In contrast to the huge intranet overhauls in the past, many companies are now taking a more iterative approach towards designing Intranets for themselves.
Some teams even classify even a small iteration as a "redesign". While this is technically true, such iterations are considerable smaller releases than the intranet redesigns of the past.
Some teams are also working faster with those iterative approaches. Some use Agile or other rapid approaches to development which can lower the time required to create an intranet.
Some of the best practices an organizations can consider while designing their intranets are as below:
1. Responsive Design
Today's best intranets focus on creating a productive, pleasant experience for the employees, whether they access the intranet on a huge monitor or on a smartphone. It's important to know that a single responsive code based does not necessarily mean a single user experience.
2. Understanding Employees
The only way to make a great design is to understand what users do and need. Organizations need to conduct user research to learn about their employees. This can fill the void between design utility, usability and user experience.
3. Content is the king
Migration alone is not an effective content strategy. Organizations should look at content which is outdated, not useful and retire them. Also, the content should be created in such a manner which is easily searchable and contextual.
4. Author Support and Content Workflows
An engaging intranet depends upon its content which in turn depends upon its authors. A good intranet helps create a culture of content writers and gives them tools and templates to generate great content. Training videos for prospective authors is another good example of creating and nurturing a writer’s group. Last but not least the content publishing experience needs to be user-friendly and hassle-free.
5. Multilingual Support
Multilingual support makes it possible for all employees to easily understand the Intranet's information. Offering content in multiple languages can also help employees feel included and valued. That said decision to translate the content into multilingual is a policy decision but it always helps.
6. Simple Clean Design
The flat and boxy statement designs are things of the past. Simple clean and minimalistic design does not let the focus of users go from important information and is less cluttered.
Intranets are nothing without perfectly searching mechanisms. Searches can be improved right from the user surveys collecting feedback from users and then generating content accordingly with metadata and tags which would make the searches contextual and precise.
8. Business Communication
Organizations have started understating that intranets are a perfect place to communicate their goals and statuses to all employees. This helps employees realize how the organization is doing and motivates them to achieve organizational goals.