Tags // Intranets
Organizing Your Global Corporate Intranet
Indi Young has written an article on some common areas found on global intranets:
You can see that, even though companies in different countries adhere to local regulations, the structures for retaining and supporting employees are universal. Healthcare, time off, retirement, equipment needs, training and so on are central areas of interest even though individual policies and features may differ from country to country. Therefore you can confidently organize your intranet around these global topics.
Intranets must be task-centric
Gerry McGovern writes on the need to design the intranet to be task-centric. Not a new idea, but it helps spread the meme:
"An organization-centric intranet is departmental-based. A staff-centric intranet is task-based. Organization-centric intranets fail. Task-centric intranets succeed. Here's why."
Intranets: six months at a time
James Robertson has written an in-depth article on mentoring an intranet redesign. Wonderful insights here, especially on the six months time frame bit.
And the killer content for an intranet is …
Gerry McGovern with some advice on using staff pages in your intranet:
"There is nothing more important for a knowledge organization than to quickly and efficiently connect the right people. It's the foundation-the corner stone-of knowledge management. It is the foundation for success of the company of today-let alone the company of tomorrow. So, why do so many organizations do such a bloody awful job of it?"
Using ‘Guides’ as a Supplemental Navigation Technique
I've published an article on using 'guides' as a supplemental navigation technique.
Supplemental navigation techniques provide an alternative, complementary or adjunct view to seeking out information on large websites and intranets. This article describes when and how to use one such technique – the ‘guide’.
Corporate Intranets Best Practices Report
Razorfish has published its "Corporate Intranets Best Practices" report. Some interesting stuff in there, especially their "maturity framework".
Taming your “target” content
"When it comes to the design of intranets and large websites, the limelight is firmly on issues of taxonomy and navigation (info-seeking) and not so much on the final use (info-using) of the content, known as the target content. The focus is still on the library card catalogue and not on the book. In a book world, this is a non-issue; the book is a well-defined, structured entity. But in a web world, we have to deal with open-ended, heterogeneous content, which if not designed for use can be as detrimental to the user experience as weak info-seeking structures. This article briefly describes a simple approach that can help improve the use of target content."
Here are some links for the weekend:
- EdwardTufte's book, Beautiful Evidence is finally out
- Business Week has a new supplement: Inside Innovation, helping companies use "design thinking"
- Rosenfeld Media's upcoming book on search analytics has a "book in progress" website
- Jane McConnell is running a survey on strategic issues in large, complex, global intranets. If you're an intranet owner, consider taking this survey. It will benefit us all.
- Robin Neidorf has written an article on using "distance learning as a collaborative enterprise"
The Value of User-Generated Content
Paul Chin explores the value of having user-generated content (UGC) on the corporate intranet. He brings out the positive and negative aspects of UGC in contrast to 'engineered-content' created by the intranet team. Although it might seem that UGC has many drawbacks, I feel that it is the way to go for corporate intranets. The trick is to design the system to make it UCG-friendly. Strategies like Google Base and tools like Writely can help bring this about.
Ten Best Intranets of 2006
Jakob Nielsen is out with this year's (already?) intranet design winners. So, we have more e-learning and more mobile access and more consistency. The real value of this report is the number of screenshots. It's always difficult to get hold of intranet screenshots.
No more categories
I’ve done away with categories. I was constantly struggling with categories for a long time. I had 3 iterations in the past and always thought that I would finally get to a more representative set, but never did. The main reason I guess is that I find myself not talking about a single topic or domain. If I were to do that, say on instructional design, then I think I would have found that representative set. But the topics I find myself getting into are so diverse—design, decision-making, branding, neuroscience, intranets, etc.—that it would be absurd to have a listing of categories for these entries. Blog posts, I’ve come to realise, want to be free.
Intranet Portals and Scent are Made for Each Other
When it comes to intranets, designing a user-centric organization scheme is a hard sell. You have to break through years of org-chart thinking. Presenting research findings into staff information needs definitely helps in getting the point across. But I’ve found that talking to them about the “scent” of information gets them all excited. Suddenly if feels as if they have the power of understanding. Guess, Jared Spool is seeing the same trends. He’s new article is on intranets and scent of information. How cool!
The Problem with Jack-Of-All-Trades Intranets
Paul Chin writes a nice article on bloated intranets, or Jack-of-all-trades (JOATs):
"You need to know when to say enough is enough. Are you putting features into your system because users have a genuine need for them or are you putting them in because you're afraid of leaving something out? You should be developing your intranet to meet a business need, not to wow users with the its extensive list of features."