5 Best Practices of Intranet Design
So, you’re interested in intranet design but are overwhelmed with so many options. The good news is that many companies have built a solution that is speeding up the pace and efficiency of business. Intranet usage – and usefulness – is actually exploding.
Unfortunately, some companies still struggle. Poorly-designed content architecture makes finding information and connecting with others difficult and frustrating. And despite the continued investment, intranet usage at these companies has never taken off.
So, what kind of intranet design will help companies achieve that bustling productivity? All it takes is a good design strategy and a relentless focus on the specific needs of employees. Content that was once inaccessible, will suddenly be much easier to find. Communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing will increase across departments, functions, and regions. And of course, mobile teams will also experience an incredible transformation.
Here are five key intranet design best practices that will supercharge employee interaction:
BEST PRACTICE 1: Plan carefully to ensure content is super easy to access, and puts user experience first.
A successful intranet should focus on employees and their individual content requirements. Develop a content strategy that makes key content both visible and readily accessible. This is the opposite of bulk content uploading and generic design. It takes planning, assessment, and must include all channels where content is sourced from. Be sure to have a realistic time frame for this planning exercise.
Sundt Construction is a company with an extensive library of forms, templates, guidance documents, and references, available for employees to access via the intranet. Unfortunately, due to poor content architecture and visual design, forms were difficult to access.
LiveTiles Intelligent Workplace Platform let Sundt easily redesign the content architecture, with employees in mind, making it much easier to find forms — all with a well-branded design. It dramatically improved the speed and access to information for staff. Adoption rate on the platform shot up from 40% to 90%.
BEST PRACTICE 2: Setup multiple collaborative channels for communications
Design a modern intranet that is more than a static, retrieval spot for documents. It should include one or more communication features like chat, instant messaging, bulletin boards, and social media. A key driver of internet use is when people can get instant answers to their questions.
Michael Hill Jewelers needed a quicker way for its 300 stores to access files and receive instant support and updates from the headquarters. LiveTiles built a communication platform called HO Documents to facilitate this requirement. The hub includes document access, news feeds and social feeds through Yammer — all is accessible via a single dashboard. Stores were able to get quotes and answers to other questions instantly.
BEST PRACTICE 3: Design for a personalized experience
Personalize the intranet experience to make it more convenient and intuitive for employees. This will encourage them to use it regularly. The place to start? Employee logins. Every time they sign in, they should be brought to relevant areas for their role and function.
Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (CEMC) designed intranet entry points to immediately bring every user straight to profiles that were constructed for their function. They can immediately access their primary resources on that first page, rather than hunting around. When CEMC redesigned their intranet to make it easier and more relevant for employees to access, it greatly spurred usage.
BEST PRACTICE 4: Make mobile workplace easy and reliable
Intranets should always be built with mobility in mind. The best intranet design connects mobile workers with project documents, messaging applications, and virtual conferencing. It offers remote employees a quicker alternative to (endless) email and phone messages.
Belle Properties is a perfect example. This real estate company had agents on the ground everywhere who needed access to the intranet for documents and communications. They wanted to move beyond email for communications and needed to access all kinds of deal documents while out selling properties. LiveTiles’ mobile intranet app has a user-friendly design that lets property managers and agents easily access all intranet-based documents, videos, and other resources on the go.
BEST PRACTICE 5: Analyze-Adjust, Analyze-Adjust
Without analysis, you are jeopardizing your intranet investment. Always audit intranet use – particularly in the beginning – to understand whether it is providing essential value. Who is accessing it? What time of day? How much time spent? What content is being consumed? Analysis should be both granular and broad. Without analysis, you’re not only gambling ROI on your intranet, but employees are also being denied the critical benefit of collaboration, communication, and access to valuable company information.
LiveTiles Intelligence offers both granular and broad-reaching data from departments, geolocations, device types and page interactions. With this data, companies can zero in on pages, features, or tools that are underutilized, figure out why, and decide on a corrective course of action. And of course, analytics lets companies assess the effectiveness of new tools, pages, or any modifications to the network.