NEIT INTRANET REDESIGN
Creating a modern, responsive intranet for New England Institute of Technology.
User Experience · User Interface
Perspective of a User
Being a design student attending New England Institute of Technology, one thing I used daily was the schools intranet to navigate important information that I needed. One thing I noticed while using it daily was that it was in desperate need of an update. The website lost its cohesion, the design was dated, and it was not responsive at all. It seems to be an unfortunate trend for intranets of larger organizations to stagnate, either through the lack of resources or fear of making things "unknown" therefore ignoring much needed updates. The idea for this redesign is to modernize the current system while still keeping the information as recognizable and accessable as possible.
The Current Design
The current website design looks like it has had things haphazardly added over time without them ever going back and tidying up. At a quick glance, the iconography has absolutely no cohesion and the actual content of the page is very squished center. The actual content taking up half of the page was done on purpose, as the website viewed on mobile is the exact same, just smaller.
The initial login page is something that I felt could use an update as well. It is the first thing that one sees every time they visit and should be updated with the rest.
Continuing to use the colleges color scheme, I did away with the over used, unnecessary gradients that appear throughout the intranet. I created a center of balance that, instead of everything being lumped into the same block, has been chunked into separate entities based on information.
With the actual intranet redesign, I kept the important links found on the sidebar of the old still highly visible at the top of the page. This is to avoid students from getting "lost" with the redesign. Something I felt was necessary was to create iconography that felt like it belonged together. The experience feels more complete and less thrown together. The original bar of links located at the top of the old intranet, as well as some of the large icon links, have been condensed down into series of dropdown menus located on the left side of the website. These links contained important information but did not need to require as much real estate as they did. Announcements continue to be a big part of the homepage as they contain important information. Student activities is no longer a link on the homepage but instead an entire section to make students more aware of fun activities that the college is hosting in hopes of creating higher turnouts.
Menus, buttons, and other clickable objects are interactive and contain hover states or interactions when clicked to signify where a student is looking.
The structure of the main intranet changes slightly to accommodate the smaller screen while keeping the integrity of the redesign. I chose to take the top bar with important links and turn them into individual buttons, spaced to avoid mispresses.
Hamburger menu open & Search bar open
Full Page Example
I wanted to gain some user reception from both the current design students as well as some non-design students to get various perspectives of the redesign. The overall reception from both design and non-design students was that the redesign was easier to digest, more coherent, and is a much more pleasant experience to navigate.
Being an alumni from New England Institute of Technology, the "TechNet" intranet was something that I worked with daily and was something that I very much thought needed an update. The overall redesign is much more sleek, more structured, and leaves a better first impression to entering students. Intranets are an important part of a complete user experience that for some reason seems to get overlooked by some organizations.