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How Ogletree Deakins improved the Sharepoint Intranet experience for legal efficiency

The Story

Ogletree Deakins is a law firm representing employers from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Ogletree Deakins needed a more streamlined SharePoint Intranet. To create a lawyer-friendly user experience, Ogletree Deakins approached Experience Dynamics. The goal was to seamlessly integrate SharePoint features, maximizing ease of use, productivity, and efficiency. The law firm wanted to reshape the Intranet experience, creating a pleasurable and consistent user experience.

The Challenge​

Lawyers would not touch the current Intranet due to template and navigation inconsistency and messy page layouts. The challenge encompasses integrating tools like DataViz and exploring the opportunities and limits of SharePoint. A powerful user experience strategy would be needed to optimize workflows, collaboration, and content management to transform the Sharepoint-based Intranet into an engagement hub.

One key challenge with Sharepoint portals is the limited non-user-friendly interface provided as default.  Companies are left to heavily customize or create fresh UX/UI to make navigation and content organization human-centered.

The Strategy

It was imperative to get buy-in and evidence we had achieved the goals of ease of use, productivity, and efficiency for the diverse user groups: attorneys, paralegals, and research support teams. To do this, we employed:

  • Usability Testing and prototype refinement: The concept designs were subjected to online usability testing with actual users. Feedback from this testing refined the prototype, ensuring it aligned with user expectations and needs.
  • Visual Design Guidelines: Experience Dynamics developed visual designs and Sharepoint guidelines that capture the desired UX/UI patterns and ensure consistency. These guidelines provide a blueprint for the visual identity of the ODConnect Intranet.

The Turning Point​

Through this collaborative approach, Experience Dynamics was able to transform the ODConnect Intranet strategically. This included:

  • Enhanced User Experience: The redesigned Intranet offered users a more intuitive, engaging, and efficient experience. The redesign of key SharePoint features aligned with user needs, enhancing productivity.
  • Optimized Workflows: By addressing workflow, collaboration, and content management, the redesigned Intranet streamlined processes and enhances team collaboration.
  • Usability-Driven Design: Usability testing and user feedback played a central role in refining the prototype, resulting in a design that resonated with user expectations and fostered engagement.

The Execution

Experience Dynamics adopted a Human-Centered Design approach to guide the redesign effort:

  • Understanding User Context: User needs and preferences are understood through interviews and careful analysis. This included aspects such as people search, integration, mobile optimization, and content management.
  • Collaborative Design Sessions: A joint effort between Experience Dynamics and Ogletree’s team led to UI prototypes for the new ODConnect user experience. Insights from user research played a pivotal role in shaping the design direction.

The Evidence

The final Visual Design phase followed careful Interaction Design (collaborative wireframe prototyping) and user testing sessions.

See What is Interaction Design? 

Experience Dynamics Visual Design included clean, beautiful screen layouts and custom icons as well as a Style Guide for developers to reference.

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The Result

The partnership between Experience Dynamics and Ogletree Deakins demonstrated the power of applying human-centered design to enhance Sharepoint UX. This case study highlights the potential of well-planned Intranet redesigns to foster engagement, efficiency, and usability. Focusing on real user insights ensured that the resulting portal resonated with stakeholder end-users. Critically, after the redesign, attorneys were happy to use the portal themselves without requiring staff as a go-between. This was an incredible productivity gain for the firm…and a big win for the Knowledge Management team.

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