Associative Trails

Arup Collateral Store and Branded Products Shop

An intranet application for sharing marketing collateral and internal ordering.

The challenge

Whilst Arup already had an intranet application to help them share marketing collateral with staff, the interface made it difficult to manage and find relevant documents.

Our brief was to open up the system to the whole firm, make the interface more intuitive and share data with other applications on the firm's extensive intranet.

Yahoo-style directory listing
Classification management
Cloud of user-assigned tags
Browsing products

The solution

By analysing different use cases, we found that splitting the solution into two separate applications would streamline workflows and make the interface more intuitive. Integrating the two applications with existing HR systems allows the applications to recognise staff automatically and avoid unwelcoming registration, whilst still giving certain staff administrator privileges.

We use managed classification schemas and ad-hoc tagging to provide a rich document browsing interface, with "serendipity" links between similar documents. Exposing document lists via web services allows other intranet applications to link directly to relevant collateral. Migrating the technical platform to Oracle allows the applications to support many concurrent users.

Item-level metadata and serendipity links
Bespoke shopping basket

“[The applications] will save us significant time and money...The product is robust and adaptable - everything we asked for.”

The outcome

Olivia Gadd, head of Corporate Communications at Arup explains: "The finished applications are fully integrated with central corporate applications and support Arup staff around the world. This will save us significant time and money and will assist in the consistency of our marketing message. The product is robust and adaptable - everything we asked for."

Technologies used

Adobe Coldfusion, Oracle, XHTML, CSS, WSDL.

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