Started : Q1 2016
Project Duration : Ongoing
I provided design, user research and information architecture for many of Unilever’s internal processes and digital services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!