Summary: When it comes to your intranet, the look and feel speak volumes to your employees! Get inspired with 3 of the best intranet designs and how to achieve them.
The design of your intranet is the first thing employees notice, so it’s a good idea to put some thought into it before diving in. The best intranet designs based their concept off of their company brand and style guidelines such as their online website. That way there is instant familiarity with the company brand, which helps to excel intranet adoption. But intranets aren’t websites, therefore knowing where, and how, to start can be a challenge.
As a Graphic Designer, I’ve looked through a lot of intranet designs, especially the ones we’ve created ourselves to be used as ‘best intranet designs’ best-practice. I’ve chosen three of my favorites and outline the reasons why, and how to achieve the looks. Below are screenshots as well as step-by-step design instructions, so you too can have a kickass intranet design.
Best Intranet Designs – CBF Consulting
CBF Consulting is among the best intranet designs because of its attractive color scheme. It contrasts nicely and matches with their company brand and logo. I’m also a big fan of the full-width banner and navigation bar. Setting your navigation bar to a separate color from your banner helps draw attention to some of the most important links on your intranet.
Get The Look:
- Take a screenshot of your intranet and paste it in Photoshop. I recommend using a screenshot extension for your browser as it makes it easier to get the precise dimensions. I use the Full Page Screen Capture extension for Chrome.
- Using the Rectangle Tool, create a rectangle to match the height of your navigation bar (default height is 42px), and make sure it’s wider than the width of your canvas.
- Create the header via the same method as above. Make sure the banner and navigation shapes are in the same place as the ones on your screenshot.
- Fill the remaining area with white, or whichever color you would like the rest of your background to be.
- Hide the screenshot of your intranet, then save the background image you have created. For backgrounds with solid colors, PNG would be the best option as it creates a smaller file size.
- Now for the logo; when using a color banner, you will need to use a PNG version of your logo (transparent background). Paste the logo into Photoshop and increase the canvas height to match that of your banner. It’s also a good idea to add about 20px padding to the left of your logo. Save the logo as a PNG.
- It’s time to update your intranet! Navigate to the Advanced Editor and click on Site Backgrounds. Upload your background image, then set background repeat to ‘repeat-x’ and background position to ‘center’. Input the browser background color to match the color of your background image. Click Apply To Site (in the top right).
- Add the logo by clicking on ‘upload graphic/logo’.
- Next, update your intranet’s navigation bar to match the one in your background image; click on the paper icon next to Top Menu Section, then change the BG Color field.
- Finally, update the widgets and fonts to match the color scheme.
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Best Intranet Designs – Allstar Credit Union
The uniqueness of Allstar Credit Union’s intranet is what landed it as one of the best intranet designs in my book. Primarily, the background image used in the left sidebar. For the rest of the intranet design, you can simply repeat the steps from CBF Consulting.
Get The Look:
- In Photoshop, create an image to match the dimensions of your intranet’s sidebar. The width is normally 250px, and height depends on the content of your intranet.
- In the Advanced Editor, navigate to site backgrounds and choose the first option in the top row (the one with the gray sidebar). Under Menu Frame Background, select ‘image’ and upload your sidebar image. Set the position to ‘top left’. After applying to site, you will see your intranet now has an image hidden behind your left sidebar.
- Next steps are to create transparent widget backgrounds, remove the borders, and change the font colors. Click style menu items, and change the Item BG Color and Item Hover BG Color to ‘transparent’. Change the Item Font Color to match your theme; if you’re using a dark image be sure to use a light color font.
- To remove background color and border of the widgets click the pencil icon in the top right corner of the widget, click Theme Options, then choose the box for transparent background and set border to none.
Best Intranet Designs – Walnut Point Senior Living
Walnut Point has a taller than average header, which is useful if you would like to include a larger banner image in your intranet. The combination of a textured background image, rather than a solid color background, and the alternate sizing helped land this intranet as one of the best intranet designs.
Get The Look:
- Using Photoshop, crop your header image to the exact dimensions you would like to use for your intranet. Be sure it’s the same width as the content area of your intranet.
- Create a background image that is at least 2000px wide and about 2200px high.
- To adjust the height of your intranet’s header, navigate to the design tab in the Admin section, then click on Global Site Layout. Here you can adjust the height of your header in pixels to match that of your banner. Walnut Point’s header has a height of 200px.
- Next, navigate to the background color/image section of the Advanced Editor. To add your header image, click on the image radio button under Top Frame Background, then upload your image. Make sure position is set to ‘centered’.
- Update your intranet’s background image, logo, and navigation bar by following steps 6-10 for CBF Consulting.
- Lastly, update the widget and font colors to match your theme.
Do you have any intranet design tips or tricks? Share them with us below!