New Usability and Design Standards improve Acceptance of ZF Employee Portal
ZF is a leading worldwide automotive supplier for driveline and chassis technology with 121 production companies in 27 countries. In 2011, the Group achieved sales of € 15.5 billion with nearly 71,500 employees. ZF is listed as one of the top 10 largest automotive suppliers worldwide.
The myZF portal was launched in 2004 and has undergone constant expansion and extension ever since. It supports ZF employees across the globe in their day-to-day work and offers a variety of applications like collaboration rooms, specialist portals (e.g. a purchasing portal) and HR processes (time management, etc.).
BTEXX was contracted to revamp the user interface and implement the technical aspects of the portal framework as part of the myZF redesign project.
A survey of ZF employees had revealed that most users did not have a good enough understanding of and were not using the functions offered by the myZF portal. The aim of the project was to redesign the navigational concept and provide users with a clear structure and design for selected pages so that they can quickly and easily find the applications they need based on their particular role.
The relaunch of the myZF employee portal created a global work and collaboration platform. The portal meets the highest standards for modern design and good usability and is used by over 30,000 employees worldwide.
BTEXX developed a concept for the portal relaunch based on a requirements workshop. The visualization of prototypical pages and modules took place using graphical sketches (wireframes). This made it possible to recognize and visualize customer requirements early on in the project. The next step was developing the design for all prototypical pages, navigational and content elements and then technically implementing the design.
BTEXX redeveloped the navigational elements and the new homepage of the myZF portal to deliver fast access to role-based content. Dashboards, widget boxes and favorites help users put together content and data in a personalized way. This lets ZF employees find the information they need faster and get information about their tasks with less effort. The portal helps them be efficient in their day-to-day work.
The user interface of the global myZF portal has a structure based on the corporate design specifications in place at ZF. Sample pages for application pages, standard portal pages and login and portal messages were also created in addition to the homepage.
The new navigational concept consists of a mega menu that offers direct access to content in navigational levels 1 to 3. The detailed navigation combined with the mega menu on the overview and application pages shows navigational items from levels 2-5. Key landing pages provide more options to branch to pages in deeper levels via short text elements.
The portal has a very clean appearance thanks to the introduction of uniform layout guidelines (the font sizes, image formats and basic layout have the same design on all pages in the portal). This harmonized layout helps employees quickly find their way around the new portal.
“Our objective was and is for myZF to provide a platform for ZF employees that enables them to be even more productive. myZF is an innovative portal with a modern design that provides the perfect foundation for the creation of new solutions that create value for our customers,” says Timo Möllers, Head of the Enterprise Collaboration Technical Center – ZF Group.
BTEXX implemented the global myZF portal based on the SAP NetWeaver Portal standard. The portal's functionality was greatly enhanced by incorporating “BTEXX easyWCM” as add-in software and using Ajax technology.
BTEXX easyWCM is software that enables simple, form-based creation of content based on the SAP NetWeaver Portal. It uniformly defines text types, sizes and image formats so that editors can immediately create new content that complies with existing style and design guidelines. Templates provide a basic structure to facilitate the definition of new pages.
Moreover, BTEXX easyWCM offers the simplest options for creating new roles and editing them in the portal so that authorization administration is unbelievably easy.
The use of Ajax technology makes it possible to create modern and interactive portal interfaces. A new feature here is the ability to selectively refresh portal areas without having to reload the entire portal page, which means that personalized widget boxes, favorites, dashboards and overlays are offered in the myZF-Portal in a very user-friendly way.
Linking the Microsoft SharePoint collaboration platform to the myZF employee portal is planned in the future.
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