Transforming the Intranet with UX
If there is one thing that we have learned through being avid users of everything in the technological sphere, it is that there is no saving bad UX.
Not that everything should be compared to Apple, but their 37.8 million iPhone sales last quarter (Fortune) can be somewhat accredited to their championing of user experience.
The digital workplace calls for an intranet that drives user engagement and simplifies the experience.
Four fundamentals of User Experience in the world of Intranets.
1. Solving User Problems
The main purpose of an Intranet is for internal workplace challenges to be met. This is easier done when the product itself provides functionality rather than another pot hole in the road to a productive workplace. The very interface of the Intranet should be designed to service the user and simply make them happy.
In fulfilling a need like this the problems themselves must be firstly identified. What do your employees and client’s value? How should it look? How is it best laid out on a page?
An ideal intranet should make for quick user adoption. This means menus should be comprehensive and navigation should be task based, descriptive and logical.
2. On The Go
Like everything else, Intranet’s need to grow to facilitate the distributed workforce. It has become the norm for a company to have employees working from obscure locations all over the world. Business are embracing remote working and with this comes the problem of maintaining a consistent means of collaboration. Enter the intranet, which provides an interactive way to collaborate and share knowledge regardless of location. To be accessed just about anywhere, it must also be optimised for mobile usage.
3. Squeaky Clean
Simplicity shouldn’t be mistaken for meaning plain. It means creating a tool rid of unnecessary complexities that would otherwise distort user experience. And after all an effective intranet is all about the user experience. It’s about creating a one-way path for users to be able to engage with the content.
It’s important for the tools to be riddled down to the specific features that will be needed and used. If intranets are lacking in their simplicity of use you are in danger of employees simply not wanting to use it. It should be designed in such a way that motivates user engagement instead of driving them away. A clean hierarchy is imperative. The design should be clean and clutter free. This boils down to the right front, colours and icons as well. After all, they are just as important as the placement of content.
By presenting information in a way that is enjoyable to read, simple to update and initiative to navigate- you are welcoming the digital workplace.
4. Reflect and Re-Structure
Are you in the process of re-designing your intranet? The first thing to do is to identify what’s working and what isn’t. The best way of measuring the effectiveness of your intranet is by collaborating with staff and all users to generate valuable feedback. Goals can be defined as to what your business truly cares about in an intranet, and how it can be best used to better the workplace.
Your intranet should be created by means of collaborative effort. This means gaging feedback from those who actually use it on a day to day basis.