Designing a self-directed learning service for all employees

National Australia Bank

In an effort to increase the amount of self-directed learning among employees, Portable worked in partnership with the National Australia Bank (NAB) to design a prototype that allowed staff to access and utilise training material provided by the NAB in their own time.

The project looked into changing the culture of career development while using service design to curate a fresh platform for better user experience. After co-designing with NAB, Portable innovated organisational change with the appropriate technology. By ensuring the platform is user friendly, supplemented by an economical rewards based system, the new platform fosters an environment for staff to feel rewarded, rather forced, when they train online.

"Raised the bar on the learning that’s out there" – NAB employee

NAB needed to reconfigure their staff training platform and change the culture of personal career development within their company. Portable was able to reinvent NAB’s learning site by redesigning an intelligent package of learning/risk management skills for the future of training.

  1. We accessed multiple locations for user testing to cultivate the collective expertise of NAB staff in order to find a superior solution. In engaging the staff, both experienced and new, we leveraged their divergent experiences and knowledge.
  2. Facing the workflow problems outlined by management, we explored various solution possibilities. Ultimately, we engaged the expertise of the people who would be utilising the new platform and tools, and with their help successfully co-designed a solution.
  3. Addressing the internal issues often prevalent in large scale organisations, our method of collaboration with staff members allowed us to facilitate the successful workshopping and brainstorming of ideas. With the right support, staff members were an invaluable resource in the co-designing process.

Portable created a thorough sitemap for NAB and outlined the pathways for better communication and organisational innovation. This process also helped uncover universal features and functionality in Portable’s Solution Design Phase.


  • Reshaped relationships between NAB and their staff
  • Reduced the training time for employees by providing necessary tools for self-directed learning and increasing motivation for employees to up-skill and progress their careers
  • Provided the foundations and framework for the NAB to progress internally with the project
  • Tightened learning gaps within the NAB’s training systems

NAB’s redevelopment teaches staff to be confident in educating themselves independently and online.

Their staff can choose when, where and how they progress in their career, allowing them to use the sites flexibility to work around the parameters of their lives. This enables them to up-skill and progress their career in their own time. What was once a burden that staff were forced to undertake is now an award that they can do to progress their careers with NAB.

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