This project is the only time I've worked with the military, and everyone involved was just great. Incredible enthusiasm, good feedback...only problem is, they never actually built the site! Infrastructure issues put the whole thing on hold. Last we heard, new leadership is in place, and the whole process began again. In short, I doubt it will ever be built. Despite that, I've included the design here as I think it not only represented a huge leap forward for the Reserve brand, but because it's a nice example of how specific UX elements can support brand objectives.
Perhaps the biggest brand challenge the Reserve faces is a lack of understanding as to what its members actually do. To address this in the design, we created a floating, slightly transparent interface that hovers over large background images. These scenes change dynamically to illustrate the many roles of the Reserve, from combat to peacekeeping, to disaster recovery. We decided to help the images work even harder by enabling users to "toggle off" the content modules. Not only can the full image then be seen clearly, but additional content and messaging is exposed, further describing the activity pictured.
The site's design is also unapologetically modular. Not only does this approach create a strong sense of organization (highly valued in the military), it leverages the functional architecture of Sharepoint, and allows future content and functionality to be added in a more predictable way.
Lead designer: Stuart Roud