The Importance of Intranet Access, Usability, Ease-of-use and Design
Whether you are revamping your aging intranet or building a new one, your objective and your approach should add value to your business. Design, usability and there are some other aspects you need to address to build a successful intranet. You also need to choose the right social intranet software.
Will it be internally hosted or will you use cloud-based social intranet software? This is another important decision to be made.
Password management and authentication are two of the major concerns of architects or intranet managers. Two factor authentication is a good option. However, employees want ease of login as it makes it easy to access. There is no benefit of having a secure intranet when employees have to call an IT helpdesk to login.
Remote access is easy if your intranet is hosted by a third party partner or it is cloud-based. However, if it is an internally hosted intranet, you need to provide secure access via VPN or open your intranet up to the internet. Your employees might need to access your cloud-based social intranet software while waiting at the airport or while traveling by train. This is the reason why mobile access is an important topic. Employees sometimes use phones or tablets. Some companies already issue tablets or smartphones to their employees. What about personal devices? Depending on what your employees are able to access, there can be a greater information security risk. If you support Bring Your Own Device, you can deploy some apps to ensure secure communication.
Use one of the best social intranet platforms. It should be fast, easy and valuable. A good intranet solution also reduces the administrative burden.
Your intranet is useful when it helps employees to achieve the organization’s objectives. Make sure that your social intranet software is aligned with the activities of your employees. They should be able to work more effectively and efficiently. In addition to focusing on productivity, your intranet should focus on the human side of the business as well. A good intranet software allows at least:
- Social communication
- Employee engagement
- Change Management
Your employee should be able to manage workflows. This allows the admin to provide auditable and robust service. Make a sharp intranet strategy. It should support your business strategy. Involve the right stakeholders to ensure good intranet governance. It should be a company-wide platform supporting all the departments.
Intranet Ease of Use
User experience plays an important role in making an intranet useful. User experience is not all about reducing clicks. Both experienced and less experienced employees should be able to use the platform. Use research-based practices. For example, you or someone from your team has a great idea for navigation. However, it should be a well-researched idea. Implement that idea only and only if it meets the needs and expectations of your employees. Avoid using technical names for menus. Consider people’s dictionaries while naming menus. Pages should be fast to load at different locations.
You need a clear vision to create a good design. Identify the current and future pain-points of employees. Provide an attractive, engaging design. A good design can save hours. Your intranet should have a good homepage. Publish news and updates regularly. Avoid using too many images. Use illustrative graphics and relevant photos. However, you should also focus on forms, reference materials and communications. Webinars and user-generated videos are the new normal for online learning and engaging updates.
Design page layout and content with your employees in mind. People have less attention span now. Therefore, keep it simple with no distractions.
So, focus on intranet access, usability, ease of use and design to make sure that your employees can achieve team objectives and overall business objectives.