Does your intranet have a name? Is it an important branding feature or just lipstick on a pig? If you are developing your intranet, it’ll no doubt be a topic that you’re wrestling with right now. This post will look at the case for and against naming your intranet and provide some useful resources and ideas if that’s your preferred direction. We’re grateful to Paul Graville at Concentra UK for his help.Read More
There comes a time when an intranet manager is faced with an intranet upgrade. Your intranet isn’t fit for purpose and the majority of your time is spent fixing things rather than developing and perfecting areas within. Does the thought of an upgrade excite you? Or make you break out in a fit of cold sweats? No matter what the reaction, an intranet upgrade is a big project that requires the right team internally and externally.
In a series of upcoming Intranetizen posts we will be looking at the different steps in achieving a successful intranet upgrade. This first post details the process behind securing an agency that understands your business and your project’s objectives.Read More
In 2004, Clay Shirky wrote a forward-thinking essay on what he called Situated Software; “software designed for a particular social situation or context”. He predicted that “the design center of a dozen users, so hard to serve in the past, may become normal practice… we’ll see a rise in these small-form applications”.
And he was right; the emergence of the smartphone, in particular, has given rise to a landscape in which whatever you need to do, there’s an app for that. But where we’re really seeing the value of small-form applications designed for their own specific social context is on intranets.Read More
At the recent IBF24 event, hosted by Paul Miller and the team at the Intranet Benchmarking Forum, the second annual “My Beautiful Intranet” competition was held. The winner was a good looking site from the Government of British Columbia. Congratulations to everyone who entered and in particular to the team behind the winner.
However, much of the debate online and offline surrounding this intranet beauty pageant concerned a number of key questions:
- What is ‘beautiful’?
- What is the point of aesthetic beauty without functional beauty?
- What can we learn from the participants and winners?
In her excellent executive summary of Digital Workplace Trends, Jane McConnell discusses 5 megatrends for intranets, including the notion that intranets are becoming more ‘people-focused’. This is often used to describe the social tools that are becoming commonplace on intranets, but also reflects the growing desire to allow the employee to own their intranet through personalisation features.Read More
But with huge diversity in the companies attending — from the heavy industrial energy company Wartsila (Finland) to Abbotts Laboratories (Pharma), I was struck by the incredible similarity in designs. Strip out the corporate colouring and nearly all intranets presented had a top-left logo with a top navigation of drop down menus (TLLTN). Is this convergent thinking, best practice in evidence, convention or just lazy design?
When I returned, I flicked back through James Robertson’s excellent book “Designing Intranets: Creating intranets that work” and saw this phenomenon repeated. James himself calls it “the all-to-familiar landing page”.Read More