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Of all the pages in your intranet, the homepage is one of the most important.
As the portal to your intranet, the homepage has the power to captivate users with its energy and personality… or to repel them with its irrelevance.
In fact, intranet consultant James Robertson identifies as many as 7 different roles your intranet homepage plays. They are:
1. provide news
2. main navigation
3. key tools
4. key information
5. reflect community and culture
6. internal marketing
That’s a pretty tough job for one web page!
You can find plenty of advice on creating an effective intranet homepage. Below, are five of the best ones:
Ideas for an Enchanting Intranet Homepage
1. Publish new content regularly
Treat your intranet homepage like a blog: it needs to be fed with fresh, vibrant content at regular intervals. Or it will wither and die.
How do you find fresh content? Here are some sources:
- staff and executive blogs, if they’re also kept up-to-date
- staff meetings (listen and take notes!)
- what employees are talking about in hallways, the pantry, or at the water cooler
- interview department heads to ask what’s new
- industry newsLink to commonly-used content
2. Link to commonly-used content
Look at your intranet metrics to see which documents users tend to access most often. Link to these on the homepage. Also, link to calendars and online forms.
Sure, all this content may be just 3 clicks away, but saving your users those 2 clicks can make a big difference.
3. Brand it right
Give your intranet spunk and personality by branding your homepage. Consider both editorial branding (the words and tone) and visual branding (the colors and images).
If your intranet has a name different from your company name, then this gives you an idea of what its personality is. Organize a couple of stakeholder meetings to flesh out your intranet’s personality.
Whatever you do, keep the design simple, eye-friendly and uncluttered.
4. Emphasize good navigation
As the gateway to your intranet, the homepage needs to have a clear and effective navigation. It needs to show users the way to the content they’re looking for. Put menus where the users expect them (the top and left sidebar are most common in websites). Use titles that make sense to users.
Also, put hyperlinks in text or images, where appropriate, so users can click through to relevant content within the intranet with just one click.
5. Mix serious content with fun, engaging content
Remember what happens with all work and no play? We don’t want that.
On your intranet homepage, strive for a balance of the serious — news, announcements, official dates, forms, policies — and the fun — polls, contests, staff interviews, quotes, R&R, humor. For ideas on fun, engaging things to add to your intranet home page, read our earlier post about widgets.
What Does Your Intranet Homepage Look Like?
Looking at the ideas above, how does your intranet homepage measure up?
Does your intranet homepage enchant or repulse employees? What can you do to make it better?
Does it need a little more fun? A bit more branding? More relevance?