7 Intranet Examples I Love (And 3 I Hate)
Intranets play a vital role in connecting the enterprise, connecting colleagues, suppliers, customers and partners, with the information they all need, when they need it, which means that ensuring that your intranet works, and works well, is vital. Finding examples to follow can be difficult, however, so I’ve put together 7 examples of effective intranets I love, and 3 that I hate.
1) Love: Simple, Search Led, Portals
Whilst it’s tempting to show everything that anyone could ever need to access on an intranet home page to make sure that everyone can see everything that they might ever want to access, this risks overwhelming users. Instead, making a search bar the central feature of your intranet home page prompts users to enter their immediate queries, enabling them to find immediate answers.
2) Love: Providing Easy Access to Tools
Accessing tools and systems is a key reason for using any intranet, so ensuring that the tools that employees use the most are quickly and easily accessible is vital. In this example, the list of Top Tools is one of the most prominent features on the front page and effectively draws the eye, rather than being hidden in a long list of options.
3) Love: Effective Use of White Space
Whilst there’s certainly a lot of vital information that needs to be on any intranet, it doesn’t need to be crammed into one menu. Instead, splitting information up into separate menus and ensuring that there is plenty of white space between each one makes it much easier to find each option.
4) Love: Reactive Tags
Tags are a great way of categorizing information on intranets, and can help users quickly navigate to the information they need to see. In this intranet example, tags are prominently displayed, with the most used (and useful) tags being the most visible.
5) Love: Blog-Style Intranets
In large, globally distributed, organizations, it can be hard for everyone to keep track of news. This example ensures that news is prominently displayed by laying the page out in the manner of a blog, rather than hiding news in a sidebar or list.
6) Love: Prominent Social Options
Intranets can provide a great platform for empowering people within organizations to connect with each other. In this example, social options such as liking and commenting on news posts are combined with prominent employee showcases, which results in an intranet which invites sharing.
7) Love: Clear User Alerts
In any organization ensuring that all employee information is correct and up-to-date is vital, and intranets can be an excellent way of doing this. However, intranets still need to make it as easy as possible for employees to update their information. In this example, personalized alerts are effectively used to both prompt users to provide information and provides a way of instantly providing that information.
8) Hate: Overwhelming Users
As we’ve mentioned, overwhelming users with a barrage of information can be a common pitfall for intranets. In this intranet example to avoid, from CERN’s intranet in 2012, shows how hard it can be to find information if everything is put on a page without effective use of styling.
9) Hate: Using Outdated Designs
In any given organization, the vast majority of employees regularly use the internet in their everyday lives. This means that they will all be familiar with what modern websites look like, and will naturally expect any intranet they use to look and feel modern. This example, from BT, shows what happens when organization don’t ensure that their intranet moves with the times — an employee portal that is more of a barrier than a gateway.
10) Hate: Only Using Links
Whilst an intranet portal is certainly meant to provide links to where users need to go, it should also provide easily understandable information. In this example, from British Airway’s intranet in 2011, links are all that the portal provides. Like the other intranet examples to avoid, there is little to guide users to where they need to go.
All of these examples show that whilst there are certainly mistakes that can be made when designing an intranet, there are also many examples of intranets that are effectively designed with care and with people in mind. Following the best of these examples, and avoiding the worst, can help to ensure that everyone can get what they need from your intranet.