Two government intranets

I led two intranet redesigns over 18 months within the same large, public-sector organization.

After the first project, the client adopted the approach I’d developed as an internal best practice.


Web business analyst.


To develop new information architectures for two government intranets, and in one case a new look and feel.


Information architecture; focus-group processes; structured elicitation; web design and prototyping; stakeholder engagement.


I started both projects with an environmental scan, attempting to capture the sponsor’ vision and locating project resources.

In the second stage I assembled the focus groups (working with the client lead) and devised engagement strategies. The focus group for the first project was scattered across British Columbia; so I needed a strategy that didn't require face-to-face contact. It proved surprisingly easy to run focus-group sessions via conference call. Structured elicitation was a challenge, since at that time we couldn’t do card-sorting over the phone. I developed a wayfinding approach in which subjects narrated their click-paths through an imaginary web space.

For both projects, the next step was developing a preliminary set of solutions, verifying them with users and other stakeholders, and checking them against standards and best practices. Because the look and feel was constrained by client standards, I went for high-fidelity prototypes (which can be a mistake in other circumstances), mocking up sites in Dreamweaver and Photoshop/Adobe Acrobat. The final deliverables were a detailed design and guidelines for maintenance. During implementation I acted as a consultant.