Posts Tagged ‘enterprise information architecture’

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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The Lean Intranet – Part Two: Intranet 1.0

May 6, 2009

The second part of a three part series of articles on the Lean Intranet, where I discuss how a robust Intranet 1.0 might be achieved, is now available 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 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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The Lean Intranet: Part 1 Intranet Zero

February 2, 2009

I’ve written more on the concept of the Lean Intranet . In the first of three articles for FUMSI I discuss what I call Intranet Zero.

I’d be grateful if you would post any comments on the article here.

Content Value Analysis for Intranets Part 2 – A methodology

October 8, 2008

content2I’ve written before on an approach called Content Value Analysis (CVA) and I’ve now produced the detail of how this might be done in practice. Chiara Fox of Adaptive Path in her presentation on Content Analysis came closest to this approach when she talked about Content Audits at Euro IA 2008.

However there is a crucial difference between our approaches – the use of statistical techniques and documented heuristics. No don’t reach for that mouse yet! What I’m suggesting is not difficult, will give great substance to your final analysis and will probably save you a lot of work.

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What NOT to do with your intranet

August 15, 2008

Half of the problem with a lot of intranets is that they try to be everything to everyone in an organisation. I’ve been thinking that some of the best advice I could give is what NOT to do with your intranet.

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