So what does a well-designed intranet look like? What lessons can we learn from the most successful intranets? Here are some best practice intranet examples together with a short commentary as to what makes them stand out.
Home Page Example One
Engaging staff with vibrant images helps get them engaged in the content. With this example, you can see that they have opted to give the site a name “The Hub.” This helps with the identity of the intranet site and positions what the site is all about. Clear navigation links drill down into key departments and areas of information allowing staff to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. In this example, they have the latest company news clearly positioned below the main intranet banner, which then leads on to other key announcements, links and information.
Home Page Example Two
Banners are a great way of linking to pages and help to put content into context. The home page example below shows how you can create a dashboard-style home page that provides easy access to the important areas of information your employees need.
Staff Directory Example
Using a staff directory allows employees to easily connect right across your organization. Another benefit is rather than needing to remember everyone’s name and job role, employees can access the staff directory whenever they like.
User Profiles Example
After using the staff directory to find a member of staff, user profile pages are an invaluable way of introducing employees to each other. This is great for new starters as well as being able to match an employee up to a skillset that you are looking for. Some intranet solutions like MyHub allow you to create and use custom profile fields within the profile pages, further expanding the options open to organizations for creating an intranet that will meet your needs.
File Sharing Example
Storing files centrally within your intranet can solve a number of problems. How often have you been asked by a colleague, “Where is the project file for this customer?” For most employees remembering folder structures is a pain. Having everything stored on your intranet allows you to provide context around files by linking directly to them from pages.
Accordions / Expanding Text Examples
Using accordions or expanding text modules can be a great way of putting a lot of information on a single page. Be careful though as some solutions load all of the content in one go and this can make page load times take forever, frustrating your users. A great example is shown below and has two columns with different sections for each product area. The information in each expanding text area doesn’t load until the user clicks the chosen product and it’s all mobile responsive.
Mobile Responsive Example
The example below shows the home page from example one and how it responds to different device types and orientations. It’s really important that your intranet is mobile responsive so that employees on the move and remote workers can benefit from the improved processes and communications that your intranet will bring.
Forms / Workflow Example
We all know that paper-based forms can be a bit of a headache and multiple emails can easily get lost and contain errors that end up just going backwards and forwards. The example below shows how you can group say all of your HR forms in a single area on your intranet providing easy access for staff. You’ll notice in the example that this particular user has a notification on the top bar showing the logged in user that someone has started following them.
Embedding cloud files such as Google docs or Microsoft Office 365 files directly within your intranet pages can provide a powerful solution to a number of business problems. By using page permissions, you can easily restrict access in conjunction with your existing cloud solution permissions. The example below shows an embedded Office 365 Excel spreadsheet. Not all of your users will require access to directly edit the spreadsheet data. Therefore, by embedding it within your intranet you can provide a live view of any of the data entered without the need for the user to find the file. This also opens up a number of options in terms of being able to provide context and training information on the page if you want to.
Employee Engagement Form Example
Looking to improve employee engagement? One great way to achieve this is to use your intranet’s built-in forms builder to create employee engagement surveys that will help you identify areas of improvement. Employee disengagement is a major cause of increased rates of absenteeism and low productivity so this is a good way of reducing costs in this area.
Intranet Forum Example
Forums are a great place for employees to collaborate. Whether it’s to share updates or discuss issues surrounding different projects, having the conversations stored within your intranet that can be accessed from anywhere is a great asset for an organization to utilize.