The Nielsen Norman Group’s Intranet Design Annual is a competition to identify the 10 best intranets from around the globe. In 2013, two Intranet Connections customers submitted their intranets for this celebrated award.

A big thanks go out to Kevin Lackie, Associate Director of Systems and Infrastructure at Queen’s University, for sharing his contest entry which explains why their intranet is an invaluable business tool that is easy to use, visually appealing and intuitive. Take a look at their NNGroup submission:

NNGroup Intranet Design Annual 2013

Queen’s University Intranet Resource Centre (QUIRC) for the Office of Advancement

Background Information

The Office of Advancement, located on the campus of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, redesigned its intranet over an eight-month period beginning in October 2011. The Office of Advancement worked collaboratively with Intranet Connections to design and launch this new intranet.

The Office of Advancement is dedicated to moving people to extraordinary levels of support for Queen’s University. Staff members work toward this mission in four departments: Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, Marketing and Communications, and Development. Members of Advancement mobilize support for Queen’s by meeting fundraising and revenue targets, raising the profile and awareness of the university and its brand, engaging stakeholders through the major fundraising campaign and increasing organizational capacity and effectiveness.

Description of QUIRC

The Office of Advancement intranet supports approximately 150 – 200 users both internal and external who are located in several different buildings on campus, including our Calgary satellite office. Many Office of Advancement staff accesses the intranet while traveling on official business. This tool is a gateway to key applications and documents used by staff both on and off campus.

Intranet Connections was chosen as the best solution for The Office of Advancement as it was easily customized and provided a social intranet where people and business tools could merge. Our Intranet combines key business tools for the process, workflow and improved communication with social networking and collaboration tools designed to engage and promote a culture within the digital workplace.

The intranet was upgraded primarily to increase organizational capacity and effectiveness, one of Advancement’s key strategic goals. Following extensive consultation with various stakeholders across Advancement, several objectives for the new intranet were identified:

  • To provide a tool that improves the ability of staff to perform their daily tasks and work together
  • To build understanding among staff about the work across all of the Advancement in support of Queen’s by increasing usage, the number of staff with the intranet as their homepage and activity on the site
  • To increase understanding of policies and procedures common to Advancement work (travel policies, expense forms), and streamline workflow processes
  • To provide a searchable space for staff to share articles and other documents that can generate a culture of learning and growth (publications, reports from staff who attend conferences and seminars, etc.)

QUIRC hosts customized detailed organizational charts and “Who’s Away” listing, training and travel sections and extensive employee profiles.

The intranet also allows staff members to interact using blogs, chat, polls and wall postings. They can share content quickly and get up-to-date news.

The site incorporates several other applications that allow Advancement staff to complete their day-to-day tasks, including a library check-in/out, a detailed HR page, business document, and personal area including buying and selling, and recipe sharing.

QUIRC is easy to use, visually appealing and intuitive. The major functions and features of the intranet are simple to find in the top or side bars, and users can access just about everything they require with just one click.

The implementation of the intranet has allowed us to meet all of the goals and objectives set out by key stakeholders. The increased security, dynamic content capabilities, and value-added features have made QUIRC an invaluable tool to our organization.

 

Intranet Design Screenshots

Homepage

Customized homepage for Office of Advancement includes the corporate look and feel, easy top level navigation and second level navigation on the sidebar, news that originates from the individual departmental pages and can be promoted to the homepage, great social connections and real-time (RSS) University news feed on right.

 Employee Profile

Self-service, fully functional profiles provide a central location for detailed employee information, with social integration with chat, email, walls and personal preferences.

Previous Intranet (decommissioned)

Our previous intranet was primarily a one-page site with poor navigation that was difficult to maintain and update.  It needed updated security features, interactive searching, easier information management and integration of social functionality. It was very busy and engagement was extremely low. Although we have only been live for a short time, feedback on QUIRC has been very positive and engagement high.

A special thank you to Kevin for taking the time to share QUIRC’s contest entry and we wish them the best of luck with the competition.

Get a look at Fathom’s NNGroup Intranet Design submission.

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