How to build a smarter intranet

Sashi

We are a part of an evolving world where advancements are occurring at an exponential pace.

In such a growing environment, intranet acts as a one stop solution for all internal communication needs within an organization. Intranet enables organizations to overcome location boundaries and maintain every employee interconnected with each other and on the same page.

The intranet has been boosted to new heights by latest technologies. One of them is Content Management System. CMS allows you to control and manage content within your site without technical training. A new horizon of opportunities opens up for intranet when Microsoft came up with the concept of SharePoint. SharePoint came up with new features which enhanced the look and usage of intranets like easy document management, pre-defined lists which are useful for announcements, birthdays, calendars, photo albums, and contacts, user permission levels, alerts, and workspaces.

On overlooking the importance which an intranet holds in an organization, we need to revamp and upgrade our intranet constantly. Now we “Don’t need just an intranet but a “Smarter” intranet”. Looking deep into it, we have come up with five most essential pillars to build a smarter intranet.

User Engagement

Studies have proven that good employee engagement improves productivity, customer experience, innovation and turnover of an organization. So intranet should promote User engagement. There should be “Something for everyone” on the intranet to enjoy, relish and remember.
We are here with few tips which promote user engagement in an intranet.

  • Make it simple, precise, clear and attractive
  • Involve surveys, user polls, and announcements
  • Maintain calendar, easy navigation and always keep them updated
  • Include links to important sites, directories or information

Interactive

In simple terms being interactive refers to employee interaction among themselves on enormous topics or ideas. As business is becoming customer centric and execution time is reducing, team members need to interact on different ideas and always require feedbacks or suggestions from subject matter experts. In such a scenario intranet needs a section or part which promotes interactive sessions. Few tips which can be helpful in making intranet more interactive includes the use of social media features like micro feed, LinkedIn, twitter and so on.

Dynamic

In an intranet, term dynamic refers to comfort level which a user faces during information submission and retrieval. In both scenarios, in a smarter intranet, the ease level of user needs to be maximum so that intranet remains updated and versatile. Both content owners and end users should be able to perform required steps in simple and easiest way. File uploading, content sharing, versioning, reviewing, editing, providing feedbacks, giving surveys, group and peers discussions and more should be possible in single clicks and in the least possible time. This indirectly saves users time and enhances organization productivity.

Rich Media Supported

A simple paragraph with lots of knowledge details is no longer read and preferred by users. Recent studies have suggested that chances of users returning to your site increase three to six times with the use of rich media.
This trend needs to be considered while building an intranet as “All that matters is your users and their involvement” in the intranet site. Rich media improves ROI, website traffic, and customer engagement. Involvement of interactive features like videos, audios, product carousels, data capture forms, multi colors, and images make your intranet attractive and appealing.

User Experience

One of the most popular books “Don’t make me think” written by Steve’s Krug on user Experience states that users believe in “Get it – what it is and how to use it- without expanding any effort thinking about it “. This statement still holds true as every user suffers from time limits. A better user experience can be worked out by considering few tips. These include

  • Always use clear pointers and text to mark any point or step.
  • Always include a “Search Section”
  • Keep a smooth navigation
  • Include interactive options to promote discussions

Prioritizing these pillars and keeping users on top of them provides great help in building a Smarter Intranet. Involvement of these pillars in an intranet increases its acceptability and makes it more appealing increasing its user adoption within the employees of an organization.

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