Structuring Intranet Discovery & Design Research

Summary: Commonwealth Care Alliance began its intranet redesign with discovery research that continued into detailed design and development. Involving employees early generated excitement and contributed to the new intranet’s success.

Commonwealth Care Alliance (CCA) is a nonprofit healthcare organization. Its recently redesigned intranet, CommonGround , is available any time and from any device to its 1,400 employees who provide patient care.

Discovery Research Before the Intranet’s Redesign

Deciding where to start with an intranet redesign can be daunting. The team at Commonwealth Care Alliance knew that discovery research was needed to understand the problems employees faced and address them in the new intranet. The team used a combination of methods to collect employee feedback, observe behaviors, and review quantitative data.

The team divided its intranet discovery research into several steps and used multiple methods to understand needs from different perspectives. This approach increased confidence in design and prioritization decisions. For intranet projects under constrained timelines, even using only 2-3 methods is far better than conducting no discovery research at all. These were the research methods used by the CCA team:

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