Updating a Global Networking & Collaboration Platform to Enhance User Experience
Users of IEEE Collabratec, a leading professional networking and collaboration platform for the IEEE and global technical communities, often found themselves navigating a labyrinth platform. Features and resources, though abundant, were often obscured in its twists and turns, which meant that users had to know precisely where to look to find what they needed. This posed a significant challenge, especially for newcomers who were still exploring the platform. After all, if the benefits of a platform aren’t immediately evident, users are less likely to engage with it.
Another hurdle was that users often felt adrift amidst the vast sea of content, resources, and features. Individual users weren’t being recommended the information that mattered most to them. To keep users engaged, we needed to develop a solution that could bring the most pertinent content to the forefront of their experience.
IEEE turned to D2 Creative to execute the mission: Revamp the navigation and layout to cater to users’ diverse needs and preferences during their professional pursuits within IEEE Collabratec, streamline how they discovered content and platform features, and make it easier for them to engage with the IEEE brand, including becoming a member.
D2 Creative collaborated closely with IEEE to design and develop the platform updates. Throughout the process, we maintained a strong commitment to a user-centric approach, recognizing the significance of understanding the needs and preferences of the IEEE community. In doing so, we actively sought and collected valuable feedback and insights from users, volunteers, and members to gain a comprehensive understanding of their pain points and aspirations. This user-centric approach formed the foundation of our design decisions, ensuring that every enhancement was purposeful and aligned with the community’s expectations.
Our primary goal was to go beyond mere aesthetic improvements and instead deliver a transformative user experience. The platform’s effectiveness hinged on enabling easy access to the wide array of valuable IEEE services, fostering networking opportunities, facilitating seamless collaboration, and tailoring experiences with personalized features.
We drew inspiration from the campaign theme we developed for the relaunch of the platform—Discover, Connect, Collaborate—to solidify the brand experience and as wayfinding. Through thoughtful design iterations, user testing, and iterative improvements, we were confident that the upgraded navigation would not only be intuitive but also elevate the overall engagement and satisfaction levels of users.
Our collaborative efforts resulted in the successful implementation of the platform’s upgraded navigation and refresh. At its heart was the new mega menu, a beacon guiding users through the platform’s offerings. Now, networking and collaboration tools stand prominently, offering clarity amidst the complexity. Complementing this, we added a highly visible search bar, empowering users to swiftly locate the precise content they sought. We also introduced the myCT Navigation Bar, which offers quick access to tools and features related to users’ participation on Collabratec, ensuring an efficient and personalized experience.
Addressing the issue of content relevance, we unveiled the Discover tab, a gateway to a multitude of IEEE services. Users found themselves just a few clicks away from exploring communities, events, and conducting literature searches. This seamless access ensured that pertinent resources and information were always within reach, while the Connect tab opened doors to a vibrant networking community within IEEE. Here, users could engage with fellow IEEE members, volunteers, and authors, promoting collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Finally, the Collaborate tab allowed users to create and manage workspaces with a single click, streamlining shared file editing, task management, and access to valuable career services.
D2 and IEEE’s commitment to continuous improvement means that work on IEEE Collabratec’s site refresh and navigation will continue, with additional releases driven by user feedback.