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Assembly Portal

An intranet for Members in the Parliament.

It allows them to get internal information and services.

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Overview

This is an ongoing house project. 

I'm helping the Assembly modernize its intranet for Members of Provincial Parliament. The Assembly Portal aims to provide Members with essential information and services about their work and life.

Role

I was responsible for user research and wireframing.

Duration

June 2020 - ongoing

Tools

Figma, Optimal Workshop, UserTesting.com, Fable

Team

Casey Wu (me)

Nicky Borland

Katie Kavanagh

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Problem

The Assembly wants to modernize its intranet for Members and make it easier to find information.

Solution

The Assembly Portal gathers all the information and services that Members of the Provincial Parliament need and make them accessible to them.

 
 
 

Research

The Assembly Portal serves a very specific user group - Members in the Provincial Parliament (MPPs) and their staff. It's important to conduct a thorough research about their needs and expectations.

At the same time, it's also essential to understand the stakeholders and content providers of the Assembly Portal. The content and services they provide define the limitations of the design.

Google Analytics: I started the research with the Google Analytics data of the original website. From the data, we can see a lot of patterns and user habits.
Stakeholder interviews: I conducted 7 interviews with the head of different departments in the Assembly, including the research department, finance department, PR department, administration department, procedural department, and more. 
Online survey: The research about Members and their staff began with an online survey. We collected 89 valid responses. Among all the participants, there are 24 Members, 61 MPP staff, 1 Assembly staff, and 3 Executive Assistants.
Card sort: I used card sorting to optimize the information architecture, especially the global navigation. I received 24 valid responses from Member staff and the general public.
Interviews: I conducted 8 interviews with Members and staff. The interviews include questions about their daily work, responsibilities, digital habits, experience using the old Members’ Portal, and expectations. 

This is what we found out:

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48.46%

of the users are Member staff.

Assembly staff directory

is the most needed content. And users like the name "directory."

The majority of users visit the old intranet

Weekly.

Sharing information

is essential for users.

Users expect to find what they need within

3 clicks.

"I'm too busy to scroll through a website. I prefer to call someone."

Personas

The Assembly Portal serves different users with different needs. I created three personas to represent all the main user groups.

 
 

Ideation

I went through a one-person ideation session and identified following features.

Staff directory

Contacting Assembly staff is an essential part of users’ work and the main way for them to get information. A directory should be the most important feature on the new Members’ Portal. While referring to a section of contact information, 8/8 users used the word "directory."

Quick links

Users expect to find most information they want on the home page. They don’t have time to go through the menu most of the time.

Customization

Users will see customized HR information, and the quick access links will be different based on different user habits

Sharing content

One of the main obstacles that keep users away from the old intranet is the limitation of sharing content. The portal is a highly informative platform, and sharing content will be an important part of it.

Wireframe

Based on the key features, I created mid-fidelity wireframes.

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Header

The header contains featured updates and a directory. Users can search for contact information directly from the home page.

My work place

Users can find the most visited pages and most downloaded forms here. The data will be driven by individual users' habits.

Welcome video

Many new Members feel lost on their first day. The video is to introduce the Assembly in a quick way and lead them to more orientation package. The video will show up on the top of the page when a user logs in for the first time, then it will move to the bottom of the page.

 

User testing

We recruited 9 potential users and tested the initial wireframe with them.

These are what we found out:

Assembly events

Users check the events daily, including House meetings, Committee meetings, and other events happening in the Assembly. This feature needs a higher priority on the home page.

Extra content needed

Two services are essential to Members' work: Legislative Counsel Service and Library Research Service. And, users want to read Ontario news collected and selected by the Assembly.

 

Iteration

We implemented some changes to the wireframe based on the feedback we gathered.

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Directory on the top left

Users usually browse a webpage in L shape. The most important information should be put on the top left.

Prioritize events

Events are proven to be quite important. I moved it to the upper part of the page to draw more attention.

New sections

Legislative Counsel Service and Library Research Service are made available to users. And a news section is added.

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Directory page

The card design shows contacts in a clean and organized way. It also allows us to present information horizontally to save space.‍

Users can search contacts and save favorite contacts.

Users can also check contacts' office locations and view them on a map.

Try it by yourself!

 

Next step

In the next step, I will do another round of user testing, and our UI designer will work on the visual design to match with the Assembly's branding and visual standards. The website will be built on SharePoint.

 

Final Thoughts

  • To improve the process, we can include more people in the ideation session. The perspectives from UI designers, content editors and business analysts could all be valuable.

  • Considering the limitation of the platform we are using, it would be beneficial to include the developers in the conversations earlier.