Helping a company of 300,000 feel like a team of 300.
In order to unify its global workforce, HP enlisted Big Spaceship to design a centralized internal communications platform. We knew that it would have to provide real utility that HP’s employees could use and adopt. But with more than 70 disparate tools already in use, the last thing the organization needed was another divergent platform.
Build a lightweight social layer on top of HP’s existing infrastructure for the workforce to gather, collaborate, and innovate – and then use it as a way for the company to channel its larger vision.
Understanding the needs and behaviors of HP’s workforce was the starting point. We talked to employees from around the world, at every level of the organization and across a range of roles and functions. We developed an intimate knowledge of the people we spoke to – often mentioning HP employees by name as we built features to address their unique business challenges.
We don’t believe user personas are just a deliverable – they’re a guiding principle. In this case, they helped us uncover a universal need to find and connect with subject matter experts across the organization. With that in mind, we designed OneHP to surface expertise and enable collaboration and problem-solving on a global scale.
Organizational change by design
When social tools are deployed within large organizations, the potential for efficiencies is enormous – reducing travel costs, streamlining communications, connecting disparate teams. But too often, companies simply obtain and deploy disconnected out-of-the-box solutions.
We set out to create a bespoke, scalable tool built specifically for the workforce of HP, using existing systems and designed with an eye to grow with the evolving needs of the company. Of course, it’s a social platform, so we built in ways for the users to shape the experience around their personal needs and interests.
Designing interactions, not pages
OneHP is a product built to grow over time, so we didn’t start by laying out individual pages. Instead, we designed a functional interaction system with every UI element we’d need to construct new features as they emerged.
To avoid the bottleneck of a standard waterfall UX process, we quickly defined the core feature set and moved right into a working prototype that could adapt as new insights emerged. Supported by an established CSS framework, this allowed our team to experiment faster and more cohesively than with static wireframes and pages.
Taking an iterative approach
We embraced an iterative approach from the outset of the project, keeping all deliverables in a living state in order to quickly roll changes into downstream artifacts. This kept our workflow as incremental as possible, letting us constantly refine our work as a team – which included our client.
As we moved the product into Beta at HP, we continued to enhance it in line with learnings from our users. The resulting product reinforced how effective the iterative experience design approach can be.
Designing for future needs
The way we use technology is increasingly mobile-centric, and the needs of HP’s workforce are no different. With that in mind, we built OneHP with an eye toward the company’s evolving device landscape. We produced a cohesive, responsive design with a unified interaction system, placing the product ahead of the workforce so they can grow into it over time.