Portals as a basis for collaboration

CRH is an international group of diversified building materials businesses which manufacture and supply of a wide range of products for the construction industry. The company is incorporated and domiciled in Ireland where it ranks as the largest Irish company with over 16 operating companies and 4500 employees.

As a designer I worked mainly on the UX of the collaboration platform. Later on I was also involved in some of visual design and decisions. The project were completed in a periode of 12 months, including UX & design, development, adoption and the launch of 5 different (collaboration) portals including a self service portal.


The challenge set by CRH was to create a set of portals that would be adopted and used by CRH employees to increase collaboration between teams and operating companies.

Collaborationwith Office 365

The CRH Collaboration Platform is build on the Microsoft Office 365, allowing for powerful collaboration features like document editing, document collaboration or sharing of documents and information with ease.

More information about Microsoft Office 365

User testing & UX process

The starting point of this project was to involve a user board from all the operating companies. By either meeting at their office or by a Skype call, I gathered insights about their needs, wishes and behaviour. During multiple meetings with the user board, the clickable wireframe was slowly tuned and improved.

Step by stepMy design process

During the CRH project I worked closely with the user board, product owner and our creative director. The following steps were taken to make this a successful project.

Concept and exploration
To inspire the product owner and key users, the first step was to explore concepts for the collaboration portals for CRH.
Paper prototyping
During a workshop, a select group of key users from different operating companies were invited to join a paper prototyping session. This gave insight in the different wishes and even demonstrating different wishes and insight per operating company.
Testing clickable wireframes
After the paper prototyping, the results of the workshop were transformed into a clickable prototype. This was shared with the key users during meetings and Skype calls.
Define user stories
The finalised wireframe gave information for the creation of user stories, features and epics for the backlog.
Visual design
With the UX in place, the visual design started. Giving a first impression by creating design based on the clickable wireframes. The visual design gave the opportunity to solve some UX issues that couldn’t be solved in the wireframe (e.g. status messages)
Visual design for development
The wireframe and visual design were input for the front-end developers, together with a style guide and reusable components the portals were quickly developed.