When I assist clients in planning their intranet, one of the last stages is finalising the content’s layout.
Before you create your layout, I recommend getting a firm understanding of the type of information your target audience are going to access regularly.
This will enable you to create an engaging layout that works well for your users.
At this stage it’s a good idea to get your intranet project team back together. Your team should have been involved in previous exercises to gather content ideas and they will represent a cross section of typical intranet users. Having been involved in collecting ideas, they’ll already be familiar with the type of content that is important.
The team’s objective is to prioritise these intranet content ideas. Ask them to write each idea on a post it note.
Some of your content ideas might be:
- Accessing contacts
- Carrying out regular tasks quickly
- News stories
- Executive Blog
- Company Values
It doesn’t matter what the ideas are as long as they are important to your users. When you’re writing an item of content on a post it note such as news stories I find drawing a picture helps you visualise what the content will look like.
There’s no definite rule as to how you group content but your team may want to experiment by splitting content into categories.
One client I worked with chose to group their content into three categories, team information, information relating to the business and information relevant to individuals.
Alternatively, you may decide to let your team place content where they think it fits the best.
When assessing where to put content you’ll need to consider the ‘reading F’. When people read a page their eyes naturally travel in an ‘F’ pattern, so it’s always best to place your most useful content along the top and down the left of a page. Ideally, this content should be dynamic, changing regularly to ensure staff return to it.
This could be content such as:
- Company News
- Activity stream notifying staff about the latest content
- A promotion area highlighting the latest company campaigns
- Staff Activities/social area
Discuss these concepts with your team in preparation. You are now in the position to start paper prototyping your intranet designs with these content items. In my next post I will guide you through how to perform this activity, so stay tuned!