- What is a good thing to make my intranet’s homepage sticky?
- How can I keep people’s attention after launch?
- Can anyone tell me what’s a good navigation for my intranet?
If I go to a dinner party I want it to be relaxing and entertaining and even if it’s not I’ll smile nicely and say nice things to the hosts when I leave. This is because I’m English and too embarrassed to be anything other than polite and would prefer to die rather than publicly embarrass someone.
But intranets are not like dinner parties. The truth is, employees don’t care about intranets unless they are of direct benefit in their day-to-day work. Everything else is just distraction. Intranets can be great work tools, just make them useful and usable. Put the content and tools that people need and make it easy to find the things they want. Simples.
So let’s deal with those big questions again:
What is a good thing to make my intranet’s homepage sticky?
Why do you want people to come to your intranet’s homepage? This is often a communication manager’s desire to get people to read news, announcements and other top down communications. Unless your raising or firing, you have to think about the ‘why should I bother reading that?’ question.
If you must publish news in an online newspaper metaphor make sure people can respond, comment, feedback or at least know why and how this affects them.
Otherwise just give them quick ways to get to what they want deeper in, instead of building up libraries of shortcuts. Become a curator of content rather than a publisher of internal comms spam.
How can I keep people’s attention after launch?
If you have to keep up momentum at a dinner party you’ve failed. Wrong combination of guests, bad ambience, worse food or not enough booze. If you feel you need to try to work to maintain attention and usage of your intranet after launch then you might have failed before you started. People might have smiled and dutifully clicked the link on the email to visit the new site, but if there’s nothing of use why, when their boss is asking how their work’s getting on, should they take time out to browse news about the new Head of Paperclips in the Chicago office.
Start by engaging the site’s audience – the employees. Survey them, scour the intranet search logs to see what they’re looking for, ask IT for stats of the most popular pages, run some quick and dirty workshops, shadow them to see what they do – and what they can’t currently do – on the intranet as it stands. When you know what’s useful, add new stuff they’ve never thought of that’ll add value to their day job and this is the stuff that’ll bring them back – because it’s useful … they NEED it.
Can anyone tell me what’s a good navigation for my intranet?
Why don’t food shops sell a standard dinner party recipe kit? Because, as Monty Python said “We’re all individuals! …”. Your navigation has to suit your particular audience of employees. Arrange the information architecture so that the most useful and desirable things are easiest to get to, use words employees understand for labelling and group information together that makes sense to your employees. Remember, ‘you are not the audience’. Do your research – do some post-it note exercises to find out how people naturally want to group information and do it with a mix of people from across the organisation.
When it comes down to it, to make a dinner party work, you need a good mix of guests, an environment conducive to relaxation and conversation and some great food, but most importantly, it’s up to you, the host, to work out the best mix of everything to suit your guests and lay it on.
For your intranet find nice way to point out to the CEO that their desires, when put against the needs of the other 99.999% of the organisation are not actually significant. Design and craft content for your audience of employees, answer their needs and then show your CEO how you’re enabling a more efficient and productive workforce.
Now. Who’s for coffee?
The Long Dog.