Booz Allen Hamilton enlisted the help of Spiritous to design and build a specialized collaboration application empowering its 24,000 employees to enhance their careers through educational opportunities. Learning Hub now serves as a one-stop-shop for all things education throughout the worldwide organization.

About the Client

Booz Allen Hamilton

Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) has been at the forefront of strategy and technology for more than one hundred years. Today, the firm provides management, technology consulting, and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments, and not-for-profits across the globe. With international headquarters in McLean, Virginia, the firm employs over 24,000 employees around the world. Ranked as a top public sector consulting company and designated by Fortune as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies, they continue to adapt to the emerging challenges of today, and guide their clients to position them for future success.

24,000 employees
$5.8 billion in revenue
100+ years

About the Project

Seeking to improve and streamline its career education program offerings, Booz Allen Hamilton made the decision to overhaul a dated Office 365 SharePoint collaboration website in order to improve the visibility of the of the educational program and facilitate effortless access to educational opportunities for all employees. While simultaneously in the midst of an organizational rebrand, project stakeholders knew at the onset that successfully designing and building a new educational application would be a challenge.

Enlisting the help of Spiritous, the project team worked together to plan, design, and build an amazing new SharePoint application that would soon be known as the Booz Allen Hamilton Learning Hub.

Discovery and Planning

Example of a Booz Allen Hamilton user persona

User research and personas helped the project team to organize, assess, and validate the needs of an extremely diverse population of over 24,000 users.

These personifications of unique user classifications helped everyone, from designers to developers, understand how each user type would react to the design decisions that were made. This essential research allowed the entire team to hone in on a solution that was supported by the findings of the user research work that was performed, and to rapidly prototype a solution that we knew would work for everyone.

Learning Hub wireframes

Early clickable prototypes allowed the project team to rapidly iterate navigational and visual systems, without investing too much time into any one idea.

These quickly-drafted prototypes were used to test and validate our early user research findings with the larger project team on a variety of screen sizes and input types. Each revision brought us one step closer to a final consensus and solution for the app that would ultimately be designed and built.

Learning Hub site map

The application site map illustrated the team’s plan to bring divergent navigation systems into a new simplified and unified menu.

Truly serving as a hub for all educational opportunities throughout the organization, the new Learning Hub application would offer navigation to a number of interconnected networks of educational material. This complex collection of resources was made possible by leveraging the power of the Microsoft Office 365 SharePoint platform to catalog, index, and provide access to these disparate programs.

In the midst of a wider organizational rebrand, Booz Allen Hamilton worked with Spiritous artists to thoughtfully design a visual system that could easily adapt to a changing visual framework.

Early creative design discussion explored drastically different approaches to the design aesthetic of the new application, with contrasting style tiles offering the project team visual artifacts with with to discuss their design decisions before the full design work began in earnest.

Learning Hub style tile #1
Learning Hub style tile #2
Learning Hub style tile #3

Interactive Design

Learning Hub desktop design composition

Diligent discovery and planning work led to the creation a research-driven design that adhered to the Booz Allen Hamilton organizational brand while also providing a unique sense of personality for the Learning Hub application.

A simple touch-friendly interface combined several visual systems to provide frictionless access to learning content for employees around the globe. The clean lines and bold shapes used in the design matched perfectly with the new brand being developed by the communications and marketing teams at Booz Allen Hamilton headquarters.

As a standalone cloud-hosted application, design and accessibility for touch devices and small screens became an early priority. A mobile-first design strategy allowed the same visual systems used in larger views to seamlessly adapt to smaller screens.

Learning Hub phone design composition #1
Learning Hub phone design composition #2
Learning Hub phone design composition #3

It should be noted that the original visual systems created by Spiritous artists were designed to be adaptable, knowing that the organizational rebrand was still in its early phases and was subject to change. Several iterations and tweaks were made to the original design to ensure Learning Hub content remained consistent with other Office 365 applications.

Development

The implementation phase of the project began with the thoughtful creation of a detailed development plan to ensure the application would be carefully integrated with other Office 365 applications already in use.

No stranger to the inner-workings of large organizations like Booz Allen Hamilton, Spiritous developers worked with the technical IT team managing the Office 365 platform to ensure proper adherence to all technical and governance procedures already in place. As one of the world’s largest government contractors, security and reliability of the system were paramount requirements.

Learning Hub information architecture doument page
Learning Hub information architecture doument page

The solution architecture document was carefully crafted to allow the designed solution to be built while also leveraging the out-of-the-box power of the SharePoint platform. This allowed developers to quickly create a future-friendly solution that would be easy to maintain during future updates.

Learning Hub external learning feature

Design and development efforts often focused on learning resource libraries, which allow employees to quickly browse collections of educational resources.

Using the power of Office 365 managed metadata tagging, a custom SharePoint search-powered interface was developed to enable users to quickly filter by educational type, concentration, and other criteria when searching for educational resources. This powerful and adaptable interface is used for several libraries throughout the Learning Hub.

These amazing opportunities were largely overlooked and underutilized before the development of the Learning Hub. By showcasing these opportunities and making them easily searchable, Booz Allen Hamilton was able to bring these valuable offerings to light.

Development work concluded with the international launch of the Learning Hub to over 24,000 employees worldwide.

The application was integrated into the Booz Allen Hamilton Office 365 SharePoint intranet portal and made available to employees throughout the organization. Today, this constantly-evolving educational network is a popular destination for everyone at the organization seeking to further their career.

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