In a time where employee retention is crucial, hospital leadership's goal was to enhance their employee experience by migrating their existing intranet to Modern SharePoint.
How do we perform user research when our users and stakeholders are so far out of reach?
Given the current health crisis, our hospital and healthcare systems are taking the brunt of our ongoing struggles. The effects are long lasting and have impacted hiring and retention. As a result the remaining employees are having to take on more responsibilities and did not have copious amounts of time to work with us. I had to craft a research plan that would hold our stakeholder's attention and make the most of the limited time I had with them.
We started with a solution vision workshop to help align stakeholders on their goals for this Intranet. This workshop provided a space for stakeholders to have an open dialogue about the project goals, challenges and ultimately how they will measure success of the product. 
Is it possible to conduct a valuable and actionable task priority exercise in 5 minutes?
Finding a substitution for in person collaboration can be challenging. I leveraged Optimal Workshop card sorting exercise to adjust a traditional task priority exercise into a much shorter version. This allowed our participants to complete the activity on their own time and in a much shorter amount of time than it would require me to set up an interview. 
How do we maintain product focus and account for the different roles who will visit the new site? 
I guided our stakeholders through a proto-persona process. This was less about performing persona work in the traditional sense and more about getting our leadership to consider all of the different roles that will require access to the sites. We did not have time or the ability to do proper, research backed persona work. 
I was able to help the client understand that grouping our users into no more than three proto-persona groups would allow us to understand the mindset of our user groups, but also maintain product focus. I cautioned them on splitting out these groups any further and diluting the purpose of this effort. 
When we lead with a human centered research process our design work becomes an artifact of our research.
After completing the necessary work to inform the page hierarchy and layout we can begin to plot out where certain information should live. I chose to take a photography dominant approach that recedes in prominence the further you navigate into the site and allows the content to become more prominent.
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