Summary: The designs from your favorite websites can be applied to your intranet design. Read on to learn how!
Some of the website designs from the ‘90s were so awful, they make me cringe. You know what I’m talking about, the sites full of Comic Sans font and animated GIFs? To think how far web design has come since then is pretty amazing. However, I have some bad news and good news for you. The bad news is that some of your intranets still look like those cringeworthy ‘90s websites. The good news, they don’t have to.
With web design evolving so fast it can be hard to keep your intranet looking fresh and up to date with the current design trends – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important! Just follow the 5 modern design trends below and you can have an attractive intranet design that will boost engagement and adoption.
1. Hero Image
A hero image is a large banner image that usually spans across the full width of the background. Since it is generally placed front and center it is a fast way to grab users’ attention and add some personality to your website. They are also very aesthetically pleasing.
What should you use for a hero image? Lately designers are tending to avoid stock photos as they often create a disconnection with your brand. Instead, try using authentic photos of your employees, graphics or illustrations.
You can apply a hero image to your intranet by uploading a background image using the Advanced Design Editor. In the Advanced Design Editor, click on ‘Site Backgrounds’ to upload an image. Make sure your image is of high quality, we recommend at least 2000px wide. Don’t forget to adjust the height of your intranet’s header to match your image! You can adjust your header height under the design tab in the ‘Global Layout’ section.
2. Image Carousel
We’ve probably all seen an image carousel before, it’s a type of banner that slides through multiple images. Often, they have overlaid text and link to other pages. Lately, image carousels have not been as popular in web design since they aren’t great for search engine optimization (SEO), but they are a great visual asset for your intranet.
Other than being pleasing to the eye, a benefit to including a carousel on your intranet is to incorporate a lot of information in a small area. Since image carousels are eye-catching they can be a good way to get employees to notice important information. A carousel is also an easy way to keep your intranet looking fresh, as long as you keep the images updated.
Lucky for you, a new Image Slider widget was created for the Policy Assist release. The widget makes it extremely easy to configure a custom carousel for your intranet. You can include multiple images (with or without embedded links) as well as set the height and width of the banner, the duration and transition speed – and it looks great too!
3. Flat Design
Flat design is commonly found in nearly all web designs these days. The design involves removing all multidimensional elements, such as textures, drop shadows and gradients, in order to create the appearance of a flat surface. So why is flat design so popular? Flat elements generally look attractive on all screen resolutions, including mobile screens. They also greatly reduce the loading time of a page since the elements are a smaller size.
Incorporating the flat design trend into your intranet design is relatively simple. First, make your navigation and widget headers a solid color. These colors can be set in the ‘Top Menu’ and ‘Menu Header’ sections of the Advanced Design Editor. You can also try using flat icons where custom icons are allowed. For example, you can upload custom icons in your intranets navigation bar. Make sure you size them correctly beforehand! For navigation icons, we recommend a size of 24px by 24px.
Another great place to include flat icons is in your ‘Company News’ widget. When you’re adding a new announcement to your company news, at the bottom of the widget you can find an option to select a custom icon to accompany your announcement. Not only does including a flat icon look great, but they help catch users’ attention without distracting them with too many details.
Negative and/or white space is an important part of every design and key in a minimalist web design. With an emphasis on simplicity, it helps keep focus on important content by removing unnecessary elements. Minimalist design focuses on the use of balance, alignment and contrast. It has recently grown to be a very popular web design trend.
Applying minimalism to your intranet design involves cutting back on any superfluous elements. Try not to overcrowd your home page with too many apps or widgets, as this can distract users from the important content. You can always create other pages for your favorite widgets that aren’t home page worthy.
5. Vibrant Colors
Deciding on the right color scheme for your intranet can be tricky. Muted, dull colors palettes are becoming a thing of the past as rich, bold colors are becoming more popular. The use of vibrant colors on your intranet can help capture attention. That doesn’t mean you should clash with your brand colors, but you should consider adding a pop of color where you can. Be careful – having too many competing, bold colors on your intranet can be distracting.
Try using a duotone background or header image, another popular color trend. I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear a duotone color scheme is a color scheme of only two colors. An easy way to create a duotone image is by taking a grayscale photo and adding a bright color over top with a slight opacity.
Modern Intranet Design
I think we can expect to see most of the existing trends in web design for a quite some time. Don’t be afraid to try applying some of them to your intranet design, your employees will thank you for it!
Need some more design inspiration? Download our ‘5 Best Practices for Intranet Design’ eBook! It is full of great tips, tricks and best practices for intranet design. Or, request a live demo with one of our product specialists to see our intranet design tools in action.
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