Even well resourced organisations with wonderful, rich websites can struggle with this question. They spend time and money on sophisticated web stats software and user research and feel that through this they have got a handle on what their users think when, in actual fact, they could be off the mark by several magnitudes. Why might this be true?
Posts Tagged ‘intranet users’
You’ve been feeling low, you have no energy and you’re starting to get worried. You go to the doctor who, after checking a few vital parameters, tells you there’s nothing major wrong and prescribes some medication that will help you get back to normal. We would never dream of taking chances with our health so we get regular check ups and, if the worst comes to the worst, we hope that anything major is caught early enough to be able to do something about it.
This is just common sense isn’t it? Yet organizations can expend huge resources on their intranets and communication systems but generally have no idea of how healthy they are at any one time. This contributes to the all too common phenomenon of intranet boom and bust. Someday it just dawns on everyone that their intranet is not fit for purpose but shouldn’t they have seen it coming? Unfortunately it can be hard unless you have a system in place which effectively provides a regular health checkup for your intranet.
This post provides a methodology which will enable you to do just that – the Intranet Heath Check.
In this fifth and final post on Designing Intranet Structures I’ll be looking at what should happen once you have agreed the structure of your new or re-designed intranet with your users and stakeholders – mapping and continuously improving your intranet.
In Part 3 I discussed how the design of URLs can play a big part in forming the initial structure of your new or re-designed intranet. In this post I’ll explain how users and stakeholders can contribute to defining the structure, why iteration is the key to a good intranet structure, why content is important and why thinking of the future is important.
I gave a presentation on the Lean Intranet some weeks ago to an informal meet up of Content Strategists and Intranet people. In the presentation I was quite passionate about my position regarding intranet workers. I stated categorically that they should come out of the shadow of the internet and start creating their own tools and approaches – their own profession. At the end of the presentation I was asked a question by an astute member of the audience.
‘You say you want us to create our own profession but what exactly are the differences between intranets and internets?’
To my shame I waffled and gave what might have been to many an acceptable answer but it was not acceptable to me. Afterwards I realized that I needed to give this question some more thought and the result is this post.
Having worked in intranets for over a decade now I know how easy it is to forget who all the work is really for and who else might be affected by the decisions we make.
I have found it useful, especially when changing things , to try and keep the users and stakeholders of my intranet in the forefront of my mind. I manage this by using an approach I call the ‘User/Stakeholder Map’. You can use the map to consider who the key users and stakeholders of your intranet are and, as it’s in a simple graphic format, you can print it off and tack it to a wall so that it is visible to your intranet team at all times.