Summary: How to create intranet applications using pre-existing templates, or from scratch.
In working as a support technician for Intranet Connections, I find many of our new customers come to me for guidance in creating intranet applications. To make this process easier for you, we have several pre-built intranet applications available. However, we also give you the option to create your own applications from scratch. Or to make it even easier, you can copy an existing intranet application but re-structure it to create your own application.
For example, one creative idea you can build from scratch, or from remodeling a current app, is the Share Your First Job Application. In this blog, I will cover how to build an intranet application for the ultimate intranet customization.
Getting Started with Intranet Applications
First things first; what kind of content are you looking to add to your intranet? Before choosing the right application for the job, consider what you are looking to accomplish first. Here are some general considerations to think about before choosing an app template:
- How do you want to present your information?
- Will the content need to be separated into folders?
- Do you need to implement a workflow process of approval before items are added?
Choosing an Application Template
When creating your intranet application, once you have determined the above requirements, you can choose whether to build an application from scratch using the Blank App Builder template, or copy an existing template and change the content in it. We have a variety of templates that come pre-built into the software that make it much easier to get started.
Below is an example of what the Intranet Application Builder screen looks like:
Intranet Application Examples
When it comes to building intranet applications, one of the most common questions I get is, “how do I decide with app template to use?”. You can create any application you want through the Blank App Builder template. However, if you’re just starting out, using a preexisting application template is easier. I have listed some common examples of the most popular intranet applications and how they can be used, but they are definitely not limited to these examples!
- Buy and Sell: Classifieds for work
- Company News: Marketing or corporate announcements, emergency broadcasts, bulletins
- Corporate Contacts: External contacts, vendors, assets
- Documents: Policies, soft copies (.PDF, .DOC(X), .XLS(X), etc.), procedures, documents for review
- Knowledgebase: FAQs, how-to, walkthrough guides, knowledge share
- Idea Share Exchange: Employee feedback, suggestion box, employee recognition, ballots for internal events/contests
Designing Your Application
Lastly, when building an intranet application it is important to consider the overall design of the app and how it will appear to your users. Present the content in a way that is easy for users to view, otherwise they often won’t realize that the content is even available at all.
The ‘app home’ is the first area of the application users will see when they click into it. Depending on how you would like to present the content within the application, you can choose different ways the content displays. For example, you can choose to display it as a list or as a folder tree. Generally, the folder tree is popular because it makes it easy to organize content within an app, so that users simply select a folder that contains their desired content.
From there, content within a folder can then be displayed in a table or a list. In my experience, most customers prefer the table because it is so easy to organize.
Intranet Applications Put into Practice
With all the key elements discussed above, I hope you have a better understanding of creating intranet applications and can easily apply these tips to your own intranet! I would love to hear about any intranet applications you have created, please share with by commenting in the comments section.