Summary: Follow these 4 key intranet tips to simplify your intranet so that it’s easier for your admins to maintain, and your employees to navigate and locate content.
Simplicity is something many of us are seeking as we declutter or downsize. At Intranet Connections, simplicity is one of our core values as a provider of out-of-the-box software. And for intranets, simplicity can be the difference between a highly functional intranet and a site that frustrates employees.
Below are 4 intranet tips to help simplify your intranet to improve employee engagement and generate workplace productivity.
Intranet Tip #1: Make Items Easy To Find
Navigation is both the structure of your intranet and the way users understand what’s available on the site. Simple, well-designed navigation increase the chance that employees can locate information the first time – without resorting to search – which helps build trust and improve engagement.
To simplify your intranet navigation:
- Use regular words for your navigation labels which clearly indicate function, and eliminate user guesswork and confusion.
- Keep navigation to two levels so items don’t get buried.
- Limit the number of choices in the main navigation to 5-9 items so they’re more easily understood.
- Use Intranet Connections’ mega menus to show available options at a glance arranged in helpful categories, following the design guidelines of usability gurus the Nielsen Norman Group.
Intranet Tip #2: Delegate Responsibility
Intranet administrators can’t possibly keep all areas of the intranet up-to-date. Creating department or team sites is easy with Intranet Connections, and once you’ve created sites, you can hand off responsibility for edits to that group or department through security permissions. They can add or delete content, and you can even include a Site Feed widget on your Intranet Home Page so any new content from their site is automatically shown to all staff.
Intranet Tip #3: Write for the Intranet
Writing online differs from the written word, especially when it’s an employee-only intranet. Use a more conversational, casual tone to keep the content more approachable (e.g. “let’s” rather than “let us”).
Get to the point, and keep sentences and paragraphs short. And use bullets because they:
- Are easier
- To understand
- At a glance
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Intranet Tips #4: Use Groups for Security
Using the built-in security functions of Intranet Connections is a great way to control who is viewing and editing content. But the reality is that employees are continually leaving and being hired, and managing permissions individually can be time-consuming.
Managing security by using groups is a much simpler way to ensure that the right users have the right security. For example, create an Editors – HR group and give it edit access to all HR forms and pages. When a new employee is hired, rather than add their access individually to each of the forms and pages, just add them to this group to provide the access they need. Simple.
Simplicity is Easier.
Though the switch to simplicity may initially take a bit more time, once you’ve streamlined your intranet you – and your users – can enjoy the benefits with an easier to use and maintain intranet.
What do you do to simplify your intranet? Share your ideas in the comments!