Nationwide building society

Digital Transformation

MARCH 2014 - JANUARY 2015


Nationwide Building Society was in the middle of a Digital Transformation when I started working with them. Their company Intranet was out of date, causing problems for their knowledge sharing, which, in turn affected how well they could look service their customers and staff. There was a lack of content governance and a complex stakeholder landscape, with commercial and regulatory constraints around change and governance.

Whilst working at Reading Room, I was the sole UX Consultant on the project, taking over from an existing UX Consultant that had carried out initial requirements gathering, diary studies and workshops.


My first goal was to analyse the existing research that had been carried out to identify pain points in the current Intranet usage and translate the user needs into user stories and goals, which I could then use to segment staff using personas.


Information Architecture

The next task was to define a draft IA based on user goals and not the structure of the business, as the existing IA had done. We carried out Open card sorting to reach a first draft and then followed up with a round of iteration using closed card sorting. Once the IA had been ironed out I carried out user testing to validate this and made changes to the poorly performing sections.


UX Design

Once I had defined the IA, I started sketching out and designing a first set of wireframes based on the user stories defined during my research. To do this, I used a combination of paper- based sketching, moving onto Balsamiq mockups and Axure to make the wireframes clickable. It was at this stage that the client brought in a third-party software supplier to carry out the development of the Intranet, as it was to be in SharePoint 2013. 

Through a combination of user testing, client feedback and developer/Ui designer feedback, I iterated the wireframes multiple times until the client was satisfied and we had a design that worked for the users.

Caveat. some of the design happened in a waterfall process, and some design was happening throughout the development using SCRUM methodology. 

User Testing

Throughout the project I carried out an abundance of user testing on the intranet design, both on the wireframes and the real HTML build. After each round of testing I would report them back to the business, make recommendations and prioritise any changes that could be made to the current build to improve.

Change Management

Part of my role was to provide consultancy and business support to Nationwide throughout the project, and as such, I helped deliver demos and stakeholder briefs of how the new intranet will change their roles, as well as help train-the-trainer in content entry to skill up the current intranet team ready for launch. My role was as much UX Design as it was stakeholder engagement. I was asked to talk in a video titled "Meet the Architects" which was used as part of an internal communcations piece to the rest of the 30,000 employees. You can watch it below.


The Outputs

  • I left Reading Room in March 2015 and the Intranet went live in early 2016, in which it received very positive feedback from staff and the board as a major improvement to what they had before
  • A beta survey was launched after the first release in which 93% of staff said they liked the look and feel and 98% said it will help them in their job
  • Our team won the RAR Digital Awards 2015, Web Design for our work on this project
  • I received 2 internal Nationwide awards (PRIDE awards) for my work on the Digital Transformation project