoned and well thought out series of features to be released iteratively over time. These conversations helped define the core functionality to support a strong release on day one, with an even stronger foundation for future enhancements.
One key design goal was not to duplicate information or functionality that existed elsewhere. The Intranet was not meant to replace any of the other business tools in use, it was meant to bring them together into a single resource. Rather than navigate to the HRIS software to find someone’s phone number for example, the intranet integrated with that tool and brought that data into the system in an easily searchable interface. It also pulled in data from several other systems to bring everything together in a single one-stop solution for the entire organization.
One key design goal was not to duplicate information or functionality that existed elsewhere.
Uniting a Variety of Tools & Resources Under One Roof
One home page for everything.
The core of the experience is uniting a variety of other tools and resources under one URL. The Intranet was set as the homepage for all people in the firm, and was set up as a custom tile in their Single Sign-On and Identity Provider, Okta. This helped build a culture of checking the Intranet for the answer to any question or need first, before looking elsewhere.
Happy Cog developed a custom integration with Okta to ensure site authentication followed existing identity infrastructure, and our client maintained full control over who is allowed in. Content within the Intranet can then be restricted by region, office, or division to ensure employees only see what’s relevant to them.
We also developed a custom sync flow with Namely (the firm’s HRIS) to ensure core employee profile information like name, job title, office location, and division is kept up-to-date with HR records. Employees can then supplement their own directory profile with additional data stored only in the Intranet, like a rich text bio, education history, the languages they speak, and their core expertise.
Additionally, a series of custom lightweight integrations were developed to help the Intranet be the gateway to valuable information from the other platforms the firm uses to get things done. From the Intranet, employees can quickly jump to other apps provisioned through Okta, check on their open help desk tickets from Freshservice, and view open job postings from Greenhouse.
A Cohesive and Excellent Author Experience
The updated hub was debuted at a company town hall following a recent major anniversary. Since launch, it has been very well received by both the initial stakeholders and their broader employee community. The content team has reported a broad sense of excitement about the tool and its potential in the future, and Happy Cog is thrilled with the foundation we developed to allow this tool to grow along with the firm’s organizational needs. We continue to monitor user behavior and analytics to constantly learn how the tool is used, which informs our roadmap and future release strategy.
The content team has also shared a variety of praise about their experience using Craft CMS to manage their content, especially as they were pulling content out of the previous Intranet’s CMS. No content manager had previous experience with Craft, but the intuitive UI coupled with consistent naming conventions and well-placed, concise, and instructional text make for an excellent author experience that has required very little training.