The old Intranet served our company well over the last 10 years. It was a gateway into employee benefits, company activity, news, etc. There were a number of issues with our old Intranet. From a technology perspective, it was running on an old version of ColdFusion. From a content perspective, there was no true structure followed so content was difficult to find.
In early 2010, a project was kicked off with a small core team, which I was not part of at the time, to redesign and rebrand the company Intranet. SharePoint 2010 was chosen as the new platform and the team began its journey. An outside firm was hired to help get the ball rolling by analyzing content, providing best practices, and some initial wireframes.
In late 2010, the project team started on the branding phase with the outside firm but they were having some challenges with turnaround time and visions/ideas not being understood. A co-worker on the core team knew I had the skillset to fill this gap and threw out the idea of bringing the branding in-house. Bringing it in would put it in the hands of a team who knew what they wanted and understood our company culture.
After being approached by my management to join the team I was soon underway working on bringing their vision and ideas to life. This was my first time doing a massive branding effort on any SharePoint platform so it was an exciting challenge for me.
After a number of iterations on the original design we finally came up with a design we all agreed upon. I sliced up the Photoshop mocks, created the master page and CSS to support the mock and presented a rough working proof of the design. Having a running site (vs. a Photoshop mock) highlighted some issues with our design, so after a few more tweaks and iterations we landed up with something that worked for all of us.
After months of hard work by the whole team, more than 1200+ pages migrated from ColdFusion and a new fresh look, we launched on July 15th to a well-received Intranet.
I was able to get some approved screenshots of the new Intranet to demonstrate the work we did and I’ll provide a little background, specifically on the branding, for each one. There was some custom developed web parts and solutions used throughout the Intranet also. I might write up future articles on the technical side of things in the future (or get my co-worker to co-author it).
Key features include:
- Featured article which automatically rotates every 10 seconds.
- Employee phonebook search
- Market Summary
Points of interest:
- Navigating to another section reveals a sub menu to allow users to drill into bigger content buckets
- Related links allows content owners to relate the content to other locations.
- We have about 10 different page layouts depending on the site you are on.
Manual Rollup Pages
These types of pages allow content owners to manually create a rollup of logical content.
Automatic Rollup Pages
These types of pages allow content owners to flag specific content they want to rollup into specific sections on this landing page.
Points of interest:
- I created about 60-70 icons (the yellow graphic you see below) from scratch that were used throughout the Intranet based on ideas I got from the core project team.
Company Bulletin Board
The old Intranet had a bulletin board but it was a very manual process. When I finished with the man branding components, I was also asked to build a new bulletin board system that semi-automated the process. Employees can now submit a new item, upload up to 3 images, and it gets routed to a team to approve them before it gets published.
Because we did not want to train every single employee on how the SharePoint 2010 content editing experience – we built a custom form that just asked the questions and a page layout was created on their behalf (see result in next screenshot).
Bulletin Board Item
Some random page layouts