Spiritous and Dale Carnegie partnered to design and build an amazing new Office 365 SharePoint intranet website from the ground up. Today, Carnegie Connect is enjoyed by thousands of employees and franchisees from around the globe.

About the Client

Dale Carnegie

Founded in 1912, Dale Carnegie evolved from one man's belief in the power of self‐improvement to a performance‐based training company with offices worldwide. For over a century, Dale Carnegie has been improving individual and business performance around the world. They focus on giving people in business the opportunity to sharpen their skills and improve their performance in order to build positive, steady, and profitable results.

2,700 trainers
8 million customers
85 countries
30 languages

About the Project

After making the decision to migrate from IBM LotusNotes to the Office 365 SharePoint platform, Dale Carnegie recognized a greater opportunity to improve internal collaboration throughout the organization. A seemingly monumental challenge ensued with the movement of content and data between these two systems. Simultaneously, updating and improving the collaborative user experience for thousands or users worldwide remained a top priority. The project team knew a thoughtful and well-planned solution was key to the success of the initiative.

Spiritous worked with Dale Carnegie to plan, design, and build an amazing new intranet application dubbed Carnegie Connect.

Discovery and Planning

Carnegie Connect site map

Information architecture and user research yielded a drastically improved navigation structure as depicted in Carnegie Connect site maps.

After extensive user research and personification of user behavior, Spiritous information architects cataloged, analyzed, and classified the vast volumes of Carnegie Connect content. The resulting site maps were extensive, but created an intuitive new navigation system that allows application users to quickly and easily find the content that’s most important to them.

Carnegie Connect wireframes

Clickable wireframe prototypes were essential in visualizing and iterating screen composition on an array of devices.

Low-fidelity prototyping offers a unique opportunity to rapidly visualize and iterate on ideas formulated early on in the project. The resulting prototypes served as a basis for functionality and layout throughout the duration of the project.

Early creative discussion focused on finding the right balance of corporate brand and unique application brand. Style tiles were used to rapidly create visual systems without investing too much time into any one idea.

These style tiles offered an palette of aesthetic options early in the project timeline, allowing the project team to solidify the creative direction of Carnegie Connect before design work began in earnest.

Carnegie Connect style tile #1
Carnegie Connect style tile #2
Carnegie Connect style tile #3

Interactive Design

Carnegie Connect desktop design composition

Research, discovery, and planning work were all instrumental in informing the interactive design process, yielding a unique new intranet application concept.

With a rich navigation experience, prominent editorial control, and an immersive multimedia experience, Carnegie Connect was designed to offer frictionless access to tasks and content users needed to collaborate across the diverse geographical and organizational divides of the organization.

The cloud platform on which the intranet application was built demanded that a great user experience be offered to users of any device or screen. Every component within the design was carefully adapted using responsive design techniques to present that same functionality optimized for touch and small-screen interfaces.

Carnegie Connect phone design composition #1
Carnegie Connect phone design composition #2
Carnegie Connect phone design composition #3

After iteration and approval by Dale Carnegie marketing, the application design was finalized and ready for implementation.


Implementation and development of the designed solution on the Office 365 SharePoint platform was executed over several phases.

This process began with solution architecture, during which every facet of the design was translated into technical specifications for implementation.

Carnegie Connect interface architecture document

While the design concept, at first glance, may not resemble the Office 365 SharePoint platform for which it was built, behind the scenes the technical architecture of the interface is entirely based on out-of-the-box platform components and data. This allowed the technical team at Spiritous to efficiently leverage the security and functionality of data management, while presenting that data through a custom presentation layer.

Carnegie Connect product catalog screenshot

A large portion of development effort was focused on creating an entirely custom Dale Carnegie product catalog.

Offering users a digital catalog of products was an essential requirement for the success of the project. The custom catalog interface offers visitors an opportunity to search, filter, and browse through thousands of products and product customizations. The solution also includes a custom form workflow for requesting product customizations.

Working with thousands of products and tens of thousands of documents simultaneously presented a performance challenge in presenting the data as quickly as possible. The development team at Spiritous utilized advanced caching techniques to create an amazingly responsive catalog that is now one of the most popular features of the intranet application.

The development effort concluded with the automated migration of hundreds of thousands of pieces of content from IBM LotusNotes into the newly configured Office 365 SharePoint platform.

Spiritous data migration specialists used automated tools to do the bulk of migration work, with custom automation scripts performing additional content work such as data curation, de-duplication, and metadata tagging.

Get Started

Are you ready to build a SharePoint or Office 365 collaboration app for your organization? Contact us to learn more about our SharePoint and Office 365 services or to see a demo of a collaborative app in action.

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