In January 2008, the Corporate Image Department of BBVA (second largest spanish bank) came to us with a special need: they wanted to set up a web showcase in which the bank employees could appreciate the importance of fine design into everyone's life.

The briefing was clear: Although this is a design site, it must tightly follow the bank's corporate image line, but it must also leave space for a designer and arty layout so the public can taste the feeling of aesthethics and quality.

Key User Experience Proposals for this project:

  • - Give real estate to content, to visual content.
  • - Tight adherence to BBVA brand standard, graphically and in copy and content proposal.
  • - Quantitative (nr of votes) ranking, but also and more important, sociological rating, something that adds emotional attachment to tne site.
  • - Simplicity of use, didactical content style, and estimation of a max of 20 minutes/visit.

It also had to provide a way so the employees could share and even propose new contents, the main idea was to involve them into the sensibility towards design.

The last briefing constraints were: "this is not Wired Magazine website", we must provide a taste of design for a target who is mainly not very sensible to it, so make it easy, and "we are not letting the users spend all day long in this site", so prioritize short videos and make content brief and fast to read...

So we started with a Persona description with 3 profiles: Public, Collaborators and Administrators (BTW we use Konigi Templates for Omnigraffle, in case you should ask):

A Category proposal, and the navigational system where we prioritized the suggestion of content and the inclusion of semantic categories (the most curious, e.g.) amongst the rational ones (click to enlarge):

A mental map proposal, with functionalities for viewing, interacting, reusing, learning, create, organize, and manage content (click to enlarge):


And finally, a draft for homepage content (click to enlarge):

We passed the proposal through a several meetings, the most problematics with security department (Should we restrict access to the bank employees or should we, as proposed by corporate image dept, allow public access to designers, architects and other influencers to enrich the experience and the affregation of content?)  and Standards department (in that moment, dreaded IE6 and Flash 6 was the standard internet browser for the more than 100k employees).

We kept thinking about simplicity and playfulness for the site, and proposed a -flash based in that moment- interactive mosaic selector, in which, in a very graphical way, one could turn on:off several switches in order to present the different search results into the mosaic.

The result, already put into design, was this (click to enlarge):

And an inner page: