A corporate intranet encourages collaboration, develops corporate culture, streamlines process, enables communication across an organization, and serves as a content delivery system.
An intranet is defined as an internal network that is restricted to access by a select group of people, typically among essential users in a company, organization, or university, etc. Shifting from email based communications, corporate intranets create a repository for sharing vital information across all channels of a corporation, streamlining communication efforts as a whole. Allowing for communication across all channels perpetuates a transparency of company culture by reducing the amount of top-down communication and encouraging discussion.
In a recently published article titled Top 10 Intranets of 2015, the Nielsen Norman Group lists the top corporate intranets worldwide of the current year. These companies were chosen based upon usability and design. Those listed for the United States include Adobe, ConocoPhillips, Sprint, and Verizon Communications. In an effort to figure out what they’ve got that you may not, we are diving a little deeper to find tips on effective intranet design and usability.
Be sure not to overwhelm users with an overly complicated layout. Keep it basic and simple, being careful to adhere to a scheme and layout that is both brand reflective and easy to navigate. Establish and maintain a color scheme, layout, and basic principles for all contributors to abide by.
Responsive design is essential to user experience. A well developed user interface will increase engagement rates and compatibility on various devices. Avoid using heavy coding (Java, Flash, etc.) to ensure ease of download for all intranet users regardless of internet speeds.
Engagement & Incentives
Request feedback, input, and other contributions from employees. Using blogs and event calendars to keep employees engaged in constant interaction can greatly increase value for your company. This can also serve as a way to ensure that all key players are contributing to the intranet.
Okay, so you have the information there, but how do you get employees to a participatory level? Prompts and incentives. Using the internal blog to prompt internal communications and incentives to keep people contributing helps an intranet meet its full potential.
Analytics and Metrics
Set up and track metrics that indicate engagement and measure usage. Metrics to be tracked can include pageviews, peak times, and logins per day. By analyzing metrics, both quantitative and qualitative, your company can accurately determine the most vital times to post to a blog, disperse vital information, and how well processes are being followed.