HFI | ConocoPhillips corporate intranet case study

ConocoPhillips - Corporate intranet

ConocoPhillips strikes "oil7" of the digital age – usability: Intranet redesign eliminates help desk calls


ConocoPhillips is the largest oil refiner in the United States and fourth largest globally. It operates in more than 40 countries with over 35,000 employees and assets of $86 billion.

The challenge: merging companies, merging intranets

In 2002, Phillips Petroleum Company and Conoco completed their merger. The new management team of ConocoPhillips deemed it critical to centralize the two companies' servers and move towards "self-serve" intranet portals. This posed numerous front-end usability challenges. Many existing intranet applications were overly complex and had inconsistent, unorganized navigation. Such was the case with its HR Express intranet site: ConocoPhillips inherited a disparate set of HR-related applications loosely connected by a single menu.


ConocoPhillips' new HR Express intranet site provides users with summary views that answer their most frequent questions

HFI's Approach: a user-centered design standard

HFI collaborated on a redesign to create a one-stop HR portal. The goals were to:

  • Create an expandable architecture that could accommodate new functionality and tools in the future
  • Provide one location for employees to view information and respond to alerts
  • Give managers a simple dashboard to monitor their teams
The outcome: timely completion, immediate ROI

HFI has observed that typical corporate standards projects last over one year – and the standards rarely get implemented! By contrast, the standards project at ConocoPhillips took just three months to complete and was put to use immediately in the HR Express redesign. Everyone benefited from the new HR site, which offered:

  • Summary screens that answered the majority of people's questions
  • Easy access to all functions
  • Simplified data entry/editing
  • Related information automatically displayed (based on users' location on the site)
  • Reduced number of secondary browsers opened

ConocoPhillips' HR Express help desk historically received 300 calls per week. Immediately after the redesigned site launched, help desk calls literally disappeared – zero calls/week for the first three months running.

Plus, ConocoPhillips enjoyed the ongoing benefits of a user-centered design standard:

  • Developers save time: Instead of revisiting the same design decisions, developers can simply refer to the standard; ongoing maintenance and content management are also simplified.
  • Users are more efficient: Because designs are consistent, users can generalize their knowledge of how one screen works to all the other screens of the same type.

You could say ConocoPhillips struck the biggest "oil well" of the digital age: usability!

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