Intranet Redesign

UX Internship @ Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Summer 2018

Jenni Ross (UX team Lead)
Ryan Formanek (Sr UX Designer)

My Contribution
Design research, Concept development, Usability Report, Interface Design, Interactive prototype

May 2018 - Aug 2018

project background


Wellmark UX team received complaints from employees that they struggled to find information on the Technology Division's intranet (Tech Intranet). Although Wellmark is under cloud migration and the intranet will be transferred into a new platform by the 2020, the demand of redesigning this intranet to increase its productivity and efficiency cannot be underestimated.


  1. Design without knowing the actual content

  2. Create a workflow that matches users mental model when browsing for info

  3. Design an MVP that gets all stakeholders to buy in


Expert Interview
Conducted interviews with  UX team lead and engineers to get a deep understanding about the current intranet workflow and the design  purpose of the  technology intranet.

  • The primary purpose of the Technology Intranet is to serve Technology Division, while the secondary purpose is to inform the updates to all Wellmark employees
  • It is a website that was built 5+ years ago and contains tons of archive files

Heuristics Evaluation & Trunk Test
Conducted heuristics evaluation and trunk test to define the existing usability issues.

  • Contains lots of broken links
  • Lack of global and local navigation
  • Inconsistent UI style

User Interview

Conducted interviews with both the primary users (employees who work at Wellmark technology division) and the secondary users (employees who work at other divisions) to learn their desire and needs towards the technology intranet. Then I used affinity mapping to sort through their feedback.

Based on the interview feedback, I created personas targeting both the primary users who work at Wellmark technology division, and the secondary users who work at other divisions.


From research, I defined the main problem that lack of an intuitive navigation and clear information structure make employees struggle to find the information on the current intranet. Therefore...


No intuitive navigation

No clear information architecture

How Might We

Provide global and local navigation

Make the valuable content visible and prominent

Restructure the information architecture to match users' mental model


Meanwhile, to minimize the cognitive load for current users, the design solution should maintain the look and feel of the current website.


A part of my initial exploration of the intranet homepage layout.


Use cards layout to provide more flexibility
The content on the intranet requires efforts from teams, which was postponed by various reason. In order to give content writer the flexibility to modify the content if needed, we opted to apply cards layout. By grouping the relevant content, cards layout is easy to scan and easy to maintain.

Add more pages to bridge the flow gap
From interview, one biggest insight I learned was users would love to search for projects and files by looking for the corresponding teams. Therefore, in the new design, users could access individual team page through either the homepage or the global navigation.

Use data to get all stakeholders to buy in
Since this project involved various stakeholders including the senior executives, presenting the updates to get them buy in became one of the most frequent responsibilities. To make the design convincing, I worked closely with users, content writers and engineers. Besides the initial user studies, I also conducted usability testing with an interactive prototype and generated a thorough user testing report, which provided me some real numbers to convince stakeholders to buy in.

Presenting updates to senior executives

User testing with coworker

User testing with coworker

final deliverables


Read full story on Medium


The Value of Shadowing Meetings
Shadowing meetings helped me pick things up quickly as well as gave me confidence about what I was doing. Shadowing my teammate’s meeting, I learned how to use data to articulate design in a professional way and when to make a compromise in order to move the process forward. Shadowing demo meetings, I learned how to use storytelling to convince buyers and when to use mockups to demonstrate the product’s strength.


Always Giving Context to Your Audiences
Giving context to audiences before presenting is vital. It helps audiences recall the project and stay on the same page. It also offers audiences respite from their routine so that they can focus more on the presentation.


Never Hesitate Getting Started
I learned that hesitating to get started is waste of time, and there are lots of ways to get inspired, gain motivation, and move the process forward. If one method doesn’t work, it’s ok to change it.


Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
The most valuable thing I learned from IU HCI/d is to always be humble and never be shy about asking questions or seeking help. Working on a design team filled with talented people who have different skill sets gave me many opportunities to ask for critique, feedback, and observe how experts work. For me, that is perfect practice.