Have you got intranet litter?

Has your intranet got content littered all over it which isn’t very useful to people needing to use it?

By litter I mean no or little thought has been given by the owner on how people need to have this information presented so it is easy to use.  Examples can include:

  • Links to documents instead of content on an intranet page
  • Poorly worded content that doesn’t make sense
  • Poorly constructed content that is hard to follow
  • Poorly presented content with the wrong balance of images, text, and video

I wonder how many intranet professionals are nodding their heads as they recognise some of these examples being on their own intranets!  Yes, it is irritating and creates a poor user experience.

So, how can you make your intranet look neat and tidy?  I recommend you consider these:

  • Usability standard that sets out what the user experience should be
  • Feedback button so people can report back on bad examples
  • Document library for content that has to be shown in its original format (legal document)
  • Training for publishers on tone of voice
  • Training for publishers on how to ‘write for the web’
  • Guidance on use of different media with best practice examples
  • Audit content and encourage/persuade/force publishers to publish it following best practice

And you can always contact me if you need more help and advice.

3 responses to “Have you got intranet litter?

  1. Pingback: Intranet Lounge

  2. Hi Mark, I think we alle recognize the intranet litter issue. Especially intranets that are operated as a ‘one to many’ online publication tool, do suffer from information that is put there purely from a sender’s perspective. I publish, so I communicate. Decentralized content management in these type of intranets does need strong governance and quality standards for publishers. I have also seen improvement by structuring the content publication process and run automated checks on content quality. Feedback from the users of the intranet is a good idea but is mostly limited in quantity.

    Intranets with 0% litter would be an interesting goal. If you want to get there you’ll need to operate your intranet as ‘a window on your work’ that includes all relevant information and applications to do the daily work. The usability should be simple and provide filtering tools for users on role based access to information. A lot of innovation helps in this respect, for example metadata driven navigation, but it is mostly all about the way you see the role of intranet within the organization. Is it strictly publication driven, or is the workspace for employees to share, react to, read and put the information they need. The intranet is all about relevancy for the user. 100% relevancy = 0% litter.

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