MSD Connect


MSD Connect is a web platform for connecting different medical professionals by the pharmaceutical lab Merck. The portal design is deployed in any country where Merck is present.

We started our mission by the usability evaluation. The rough design was from another agency. The client was happy with our service and they end up entrusting us with the entire redesign project.


  1. Balancing between local (France) collaboration and world collaboration to come to a sound consensus
  2. Guiding local marketing teams to the new design all the while clarifying their digital strategy through workshops
  3. Information architecture/Navigation structure that keeps reflecting the marketing organization vs. users' categories
  4. The redesign works are at a different stage of maturity for each marketing unit

Ways of Working

Every 2~3 weeks new requests came in, we end up having parallel activities. Me and principal designer stayed on the projects to keep the unity of branding language.

The project manager played a key role so that I can focus on advising, designing and framing with the team.



Our support through workshops helps marketing teams to adopt the user-centered perspective
A thorough onboarding to the new design avoids re-invention UI elements
The development is 80% close to what has been advised in the design guidelines

Production Challenge

At that time, there was no UI component library tool in Sketch. We had the parallel tracks going on, requests coming organically from various business units. At one point, no wonder there are discrepancies in details of typography, colors, and symbols though overall feel are kept.

I had to make a tough decision to ask one of the senior designers to fix all the pixel glitches. Not an easy task, but we had to.
Nowadays, with new UI components cloud management, we will have fewer issues.

Connecting the dots

The client has accumulated many types of deliverables from various agencies contracted by different business units. The design guidelines are, for me, often the result of this ability to make logical connections in-between business, users, and emotional aesthetics. My strength lies in keeping the voice of users and pushing the design aesthetics.

 On top of the design guidelines, we created a synthesis of all the user researches. Not just MSD, but people, including us, designers, tend to do user testing and forget about it instead of using it in every day's micro-decisions.

Workshops with marketing teams

It was an opportunity for the MSD Connect development team to onboard to the new vision we created together. For the marketing teams, it was an opportunity to discover the user-centered design and reflect upon their current digital strategy.

We helped to shape their vision and unearth the missing action plans. To fast-track the integration of the new design, we provided the design comps, prototypes, and user tests.


The idea of a content-heavy portal is challenging as it requires a constant quality content creation, almost an in-house editorial team of journalists. In this project, it is about scientific expertise. It could be even more difficult.

The initial strategy handed out by business consultants did not foresee such ordinary difficulties. 


Project Director - Design Lead


Content Strategist
Visual Designer x2
Interaction designer x2
User Researcher x1.5
Project manager x1


+ Proposing what needs to be done, estimating the time-budget.
+ Workshops (method, facilitation, materials, synthesis)
+ Advising clients on the Ways of Working, Digital Strategy planning
+ Collaborating with the team, briefing, reviewing, correcting  and framing their works
+ Creating the base for design guidelines

Selected Works

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MiniDrones UI | LockedVisual + Interaction Design

Lexis Nexis Lean UX |LockedLean UX Service Design

Here Technologie | LockedDesign Performance

Cloud Electronics | LockedForesight Design

Akemi Tazaki All rights reserved 2020 - 2021 Created by using Semplice