MemberCircle

Large corporations and nonprofit organizations often have multiple offices spread across disparate locations. Groups within these organizations, sometimes even within departments, have trouble communicating and collaborating. To solve this problem, many groups rely on an intranet, an internal network that makes it easier to share, schedule and collaborate. In the past, companies either built intranet software from scratch, or used robust tools like Microsoft SharePoint. These systems can be complex, difficult to implement and even more difficult to encourage employees to use. However, over the past few years, a number of new, software-as-service (SaaS) intranet tools have emerged. MemberCircle was ahead of the curve as a SaaS intranet, but behind the times in its user interface and features. Leaders behind MemberCircle tasked Punch Digital Strategies with rethinking and redesigning the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to make MemberCircle a competitive platform.

Project Background

MemberCircle was launched nearly a decade ago as a pioneering social platform. In the first days of Facebook, before Twitter and Instagram, MemberCircle was a social collaboration tool designed for use by large nonprofits with national, regional, state and local chapters. The platform is unique in that it allows users (Members) to create groups (Circles) in a highly organized and efficient way. This enables collaboration both across and within regions and chapters. Functionally, the tool was capable of serving the SaaS intranet market. The only problem was that the user interface reflected an early 2000s design aesthetic, and the user experience was far from the level of current user expectations.

Punch Solution

Our first step was to dive into the features and functionalities of the current iteration of MemberCircle and compare them with the leading tools on the market today. In the past ten years, the world has adopted social media, and many of today’s tools reflect a more social interactivity and feel. We created a revised list of features and mapped out wireframes for each section of the tool. New functionalities, such as instant messaging, hadn’t been introduced previously, so each element had to be designed. We created an architecture based on familiar social media tools, and personal profiles with similar information to other social platforms. The new design preserved key features from the original MemberCircle, only updated to be compatible with a mobile user base. The new platform leverages responsive design so that all users, from web to mobile, have the most intuitive experience possible. Our work included:

  • Market research
  • Logo design
  • Brand messaging
  • User persona research
  • User experience strategy
  • User interface design
  • Completion of design prototype
  • Website design & development

Outcome

Upon completion of the design phase, MemberCircle entered development. Using agile methodologies, the new version of MemberCircle was completed, and the initial test instances went live. In early spring of 2016, the full MemberCircle interface will be available. The tool is competitively priced and easy to implement. For a fraction of the cost of more complex tools, businesses and nonprofits now have a plug-and-play social intranet that improves communication and collaboration across the organization. It scales as the organization grows and is as intuitive to use as common social media platforms. Look for updates on MemberCircle’s release at MemberCircle.com.  

Punch Services

  • Marketing strategy
  • Brand design
  • UX / UI design
  • Website design & development