Level3 “Own It” Interactive Microsite

Level 3 Communications envisioned a microsite that would build community, connections and communications for its employees across the globe. They wanted to educate them on what it means to be a part of Level 3, in a process they call 'owning it'. However, the microsite needed to be about more than just education, it had to integrate the employee through a digestible, interactive and effective way. We were up for the challenge, and six months later employees were using a seamless microsite that introduced them to one of the most influential companies in the world.


Davey Awards
Gold Award
Summit Emerging Media Award
Communicator Awards
Silver Award of Distinction
BMA B2 Awards
Gold Award
American Business Awards
Stevie Award
Merit Award

Project Overview

The microsite is organized into four main sections:

  • Owning Our Experience - This is an interactive timeline of how Level 3 started and what they have achieved over the years. Visitors can digest the information easily by using the timeline slider to pinpoint different time markers, each accompanied by stunning graphics and original photography.
  • Owning Our Business - The visitor goes through a visual journey of Level 3's vision and purpose for our networked world, as well as factoids of the company overview. Then they explore Level 3's markets and learn that 39 of the 50 top global brands are customers. Users can drag and drop logos across a world map and literally play with content - enhancing employee understanding through tactile learning.
  • Owning Our Brand - This is by far one of the most impressive sections of the microsite. The typical brand guide is usually a extremely lengthy and boring document, but not this time! We used interactive games to teach employees about brand design and Level 3's Brand Promise of serving as a global, trusted provider. Users learn about brand elements and literally build a logo and level 3 print ad, all the while covering the brand's delicacies including fonts, color palette and style. Lastly, brand savvy is tested by having users select current branding pieces versus incorrect or old branding materials.
  • Owning It - This last section rounds out the employee experience by showing a video summing up what it means to "own it" at Level 3. Plus, visitors can view a gallery of work from across the world so they can see how Level 3's brand is comprehensively communicated across different channels: print, web, trade show booths, outdoor advertising and more.​

Audience & Strategy

Level 3 has employees all over the world and integrating them into the company's culture, core values, and brand is a large task. The microsite design accommodates multiple languages and uses actual Level 3 images - instead of generic stock images found too often in design today. Some languages require more space to communicate an idea, so the design had to be flexible to the ever-changing content. Ultimately, the microsite's design had to really own audience diversity and commitment to design excellence; otherwise, how we could not expect the employees themselves to own the content.

User Experience & Functionality

This project was about going beyond the boring and ineffective company brochures and guidebooks too commonplace in corporate culture today. The whole microsite is smooth, from the design to the navigation itself. You can go to different sections of the "Own It" experience at any point in the site, and even skip the interactive games if the user wants to come back later. In the end, the user experience actually makes employees WANT to learn about the company, instead of stuffing a clumsy brochure in a forgotten filing cabinet.

Also, back end access was provided so Level 3 could make changes, measure traffic, and ultimately allow the site to grow as employee education and technology evolves.

Overcoming Challenges

Deciding how to creatively present information was the primary challenge. We didn't want to give people a list to look at when they can have a fun game, infographic or interactive element. In addition, the whole microsite needed to be brand consistent (after all, this piece was about owning the brand!). Every custom graphic, font, color, shape and design had to be considered. We really focused on championing the brand in this microsite, so much in fact that Level 3 evolved portions of their brand because they loved the design so much!

Another challenge was functionality and usability. The entire microsite is not flash and is compatible with Internet Explorer 8, very challenging indeed but after extensive quality testing we found solid workarounds. Plus, we designed the microsite for multiple screen sizes, including mobile, tablet, computer and inside Level 3's intranet modules. The graphics had to be clean and large enough in size so visitors could use their finger to drag and drop items in the games, as well as navigate the site itself. We considered what content needed to be preloaded and files compressed so the microsite doesn't choke up, and users have the option to download a PDF of the sections so they can study offline.

The intensity of this project required a large amount of communication and several rounds of edits ensued. The legal sensitivity of the content was a project all by itself because it was imperative both text and graphic content was within legal landscape of Level 3's parameters.


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