Vast data sets, and teams spread across the world; an information management challenge of global proportions.
The global Unilever hair specialist team is responsible for the development of new formulations and product launches within the hair category.
Part of Unilever R&D, this team works across continents and manages a vast range of existing and developing products. This brings with it a massive data challenge: to move, to manage, to store and access data from multiple locations over multiple time zones.
The team was overwhelmed with vast quantities of data based in disparate systems and data centres across the globe. Locating packaging, formulation and product information was a constant challenge.
As part of a global programme to deliver a faster, more agile Unilever, the team were focused on identifying a bespoke library system that allowed easy access to a wide dataset. The new system needed to store detailed product information, imagery and packaging data. The objective was to not only categorise the existing database more efficiently but support the product development team when creating new formulations – helping them to get new products to market faster, and with greater accuracy.
We began by creating a strategic roadmap with a three-year vision. We mapped out milestones and, using agile methods, developed a MVP (minimum viable product) version of the solution and used continuous improvement to learn-and-develop, with later iterations seeing the launch of the wider scope elements.
We understood that – as with most of our engagements – the solution’s success would hinge on it meeting the exact needs and behaviours of the end users. Hence UX sat at the forefront of the project with a focused aim to ensure maximum user adoption post launch. Before developing wireframes and designs, the project team conducted interviews with the focus group and studied the team’s style of working and requirements. Well-embedded user testing became fundamental throughout the project and involved the user group through each milestone to ensure a truly people-led design.
Brand identity and interface design remained equally vital throughout. Taking inspiration from the scientific nature of the team’s work, our expert design team created a new, contemporary, fresh brand identity and site design layer for the Hair Hub.
We identified through Discovery that we needed a communications channel between the global and regional development centre to allow the teams to share knowledge, experiences and meet new colleagues – despite being located across the globe. We deployed the Yammer tool specifically for this, allowing employees to connect within and throughout the organisation, encouraging engagement and sparking new connections.
Finally, to ensure that the new fit-for-purpose Hair Hub was successfully launched and utilised by the teams, we created a communication campaign strategy for Unilever to deploy. Focusing on launch communication initially this developed into support for the global team with ongoing internal communication and product development.
Within the first week the Hair Hub achieved 2000-page views, with hundreds of global users logging up to 400 unique views.
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