Archive for the 'Enterprise-wide Information Systems (EIS)' Category

Dis/integrate your intranet for a better user experience (Part 2)

October 7, 2012

 In Part 1 of this post I discussed how we could do away with the traditional homepage altogether and restructure an intranet with the focus being on the My Stuff section. In this approach the My Stuff section will not only contain personal data and tasks such as salary details and booking time off but also a personalised view of relevant content held in the other sections. Of course the question then arises of how this might be done. I am going to suggest some approaches but I’m hoping that this post might start a conversation and other, probably better, ideas as to how My Stuff might be made to work will be suggested. The probability is that no one solution will work perfectly but then again we shouldn’t be looking for perfection. If we only make 50% of the content users regularly need easily available in My Stuff then we will have saved out users a massive amount of time and frustration

Let’s start with a very low tech approach…

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Dis/integrate your intranet for a better user experience (Part 1)

October 2, 2012

There’s a conference being held in a few days and one of its features is Do you have the best intranet homepage? This got me thinking and I had a look at some sample homepages from ‘award winning intranets’ and, to be honest, I  felt vaguely depressed.  It took me a while to figure out why, which I did with the help of one of Jakob Nielsen’s posts from a few years ago. It showed a composite image of ten intranet homepages which showed a strong commonality and the most recent ones don’t look much different.

It has been claimed that the homepage reflects the whole intranet, if that is so then all intranets are overly complicated and stuff content packages that have no relevance to each other into a big bag labelled ‘intranet’.

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Knowledge (Part 2) – an enterprise-wide methodology

September 5, 2009

KM_Post_Quinn_AnyaIn Part 1 of this post I gave an overview to the process of levering knowledge and creating information (KLIC) in the workplace through carrying out a simple knowledge gap analysis or ‘information audit’.  This approach works well when levering knowledge from an individual or small group of people for a particular purpose. But what about an approach that can work across a whole organization as an ongoing knowledge initiative? I was prompted to think about this by a response from someone to the original post who admitted that a lot of this ‘knowledge’ stuff was confusing and was asking for a simple, practical and above all logical methodology or set of tools that could be used by virtually anyone in any organization.

Therefore in this post I will attempt to outline a metholodolgy for carrying out an organization wide knowledge initiative based on an approach that I have found to work very well in the past – the Quality Circle. The approach is fairly non-prescriptive and should be scalable for organizations of different sizes and with varying resources.

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The Lean Intranet: Intranet 2.0 and Intranet 3.0

June 28, 2009

In the third of three articles on the Lean Intranet, I discuss the implementation of Intranet 2.0 and look beyond to what Intranet 3.0 might look like. You can access the article on the FUMSI website.

If you have any comments I’d be grateful if you could post them here.

Intranets: defining IA and UX in the Enterprise-wide Information System (Part 3)

May 25, 2009

Question_Mark_AtomicityIn Part One I discussed the current state of intranets and other information management components that comprise what I call the Enterprise-wide Information System (EIS). I also graphically represented a generic overview of how these components are currently managed. In Part Two I discussed the holistic management of the EIS, how the EIS approach might work in practice and what benefits an organization using the approach might gain.

In this third and final part I will try to show you what I think a robust EIS might look like and how IA and UX approaches have the potential to improve every component of the system. In this approach the intranet assumes its proper place and becomes the indispensable hub of the Enterprise-wide Information System.

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Intranets: defining IA and UX in the Enterprise-wide Information System (Part 2)

May 15, 2009

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In Part 1 of this post I’ve tried to define a generic Enterprise-wide Information System (EIS) and reflect what is happening currently in many organization’s EIS. I’ve tried to show that the approach to considering information and knowledge transfers is at best fragmented and at worst not done at all. In this second post I’m going to describe the benefits of the EIS approach, how it might relate to IT and knowledge in the enterprise and also to look at the differences in working and managing the EIS as compared to current arrangements.

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Intranets: defining IA and UX in the Enterprise-wide Information System (Part 1)

April 21, 2009

question_mark_atomicityIn information architecture (IA) and user experience (UX) discussion lists there are bursts of manic activity that periodically break out. Hundreds of posts a day flood the lists; many of them at odds with each other and some quite angrily so. What is it that causes these periodic convulsions? DTDT.

It stands for ‘defining the damn thing’. Every so often some brave soul sticks his or her head over the parapet and launches a grenade in the form of either an attempted definition of IA/UX or questions a previous definition and a rapid chain reaction then occurs. Personally I think that it is incredibly difficult to define IA and UX as applied to web based activities as the requirements for IAs and UX professionals can vary greatly from case to case. This may in some part be due to – 

  • Each website design may have some unique features
  • Drivers may be different for each site
  • Clients expectations for deliverables may vary widely
  • Ways of working may differ widely from company to company. What an IA or UX does in one agency may be very different to what’s expected in another
  • Influencing factors in the environment may also vary greatly
  • As IA and UX design are fairly new disciplines an overall consensus with regard to best practice in many areas has yet to be reached

I think that’s why the favourite answer that many IAs give to general questions is  ‘It depends….’

But what about defining what we do with intranets? Could such a definition more easily include information architecture and user experience activities ? I think it’s a possibility. So wish me luck as I’m now going to stick my head over the parapet.

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