Simple Intranet Design
Are you using a straightforward and intuitive intranet design? You want your employees’ work days to flow as smoothly as possible. Your company intranet can go a long way toward streamlining their day-to-day workflow, but only if your intranet design was created with simplicity in mind. Keeping the design simple isn’t necessarily about removing apps or keeping pages relevant, short, and concise. You already know mobile-responsive design is critical to the ability of employees across the company to use the intranet whether they’re sitting in an office, traveling across the country in the course of their daily business, or halfway across the world on a trip. You’ve spent time streamlining the search function so that it’s easy for employees to find unfamiliar pages or to search for information that they don’t already have on hand. There are a few other details, however, that you’ll want to consider as you’re developing a streamlined intranet.
You may be tempted to leave old documents, blog posts, and forums on your company intranet. Depending on your provider, unlimited storage or high memory limits may make cleaning out old data low on your priority list. Regular maintenance of your intranet, however, should include cleaning out files, posts, and forums that are no longer useful for employees throughout the company. Try to develop the habit of deleting files or posts as you add new ones. For example, if you’ve just written a post extolling the virtues of the new company wellness program. It’s a very good time to go back over former posts using “wellness program,” “health fair,” or “wellness incentives” as keywords and delete them. This is to ensure that outdated and inaccurate information isn’t taking the place of your new, up-to-date posts. Anytime you upload a new document or file, either overwrite the old one or go back and delete it. This will help ensure that every employee throughout the company is getting the latest, most up-to-date information.
How to Decide What to Delete
Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if the information is no longer accurate or useful, it’s time to delete it. Determining what’s accurate and useful, however, can take some work! To make the process easier, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this document still in use throughout the company?
- Is this the version of this file that employees should be using, or is there another one that is more up-to-date?
- Is this post something that someone in the future would consider useful? Is the information in it still current, or is it drastically out of date? Note: a post that contains a great deal of useful tips or information, but which
- Has this information been accessed recently, or has it fallen into disuse? If it’s still useful, but hasn’t been viewed in more than a year, it might be time to redesign the page to make it more easily searchable to make it more user-friendly.
- Do others throughout the company still use this file, blog, or app? If you aren’t sure, try polling individuals from different departments. Keep in mind that important seasonal information, for example, information about how the Secret Santa program is run or important files and forms directing sign-up for employer-sponsored insurance programs should be left up throughout the year.
Whether you have, to this point, been the sole individual with the ability to post new content to the intranet or you’ve shared that responsibility with a select handful of individuals or a single department, loosen up the reins and design an intranet environment where users across all departments can create new content, modify documents, or create new forums. This new process of employee-driven creation has a number of advantages when it comes to an intranet design that will streamline work days throughout the company.
They aren’t waiting on you for every piece of new content. You don’t have time in your schedule to jump immediately into action every time something needs to be added to the intranet. In fact, sometimes, days may pass before you can get to it–even if it’s something that those employees who need it consider highly important. When employees can manage their own content, on the other hand, they can go ahead and create the things that they need to streamline their day.
You’ll get new, quality, interesting content on a regular basis. Employees throughout the company likely have ideas that you’ve never considered. Give them the opportunity to share those ideas across the company intranet, and you’ll watch productivity explode as others take advantage of their ideas.
It changes your job description from “creator” to “monitor.” This streamlines your day and gives you more time for the other important things that you need to handle.
Practice Intuitive Intranet Design
Your intranet design shouldn’t be completely unfamiliar to everyone else in the company, nor should it require special training or a degree in order to understand how to use it. Base your intranet design on existing operating systems that are used by employees throughout the company on a regular basis. Take the time to teach everyone how to use it effectively, including showcasing important apps and other features, but don’t rely on that training to kick off employee engagement. As you’re designing your intranet, a few key steps can help keep it intuitive, simple, and easy to understand.
Don’t bury critical information in large chunks of text. One of the best ways to keep your intranet design both intuitive and searchable is to break up long blocks of text into separate areas. Turn a blog post into two or more pages, or even consider writing a series of posts instead of a single one. Take the time to break up chunks of text into smaller files or documents. That way, employees won’t find themselves reading the entire page just to find a single piece of information.
Test it out before you deploy. What makes perfect sense to you, especially by the time you’ve spent hours working on it, may not be as intuitive to your coworkers. Test out your intranet on a select audience before it deploys to the company as a whole. Make sure to ask what didn’t make sense to them or where they had problems along the way.
Make navigation easy. Store information where your employees would expect it to be stored. If this means duplicating information or linking to it from more than once place, that’s not a problem! Be sure to follow up with intranet users regularly. Ask them what they’ve had trouble finding or where they’ve had trouble using your intranet software. Sometimes, making the intranet more intuitive for them is as simple as moving a document or linking to it from a different location.
When your intranet is intuitive, well-maintained, and controlled by employees throughout the company, you’ll find that it contributes greatly to an efficient work day. Employees throughout the company will be relieved to have an intranet design that is easy to navigate, simple to understand, and that builds on itself to create a functional whole that assists them in daily workplace productivity. If you have that intranet design in your mind and are ready to start creating it, contact us! We have an intranet template that will fit your needs, allowing for intuitive design, varied levels of employee contribution and security, and more.