Intranet improvements often take months of planning and implementation. But did you know there are easy – and fast – improvements you can do to make your Intranet better? They’re the next best thing to waving a magic wand to make your intranet instantly better.
Below, I’ve brainstormed 10 things you can do TODAY to improve your Intranet.
1. Put frequently-used items upfront on the home page
Use your intranet statistics to find out which 3-5 Intranet pages are most frequently used. Add links to these pages on the home page, so users don’t have to look for them in the navigation bar or search box. Graphical links like this one are especially easy to see and understand:
Of course, after you’ve added quick links, let users know about this new Intranet feature.
2. Add attractive – and relevant – images
Images help break up blocks of text and give users visual cues about what the page is all about. Add visually attractive and meaningful images on your home page and other pages, where appropriate.
You can find these images in your company’s Media Folders, or try a stock photo site like Fotolia or iStockphoto.
3. Add more white space
Since we’re talking about visuals, the absence of text or images can help improve the look of your Intranet. Increase white space between paragraphs and blocks of text, as well as the internal margins of text boxes. This is easy to do if you have access to your intranet’s CSS. Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones, especially on your home page.
4. Promote useful, but undiscovered, content
Sometimes, users don’t know what they want. If there’s a piece of Intranet content you feel users ought to be accessing more, then promote it. One way to do this is by adding a “Featured Content” portal on the home page.
5. Clean up the navigation
Especially with older intranets, it’s easy for the navigation to grow out of control. Assess your intranet’s main navigation to see if there are too many choices. If so, collapse several items into fewer navigation items.
6. Let users speak their mind
You’ll drum up more user interest and activity if you encourage users to express themselves on the intranet. Start a poll, for example, about a high-interest topic (if you’ve been paying attention at work, you’ll know what most employees are talking about at the water cooler). Or begin a status meme to get staff posting on the intranet.
7. Write a timely piece of content
Intranets often lose relevance, because new content are few and far between. Create fresh content yourself. Write a piece about an upcoming company event. Create a photo album of the recent staff outing. Publish a wiki summarizing key issues in your industry. Any of these ideas will update your intranet.
8. Embed a useful widget
Widgets can add functionality and fun to an intranet. Check out the many widgets you could embed on your home page and other portal pages.
9. Remind authors to either update or delete obsolete content
Determine which parts of the intranet run the risk of becoming obsolete (or already are!), and contact the content authors to either update or remove them. This will keep your intranet lean and mean.
10. Go multimedia
If you aren’t doing so already, embed slideshows and videos on your intranet. These can be humorous or informational, or both. Our favorite sources are Slideshare, YouTube, Vimeo, and Ted Talks. It only takes minutes to embed slide and video players on your intranet.