Better corporate design through information architecture
A leader in the lifesciences and advancing the skills of those in the field, EMBL (my current employer) is not only a fantastic place to work, but just plain impressive.
The current projection of that brand does not measure up to EMBL's place in its community.
Kicking off our recent "Corportate Design Sprint 1", Tabea Rauscher (an EMBL colleague) wrote about the entropy that was eating away at EMBL's perception:
For example, services are part of the core mission of the organisation but currently they exist at the outer ‘disassociated’ layer of our brand map. The net effect of this is that many users of these services will be unaware that they are supported by EMBL (perhaps even what EMBL is), and will not know the full breadth of services on offer by EMBL.
EMBL simply isn't coming through as a coherent idea amongst it's nearly 2,000 staff and six sites across Europe.
That fragmentation was manifesting itself in visual design and writing, but the problem is rooted in a deeper perception of how EMBL self categorises its purpose.
Simply put we fell victim to the classic problem of naming things around internal structure and not for what they are.
Having introduced the topic, here's where I hand you off to how we distilled the problem and have begun formulating a solution by architecting out what EMBL does, who is involved and where they are.
Part 1: Diagnosis
Part 2: Architecting a holistic solution
Part 3: Implementation
We're not here just yet, but during 2017 we'll be working to take this concept from architecture to implementatble navigation and layout patterns.
✏︎ Bonus: A post on the naming of things.