Emotion. Merriam-Webster defines it as such: “a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body” – maybe not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your intranet experience. Triggering emotions on the intranet is not only possible, I submit that it is something we should strive towards. So sit back while I take you on an emotional ride.
“From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”
– Dr. Seuss
As the good doctor noted, funny things are indeed everywhere, so why not include some on your intranet? There are many ways to bring humor onto your intranet.
Let Your Skin Trigger Emotions
One thing that we enjoy doing here at Intranet Connections is to change our site theme to build anticipation for on an upcoming event or season. As the Graphic Designer, I am tasked with coming up with something of interest, especially for our site headers. We recently took a company trip to Las Vegas, so I changed our Intranet (called “SQintranet”) to trigger emotion whenever an employee visited the site. And trigger emotion it did!
Now I don’t necessarily suggest posting nude Photoshops of some co-workers. We have a tight-knit strange group of people who are largely crazy. They enjoy seeing their fellow co-workers heads edited onto the occasional buff Australian body. By way of explanation, some of the girls were joking about going to see the male dance troupe, “Thunder Down Under”, while in Vegas which the male workers felt was redundant given they already have us around on a daily basis. They appreciate us even more now.
Disclaimer: not everyone shares the same sense of humor. While some enjoy seeing something getting squashed by a giant cartoon foot, others prefer a cat playing a keyboard while some inexplicably find Andrew Dice Clay entertaining. All that to say, try and keep your content in line with the general tone of your organization. You have to know what you can get away with. You don’t want to trigger the emotion that gets you fired, which generally means I’ll incorporate our Marketing Director in every theme but avoid Photoshopping our CEO. You are welcome Erica!
Images, Videos, Memes, Oh My!
One does not need to be a designer to have a sense of humor. Anyone can share their favorite video on the intranet. It is possible that there is someone out there who did not know that Charlie bit his brother’s finger. For those that don’t get on the internet much, you can bring its best to your intranet. Photos, videos, memes – triggering emotions on the intranet has never been so easy. Just insert a Message Box widget, copy-and-paste the path to your image or video and just wait for that flood of emotion.
The Final Countdown
Anticipation is a powerful emotion. George Eman Vaillant considered anticipation as one of “the mature ways of dealing with real stress” 1. We felt that Photoshopping nude coworkers was not enough in and of itself to get people to the state of excitement necessary for our Vegas trip. We needed something more. We needed a countdown timer. Thankfully it was easy to add a Custom Code Widget with a countdown timer to our intranet home page.
We also threw in a Weather Feed Widget for good measure. It turns out that while a weather report showing a week of solid Vancouver rain can have a demoralizing effect on some, a week of pure Vegas sunshine generally has the opposite effect. Countdown timer + weather widget = emotional BLAMMO.
Triggering Emotions on the Intranet: A Final Word
Triggering emotion on the intranet can be a challenge, especially if one does not wish to be relieved of their job. But it is possible. Laughter, tears, excitement and so much more are all within your reach when you incorporate humor, anticipation and appreciation on your intranet.
Are you triggering emotion on your intranet in a provoking or interesting way? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.