After 10+ years of using an outdated, unresponsive Intranet, Lambton College went live with a new Intranet design and Content Management System (CMS).
The Lambton College’s Intranet is a place for Faculty, Staff and Students to: access general information regarding departments within the school, view class schedules, add timesheet entries, create data audits and more. Having to redesign the whole Intranet, our team knew we wanted to make everyone’s experience personalized to their job or student status.
The previous Intranet had many flaws and was missing key features such as visual hierarchy. This was a major flaw in a user’s experience and would constantly lead a user to question “where do I go from here?”, and “how do I find _____ information?”. Many users relied on a quick links list that over time, they memorized, however for a new user, it was time consuming to figure out.
Before our team started to dive deep into the content strategy, design and development, we had conversations with a few employees to figure out current pain points of the intranet.
Many users (%), especially students, would access their myLambton account by phone, yet, it was never designed for mobile in mind.
The next major pain point was the overall homepage. No matter what type of account holder you were — student, faculty, staff or administration – the homepage had the same design and content. This was a major pain point because each user group had a different set of responsibilities or requirements yet the homepage didn’t reflect their needs.
Many users had free-range on the website, that meant when it came to their service or department, they controlled colours and imagery since they had back-end access. Because of this, Lambton College’s branding guidelines we’re being mistreated and ignored. Content would even be outdated and overloaded with language styles not being followed.
Our team (one designer, developer and project coordinator) came together to propose multiple homepages for all the different users in mind. First, we broke out our solution in two categories, Students and Employees. From there, we broke down the instances even further. Students, for example, we broke into four different categories: on-boarding domestic vs international students, applicants and current students. For employees, it was categorized as administrators, support staff and faculty.
We made sure that quick links are controlled (4 only) and are able to be customized to the users liking. The user is able to change each link and also select an icon that pairs with their link best. Administrators and support staff had similar homepages. Faculty however, we’re able to view their schedule in a clear list view with the option of grid. Of course, there are employees that are both (SS and faculty), in that case, the users were able to select what view they preferred in their settings.
Applicants now land on a homepage that is best suited for their needs – listing their next steps on how to become a Lambton Lion (confirming offer, pay tuition, set up residence, etc.), as well as helpful information about their admission status and entrance scholarships they can apply to. On-boarding students (international vs domestic) are provided with helpful checklists, summaries of free services students receive and more. Finally, full-time and part-time students are given a homepage that has a response timetable – list and grid view, quick links, online courses, student events and their tuition balance summary.
A style guide for myLambton was created. Design elements were made to help services and department landing pages have more flair where they wanted to. Pages that didn’t need a submenu were turned into one page design that helped prioritized information without overloading the user with insignificant content.