IBM Investor Relations

Designing and Building a Future-Proof and On-Brand System for Drupal

abstract image with a dark blue background and pink and purple dots.

IBM is one of the most long-lived, largest, and recognized tech companies in the world. When it came time to redesign and rebuild its Investor Relations website, which needed to reflect a rich history and established brand, IBM turned to us to help. Together we worked with the IBM team to design the site and build it on Drupal to allow the content editing responsibilities to be shared across teams. The intent for the Investor Relations site was to serve as the flagship project for other IBM digital business units to learn from and follow suit with the ultimate goal of transitioning all of IBM.com to the Drupal platform.

Design mock of the investor relations website.

Gaining clarity and establishing priority through onsite exercises

The size of IBM’s organization results in many voices being involved in each project. We gained clarity on a tight timeline with a research sprint filled with 30-minute interviews, and all kinds of inventories and analyses of the current site, audience, and competitive landscape. This time spent on research culminated in an onsite workshop, which included our “Project Goals and Prioritization” exercise, where research could be confirmed and prioritized alongside the IBM team. 

Core versus value card sorting exercise for the IBM investor relations site.

During the on-site workshop, the IBM team ranked each requirement on two criteria: its value to the Investor Relations team, and its probable value to the Core Platform and other business units.

Requirements in the upper-right quadrant offered significant benefits to both groups and were obvious candidates for the initial migration attempt. Using this information, the Investor Relations team broke the requirements down into “Minimum Viable Product” and "Post-Launch" features.

Card sorting exercise to determine items for an MVP versus what can be done post launch.

The result of this exercise squares with Lullabot's initial thoughts on priorities. The MVP features include a mix of core design improvements and technical tools to simplify work for the Investor Relations team, while post-launch features include iterative and platform-wide improvements.

MVP

  • Business-unit tailored authoring experience
  • Attractive, compelling design
  • High-accuracy implementation of the Duo design standard
  • High-quality mobile experience
  • Micro-content embedding ("Flexible" page template)
  • Web Segment restricted search function
  • Improved navigation and wayfinding
  • The groundwork for future redesign

Post-launch

  • Improved CMS handling of tabular data
  • Dynamic charting and data visualization
  • Integration with IBM DAM
  • Improved video presentation
  • Previous revision comparison for visitors
  • Improved archive of historical data
  • Improved organization of Prospective Investor content

The research and onsite exercises completed in Phase One continued to be the foundation drawn upon until the end of the project. 

Extending an established brand and style guide 

The majority of Lullabot’s design work focuses on complete redesigns, where we’re helping clients to re-imagine the implementation of their brand and how that translates to a user interface design. We’re also quite comfortable working alongside the guidance of a client-side design team, to accurately interpret an existing style system, as well as extend it to create wholly new component designs. 

Sample of how the text styles used for the IBM Plex font used throughout the IBM Investor Relations site.

A vision and plan for content migration

When a large and varied team needs to work together in understanding how to migrate and manage future content to a newly redesigned site, a clear plan needs to be in place. We created documentation to help aid in this process. 

A visual comparison of the current homepage and the new one to show how the content will translate to the new design components.

 

 

 

The Team

The following Lullabots worked on this project