An #Intranet Users Charter
While every intranet will differ in functionality and design based on the needs and culture of the business it serves, we can’t pretend our intranets exist in isolation. Our users spend the majority of time on other sites, many of them very good ones. They know a good site from a bad one, and that shapes what they expect of the intranet too.
It’s time intranet managers woke up and smell the coffee. Our users expect our sites and services to be as good as the ones they use all the time. We’ve developed this Intranet Users Charter, a series of promises from you and your team to the folks who use the intranet every day. Each intranet will differ but these statements should hold true, at least as an aspiration, for any company.
The 10 Point Intranet Users Charter
1. Consistent: Regardless of device, location or job grade you will be able to get access to the key tools you need to do your job at all times. We promise ubiquitous, uniform access. The user experience through to third-party applications will be maintained.
2. Easy to Understand: Policies will be in plain English or equivalent and be no more than 1 page long. You need to be able to read it so that you can adhere to the detail and spirit. We know long documents are rarely read and rarely understood.
3. Clear: We will have no repetition of information in multiple formats such as an intranet page, powerpoint or pdf. We will make it as simple as possible for you to know you have the right document.
4. Accurate: You can rely on the information you find to be accurate and current.
5. Simple: Materials will be stored together — transaction and reference policy in the same place for example — so that you don’t have to hunt down the information you need.
6. Flexible: This is is your work tool, you have the freedom to use it an the ways that help you most. We will provide self-provisioning tools and personalisation options so you can make these tools work better for you.
7. Evolving: The intranet will get better over time; new features will come online in response to your changing needs or feedback. The intranet won’t be frozen in time at the point it was when the intranet launched. The company evolves, your needs evolve, the intranet will evolve too.
9. Transparent: Any inaccuracies, feedback, suggestions, complaints or comments will be taken seriously and acted upon in an appropriate and timely manner. You can track our progress.
10. Secure: Your use of the intranet and the content you store on it will remain private and will not be disclosed without your agreement for any purposes other than in connection to the investigation of serious wrongdoing or in the process of improving your intranet experience.
How does your intranet shape up against our Intranet Users Charter? Plenty (including all of ours) don’t, but in a world where most people are savvy, experienced web users too, they’re perfectly reasonable demands. It might be that these are more visionary given where you are in your own intranet journey, but we feel there’s nothing wrong in having something for you, your colleagues and organisation to aspire to. It’s time we upped our game.
What do you think? What promises do you make to your users?Photo credit: Carmella Fernando