intranet design for Penn State University

In Penn State’s ITS group AIS (Administrative Information Services), I am the web & graphic designer (Multimedia Specialist officially, but that title does not describe the position very well).

The AIS Web Team (including myself and our developer and our content writer) built the intranet using Zurb’s Foundation framework. The graphics and photography are my work. Over the course of the project, our team (project manager, programmer, writer, and me) held cardsorting sessions to address information architecture and studied best practices using Nielsen Norman Group’s Intranet Design Annual. Web accessibility was also a major factor we considered, in large part due to the National Federation for the Blind’s lawsuit against Penn State. I took the lead in testing for accessibility issues using tools like WebAIM’s WAVE toolbar, Apple’s VoiceOver screenreader, and the Colorblind Web Page Filter to approximate the web experience of the colorblind. The intranet’s accessibility page is here (or you could wait for it to appear in the carousel).

Since it’s a restricted site for staff use only, I can’t share the whole intranet here. Instead, I’ve uploaded some content here including the homepage and a few sample pages. Those you can visit by clicking on the ubiquitous “carousel” feature section that a) is taking up way too much real estate, b) less than 1 of 10 users will ever click on and c) nobody will passively watch and wait as the next ones load because the web just does not work that way anymore, if it ever did, but as a designer you can only argue those points so much before it’s time to create visuals to go with the wondrous carousel. At least I got to build the visuals though. The fruits of compromise!