Moray & Agnew Intranet
Moray & Agnew is an insurance legal firm with over 500 staff. They use their intranet to access over 2500 precedent documents and gain information on internal policies and procedures. They had been using a 10 year old content management system for their intranet and it needed to be migrated to Sharepoint 2013.
Staff at Moray & Agnew found it hard to find important information on the current intranet, as the navigation was complex and a lot of information was outdated. Categorising 2500 precedents was also limited to a folder structure as they were using a 10 year old content management system.
Migrate the current intranet to SharePoint 2013 while revising content, the information architecture, navigation and taxonomy of the 2500 precedent documents.
I was in charge of planning, migrating and developing the new intranet using SharePoint 2013.
I used the following methods to gather insights as to why it was hard to find content on the intranet, and what content was most important to be communicated to the firm.
I created one survey that was sent out to all 500 staff. 60 staff responded. In the survey I used a combination of open and closed ended questions. Most importantly I asked what information was most important to find, what was most difficult to find and easiest to find.
Why I chose this method
I chose this method of research as it was a quick way to gain quantitative data on users pain points and gains with the current intranet as I could easily send it out to all staff in the firm. It was also valuable in influencing the site hierarchy, navigation and information architecture of the new intranet as it gave me insights from staff at all levels in the firm as to what was most important for them to find and what should be most prominent in the site navigation.
I held meetings and workshops with all key stakeholders of the new intranet. This included managers from Accounts, People and Development and Marketing. I also spoke to subject matter experts from the precedent team and information technology. During these meetings I gathered information as to what was the most important information to be communicated to the firm, and what challenges they were facing in doing this.
Why I chose this method
I chose this method of research to gain knowledge on what was important to the firm and each department, what were the corporate style guides and colours, and what challenges were being faced in managing content with the current intranet. It was also advantages and time efficient to gain knowledge from these stakeholders and subject matter experts as I was working in close proximity to them.
From the above research I began to see trends and gained the following insights.
Information accessed most often on the current Intranet
Information hardest to find on the current Intranet
Features desired on the new intranet
- Search by user initials
- Click and call
- Thumbnail photos
- Have more information on each staff member, for example who they work for, their secretary
Home Page and firm announcements
- Removal of old news items and social events
- Calender of events
- One page view – minimal scrolling
- Quick link to your local office Floor plan and key contacts
Procedures and Forms
- Up to date policies and procedures
- Easier to find / more prominent location on the intranet
- Ability to place precedent document in multiple locations
- All rates for every client
- Full text searching of documents, procedures and forms.
Based on time constraints, technological constraints, user needs and the firms needs I developed a Must have, should have, could have and won’t have needs analysis.
|Features||User Needs||Firms Needs|
|Must Have||Staff directory: search by name, user initials and extension, secretary|
|Calendar of Events|
|Local office floor plans and key contacts|
|Up to date procedures and forms|
|Ability to categorise & find precedents|
|Should Have||Staff directory thumbnail photos|
|Minimal scroll on the home page|
|Full text searching on documents|
|Client information and rates|
|Could Have||Social Page|
|Won’t Have||Staff directory click and call|
The information architecture was a crucial component to the intranet as it was content rich. based on the research insights above and client feedback the following site structure and navigation was developed.
The navigation was split into 2 different navigation menus.
The top navigation: was used for users to view their staff details and favourite documents.
The global navigation: was split into two main categories based on user roles.
- Shared services: non legal staff and the services they provide.
- Legal: was broken up into legal practice groups and tools and resources specifically needed by lawyers.
As accessing precedents (document templates) was the most used information on the intranet a separate taxonomy was created for the 2500 precedents at Moray & Agnew. SharePoint 2013 allowed me to create a term set for precedents. The precedents team were able to tag precedent documents with multiple terms. As some precedents were not in mutually exclusive categories this allowed the same document to be located under multiple categories / terms.
First Release and Iterations
The new intranet was released after 6 months of research and development. The intranet was released with the old intranet still accessible at the same time. A feedback form was available on the new intranet home page.
Further iterations on the intranet were made during my time at Moray and Agnew based on direct verbal feedback, emails and feedback forms. I also used SharePoint’s analytics to see what users were still clicking on the link to the old intranet. I contacted these users to see why they were still going to the old intranet.
the following are screens of the final intranet as it was before I left with annotations of changes that were made since the first release
- It would have been beneficial to create a low fidelity prototype and perform usability testing before the first release of the intranet. This would have saved a lot of time and effort developing.
- A card sort for the site navigation and precedent taxonomy would have been a highly useful tool to get more insight on how lawyers would categorise documents rather than the precedent team.