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I've got a client with internal employees and external contractors in a number of roles. Depending on the role, the project workflows are similar but not identical, and not all internal resources are available to the external contractors for security purposes.

How would you go about designing a page for each role that:

a) delineates the company's mandated project workflow;

b) clarifies differences for internal and external project leads;

c) directs project leads to the resources available to them, according to their employment status as internal or external;

Oh, and d) may be net-new, and thus this page must also function as a training document for the company's workflow!

Thanks in advance for any tips, resources, approaches, etc.!

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  • What have you tried and why it hasn't worked out?
    – fakermaker
    Commented Jan 12 at 17:59
  • Right now it's a kitchen sink, post-Thanksgiving dinner ... A "general" start-to-end process chart that doesn't indicate where the process diverges for external vs. In-house. The chart is loaded with links to further resources that are not labeled for one group or the other; instead, the user discovers that they don't have access to the resource by clicking the link. One solution would be to divide the page into 2 columns with parallel paths, but may cause more confusion. Also, tabs, accordions and drop downs are no go as per client. :/
    – KIDC
    Commented Jan 13 at 8:04

1 Answer 1

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I've done lots of work with schools and school-boards which have similar use cases for students, parents, teachers and admin staff all authenticating, all seeing the same pages but having different journeys and content available.

A) First I'd start simply by mapping out all my user flows. What's the ideal order for digesting content for both of your user roles? Take those flows and drop them right beside your wire frames so you can create a set of wires just to illustrate the variations in content/process.

B) I'm assuming this means you'll need to show the same chart to both user roles, with slight differences, while also making your users aware of the process differences other user roles would undertake. Sounds like a fun piece of interaction design. I know some tools like Chart JS can let you modify chart visualization based on specific click/hover actions. Allowing users to interact with the process chart to see both internal and external processes should clarify the differences but I would run a round of testing with something like a 5 second test. Maybe just seeing both charts side by side will communicate the most.

C) This is where the school-board example is great. It's been years since I've built any of those sites so unfortunately I don't have login access to take screenshots. We found great success in using role-specific, colour-coded sub-menus and sidebar module/widget/components. So basically your internal users would see a sidebar resources widget with all the links (could be an issue if there are a lot of resources and your client doesn't like accordions, is that an SEO-based preference?), whereas your external users would see a very similar widget but a different list because both are seeing different components.

D) Plone CMS has an interesting feature where any page can be displayed as a slideshow type presentation. Basically it just uses your paragraph styles to determine where slides are divided and how they'll display. That could be a pretty interesting option for making this page a reference for internal/external project leads, then presenting all the same content as part of an onboarding or training session.

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