While doing some research recently I was pointed towards the Drupal 7 User Experience Project by one of its designers. Drupal is a free content management system that allows users to publish, manage and organize web content. I found the project to be a brave attempt to involve their users in the entirety of the design process basically from sketches on the back of envelopes up to the completed wireframes.
The project used free social apps such as Flickr, YouTube and Twitter to suport the project as well as discussion lists. Looking at what Drupal did gave me some pause for thought. If they can effectively involve their users, who are scattered all over the world, in improving their upgrades shouldn’t it be far easier for intranets to do the same? After all we know who are users are and where they are so there are no good reasons why this shouldn’t be done for every major change that is planned for our intranets.