Unilever

Started : Q1 2016

Project Duration : Ongoing

I provided design, user research and information architecture for many of Unilever’s internal processes and digital services.

The Challenge

Unilever is the world’s largest consumer goods company, with 150,000 employees worldwide and over 400 different customer brands. By necessity, digital is at the core of their practice.

From the development of a new deodorant product to the management of staff training, all of their tools need to be readily available online.

When I first started working with Unilever, they had significant issues with governance and design consistency of their digital platforms. With so many departments doing so many different things, the user experience for teams had become really quite chaotic.

The Solution

Over 2016 I worked with Unilever to help design a suite of different services. These were to help manage internal processes and improve productivity.

Through working on many different services for Unilever, my involvement culminated into a set of design and UX guidelines for ‘Inside.Unilever’. This was set up as a one-stop-shop for UX patterns and guidelines across the internal portion of the business.

What I Did

I introduced new design and IA guidelines

When I first started working with Unilever, all of their tools and resources were split over literally hundreds of sites. These adopted very different user interfaces and design patterns.

The result was a really confusing experience that didn’t feel ‘joined-up’. Through working on several of these systems, I began to align them using a mobile-first template and component library. This was to make the sites look and behave consistently.

This evolved into a set of guidelines that could be given to any site owner, to help them align to the wider Unilever tools. I also provided information architecture and usability guidelines. These guidelines could be used by content creators to streamline the navigation experience.

The style guide is a one-stop-shop for UX patterns across the business.

I worked with Unilever’s internal teams

Creating repurposable UX patterns is a tricky task. I worked with Unilever’s internal UX teams to ensure that it was totally aligned to their own design and development guidelines. All of the recommendations were also sanity checked with stakeholders Unilever, to make sure they were fit for purpose.

Developing the new inside.unilever guidelines was a fully collaborative task.

Style, design and typography guidelines.

I collaborated with Unilever’s own design teams

This project had me doing a lot of work with Unilever’s in-house creatives. I wanted to ensure that what I created could be re-used and applied to what other teams were working on.

I created several templates, so that other designers could easily repurpose the developed assets.

Interactive guidelines for use of navigation and IA.

I helped teams migrate their existing experiences to the new framework

Creating the guidelines is just the first step. The bigger project is to ensure both new and existing Inside.Unilever websites conform to these patterns.

This is a long-term task, and I’m involved on a consultancy basis to expand the component library, and ensure that future Unilever projects are aligned. I’ve also created other tools and assets, such as widget libraries in Axure and Sketch to help other designers on future projects.

Examples of the style guide in action.

The Results

The development of Inside.Unilever is an ongoing task. I’m frequently working with Unilever’s many internal teams to redesign and migrate their services. We’re working to make Inside.Unilever is a more efficient (and consistent) experience.

Applying these guidelines to Unilever’s internal services.

Chris is undoubtedly one of the most talented creatives I have worked with at Unilever, and before during my agency career. Chris successfully led design and UX for a re-launch of one of our biggest global brands online. He provided quality consultancy around best-practice UX and design, calculating decisions based on data and insight. Not only is his creative instinct strong, but the level of client service he offers is outstanding.

Vincent Jaskowski - Deputy Editor of U-Studio | Unilever

Because of the internal nature of this work, I can’t give you a link to the finished product. If you’d like to know more (or just want to shoot the breeze), drop me a line!

Want to learn more?

Contact Chris