When you move into a house and start putting in furniture, you don’t know if the way you’ve arranged each room works until you actually start using it. Intranet's are no different, you’ll only get a true idea of what works for your users once it’s actually being used by them. Therefore when you are planning your intranet's design you can't be expected to know everything but it is worth finding out what works for other organisations. This blog sets out 3 ways to plan for a future-proof intranet design. For more information about intranet styles, schemes and so much more, attend one of our Showcases.
Whether you go for an agency or your supplier’s in-house design team, there are three things you should always bear in mind when thinking about layout and design.
1. A Creative Brief
Writing a creative brief is essential to ensure the designer is fully aware of what your expectations are for the project. Design is only ever as good as the brief. A good designer will discuss what is achievable and will work with you to create a workable site based on your requirements.
Make sure you include:
- Design examples - use other sites to show what you do and don't want
- Details of your brand guidelines
- What you are hoping to achieve from your intranet
- Budget and expected timescales
2. Your Organisation's Demographics
Your design should always have the needs of your users at its heart, understanding what they need is what makes a great design.
As your intranet is an internal tool, you’ll no doubt have a pretty good idea of your organisation’s demographics. Pass this information onto your designer, this will give them the opportunity to research into what appeals to them.
You may, for instance, have a workforce made up predominantly of young women. If this is the case, creating a strong, masculine design will be instantly off-putting.
Unlike your company website, your intranet needs to appeal to a variety of users working in different teams with a variety of requirements. If you focus on just one group you run the risk of alienating the rest of your users.
3. Work Around Your Content
Good content should be at the heart of any intranet, and your design should work around your content, not the other way round. The purpose of an intranet is to make tasks easier for users, and the role of the designer is to ensure the design doesn’t detract from this.
Around half of your audience will never leave your home page, so focus on making your site as engaging as possible. A good design will aid access to content, so remember, there’s no point in having a really busy and eye-catching design if nobody uses it.
I hope this blog has given you some tips about things to consider when you're designing your intranet. To find out more and to discover how SORCE can help you develop the perfect intranet, book a personalised demo or attend one of our Showcases.