UC Berkeley's Intranet: Increasing user adoption through enhanced functionality and usability

Case Study: UC Berkeley
Project Highlights
  • Content redesign with a focus on users’ job functions and tasks
  • Improved site functionality including search
  • Increased adoption of unique users and hits
  • Esthetic and functional SharePoint intranet

At a glance

UC Berkeley is widely considered the best public university in the world, where the brightest minds from across the globe come together to improve the world. It has a student body of more than 40,000.

Their advancement intranet site, Eureka, is under the auspices of the University Development and Alumni Relations Department. Eureka, -a Greek word meaning “I have found it!”- is a repository for information about how fundraising is done. The name is intended to be a promise to the users: it’s the place to find all the resources and information they need to work at their best. The audience is the 1,000-plus people at the university that perform advancement tasks as some component of their job.

About 30 percent of the staff is clustered in UDAR, but the rest is distributed in a variety of roles housed in units and departments across the campus. The first Eureka advancement intranet was launched in the mid-2000s, and a new, secure, and improved version was needed.

Strategic objectives

  • Establish a knowledge-sharing environment that enables UC Berkeley advancement staff to achieve peak performance by strengthening the advancement community and the fundraising culture across campus.
  • Support the onboarding of new staff and the ongoing training of all campus staff and faculty on advancement processes.
  • Deliver content based on users’ job functions or tasks.
  • Provide dynamic information on the current fundraising statistics, successes, opportunities, and other stories.

Better Intranet, Better User Adoption

Definity First’s deep experience with SharePoint was enormously helpful in their migration from the original version to a new cloud-based version. We designed a site architecture that met all the client’s needs, including a killer search experience.

We proved to be an excellent resource, advising them on content presentation and site structure as well as developing the new Eureka in Microsoft SharePoint Online. We collaborated with them every step of the way by creating a very personalized customer experience.

The first month reported an increase of 36% more unique users & 50% more hits over the previous year.

Intranet key features


Different access points were facilitated by the Eureka web page logo throughout the Intranet.


Process documents were changed to web pages for better search options. Increased knowledge of the power of the SharePoint platform.


Contact information searches were optimized to find information based on skills.


Information, gifts, donors, and prospects.

Empowering Berkeley's Team with a knowledge-sharing & secure platform

The project had strong executive sponsorship which contributed greatly to expediting project decisions and the successful launch. Additionally, there were strong senior management advocates who appeared in the Eureka promotional video. It was also helpful that the staff had the technical skills and understanding of SharePoint needed to collaborate with Definity First.

There was a strong and detailed change management plan to facilitate user transition to the platform that included email announcements, articles in the Advancement Newsletter, demos across campus, and a video tutorial. All these factors helped pave the way to a successful launch.

To ensure continued success, the project team established the Eureka Steering Committee. The Steering Committee meets on a quarterly basis to review feedback and site usage and make recommendations for how to improve Eureka.


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