The ultimate aim was to develop ideas that could support the vision for more transparancy, a greater focus on citizens and more interdepartmental collaboration.
Our approach centred on creating storyboards. First, we created six personas of prototypical users of the platform. We classified these user types as Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators or Inactives, according to a scheme developed by Forrester Research.
We further refined our analysis by positioning the six prototypical users according to the cultural dimensions developed by Geert Hofstede, an influential Dutch researcher in the field of organizational culture. These attributes were highly relevant to the user experience.
We then identified the seven key functional building blocks that any platform would need and depicted them in a honeycomb scheme. The scheme was inspired by the honeycomb of social media.
After thoroughly analyzing users, we created user scenarios. We applied a comic strip technique to illustrate users’ interactions with the intranet/extranet. The comic strip technique makes user stories easy to understand and fun.
The result of this work was InnoVO, the innovation platform of the Flemish Government and CollaBo, a collaboration platform for Flemish civil servants. We also devised several potential new cloud applications such as AmbteWaar, a civil servant location service, and CollaBoost, a virtual meeting application.
The Flemish Government gained three scenarios that provide a visionary—yet practical—view on how they can further develop their intranet/extranet. Moreover, the user scenarios were presented in a clear, compelling and fun way. This made it easier for the communication department to present the ideas to management and gain buy-in.