Creating a successful intranet isn’t as hard as you might think. It’s all based around giving users what they want, simply and quickly so they can get on with their job.

Here’s ten secrets to making a successful intranet that I’ve been honing over the years:

  • People can find the content they’re looking for quickly and easily
  • People aren’t left confused / disorientated when searching for content
  • Where people can’t find content, they know where to go for further support
  • Content is up to date and does not pose a risk to the business through any means, such as old procedures that result in customers being advised incorrectly
  • Content is easy to understand, concise and does not create risks due to over complexity
  • Content is written in a way that relates to the user
  • Content is engaging (where appropriate)
  • Content is structured efficiently, logically, is not duplicated and does not waste time
  • Feedback is encouraged and appropriate channels are provided
  • The intranet as a whole is engaging

To achieve these you’ll need to build your sites around users, learning from proven evidence on intranet usage and examining user requirements. This doesn’t mean making sites pretty; design is the very last step in the process. Designs aren’t necessary all the time – it’s well proven that text based sites are extremely effective with the right content.

‘Success’ is subjective

Of course there’s lots of opinions on what a successful intranet looks like and how you measure that can vary. Metrics are only a glimpse at the whole story and it’s important to consider a wide range of measures before drawing any conclusions. Here’s some key metrics that will help prove your success:

  • User journeys – how people navigate your site
  • Feedback – direct feedback from users of a site
  • Cost reductions – e.g. reductions in travel
  • Call volume reductions – e.g. reductions in queries around a specific procedure
  • Other KPI’s relating to the content – e.g. performance improvements

Your thoughts

What’s your top three tips for great intranets?