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American Express InsideHR
Giving the AMEX HR team a virtual “break room”

We created a fun and engaging internal message board that still stayed true to AMEX brand guidelines.

InsideHR is the internal HR newsletter at AMEX, a key way for their 800+ global HR employees to stay connected. They wanted to transform this well-followed newsletter into an online publishing platform, complete with enhanced social features.

Designing for big business is an exciting challenge. We needed to create a tone that was on-brand and clean, while also imparting a sense of fun and improvisation to elevated the site beyond stock corporate communication. We solved this problem by creating a hodgepodge of coordinating (but deliberately disparate) modules which tiled together on the page to create a collage-like effect. Each module style is clean in and of itself, but they clash just enough to differentiate this platform.

The American Express InsideHR website

Users could like, share, and comment on the articles, and even add their own “community posts”. Curated content was merged with key calendar dates, job openings, and news feeds to create a unique mosaic on every visit. The system was private to HR employees, creating a “safe space” for discussion to begin.

The American Express InsideHR website

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Beyond simple articles, the site also supported polls, video, and integration with an external RSS feed so that global AMEX news also populated the feed.

Opportunity to Expand

During the 2014 AMEX global HR leadership conference, the client asked us to duplicate and re-use the InsideHR site as a conference hub. We implemented a one-off visual skin for the site and added support for users to upload their own photos from the event. This deployment was a hit. Many team members uploaded media and were active on the platform during and after the summit. Our unique modular coding style makes it especially seamless to morph sites we build for originally unforeseen applications.

The AMEX backstage pass program page design The AMEX backstage pass news feed design The AMEX backstage pass program page design
We re-skinned the site to serve as a conference hub

Supporting the Enterprise Technology Stack

When working for enterprise clients, we often have to ensure that the site works in older browsers. At the time we launched InsideHR, the predominant browser on AMEX computers was Internet Explorer 7, which was several years old. Since the bulk of our users were on IE7, instead of building the site with the latest techniques and patching IE7 support on at the end, we build it from the start with all IE7-compatible methods. We decided to create the nicest website 2006 had ever seen! This meant a cleaner, tighter codebase with less special considerations just for older browsers.

Client: American Express
Collaborators: Theo and Sebastian
  • Andrew Heins
  • Payton Biddington
  • Ty Fujimura
Year launched: 2013
  • Design
  • Development
  • WordPress

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