Case Study — Ballard Spahr

Designing intranet efficiency.

We worked with national law firm Ballard Spahr to create an intuitive, visually appealing intranet that guides employees to the tools and resources they need to make their workday more efficient.
  • User Experience Design.
  • Responsive Web Design.

Information Architecture.

Instead of being built for usability, Ballard Spahr’s intranet was designed to be a utilitarian repository for company information, documents, and internal communications. A brief company survey told them that employees overwhelmingly were frustrated with the organization of the Intranet and the number of clicks needed to find what they were looking for. They realized they had a big usability issue.

We collaborated with Ballard to merge logical data structures with modern digital design patterns, creating a more user-focused intranet experience. We performed an in-depth assessment of all content contained on their Intranet to guide the creation of the most effective user experience with the least disruption to employee workflow.


User Experience Design.

How do you categorize and organize tens of thousands of documents buried 8+ levels deep? We combed through the Intranet’s thousand-plus pages, creating an in-depth overview of the current content organization and document inventory. We also reviewed survey results from over 100 randomly selected employees to better understand the needs of the users. With our bird’s eye view, we were able to visualize how the entire Intranet needed to flow in order to plan the optimal layouts, organization, and usability for employees to access the content they need.


Intranet Design + Functional Specifications

Our close content review helped us group information according to how employees use it and not by who creates or maintains it. We added the ability for users to “follow” documents for update notifications, revealed a “last updated” date and time stamp as part of every search result to provide more context, employed a “most popular” widget on key pages to highlight the resources that other users found most useful, and automatically changed the search bar to a contextual search when viewing different sections to allow users to perform more targeted searches if they do not immediately see what they are looking for.

To give the revamped Intranet a fresh, modern look, we expanded the color palette with some new highlight colors. The expanded palette allowed us to provide more distinction between major sections on a page. Enhanced data visualization of information like head counts, fee earners, client counts, etc. helped to provide at-a-glance breakdowns for busy partners.


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