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Enterprise UX and Service Design: Improving performance and cross-organizational collaboration with an intuitive, user-friendly, and unified user interface and functionality.


The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper of critical materials related to business conducted by agencies of the United States’ federal government. NARA needed help improving users’ experiences on its records acquisition system, known as Electronic Records Archive 2.0 (ERA 2.0), as part of an effort to upgrade ERA 2.0’s technology infrastructure and overall effectiveness. NARA’s priorities and goals for the system’s user experience were:

  • Creating an intuitive, flexible, user-friendly, and accessible experience for federal agency users outside NARA to quickly, easily, and reliably schedule, prepare, transfer, and track the safe keeping of records.
  • Extending and improving usability and accessibility of ERA 2.0’s internal-facing screens and functionality to improve the performance of the 200+ NARA staff that used the system in their day-to-day acquisition and archival work.
  • Bringing the external- and internal-facing parts of ERA 2.0 into alignment for better visibility and collaboration between NARA and agencies throughout the records scheduling, transfer, and management lifecycle.


We began by reviewing existing screens and workflows, and supporting a requirements analysis effort that was already in progress. Once we understood the overall goals for the project, we proposed an approach for the user experience work stream based on a service design framework that was disciplined and structured, yet lean and iterative. This approach required active input and involvement by NARA’s stakeholders and the ERA 2.0 project team to be successful.

Once expectations were set and roles and responsibilities understood, we kicked off collaborative design and review workshops with different groups from the NARA stakeholder and ERA 2.0 project teams. Each workshop participant had expertise, visibility, and responsibility for different parts of the records scheduling, transfer, and storage process. We planned and ran these workshops, which involved rapidly and iteratively designing, presenting, and refining:

  • A logical, learnable, and extensible organizational structure for the ERA 2.0 application
  • Flexible navigation and intuitive interaction models to support easy movement across modules and tasks
  • Designs of screen layouts to display functionality and content in more user-friendly, consistent, and uniform ways for the range of external and internal users involved throughout the records scheduling, transfer, and management lifecycle
  • An accessible ADA/WCAG compliant UI

The designs from these workshops were woven together into a web-based interactive application sitemap and clickable prototype. We used the interactive site map and prototype during workshops to guide discussion, elicit feedback, and iterate and refine feature flows, screen layouts, and content presentation.

The prototype was also available for stakeholders and members of the project team to review and provide feedback. Once we had final drafts for the modules completed, we brought the different groups together to collaborate on designs and features for dashboards, search, and other global elements that existed across the ERA 2.0 application to would provide a consistent and coherent experience. The final prototype, accompanied by epic stories and visual designs, was used by the project team, engineering, and QA to guide development.


National Archives now has a user-friendly, intuitive tool that increases productivity and improves collaboration for those involved with the scheduling, review, transfer, and processing of agency records.

List of Services

  • Enterprise UX
  • Service Design 
  • Collaborative Design Workshops
  • IA, IxD, + UI Design
  • Prototyping
  • Team + Project Management

Explore Our Work

Explore Our Work