Tags: best practice, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, usability, usability standards, users
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.
Tags: accessibility, best practice, governance, intranet, publishing, standards, training, usability, value
I have reviewed many intranets and have been amazed at the variety of publishing standards and how they are enforced. These vary from no publishing standards through to everything being locked down depending on the importance of complying with standards. More importantly it is the amount of time, effort, and money that is used to enforce people to comply with the standards when they publish information.
I sometimes think organisations lose the plot and forget to look at the costs being spent for the benefit being gained.
Your intranet needs standards to make sure your organisation complies with business, user, regulatory, and legal requirements in any country it operates in. The best approach is to have ‘smart’ standards that need the minimum time, effort, and cost which achieving the maximum effectiveness and benefits. How many of these questions can you answer “yes” to?
- Do you train your publishers on what your intranet standards?
- Do you also train your publishers on why your intranet has these standards?
- Do you educate and support your publishers with guidance to understand more about your standards?
- Do you embed any of your standards in the publishing templates e.g. branding, navigation menu?
- Do publishers need to comply with your standards before their content is published e.g. images need to have alternative texts before they can be used?
- Do you review content for compliance?
- Do you remind your publishers if their content is non-compliant?
- Do you remove content if no action by your publishers to comply?
- Do you measure how compliant your intranet is?
- Have you measured it more than once?
If you answered “yes” to all these questions then award yourself a gold medal!
If you answered “no” to any of these questions perhaps you had better contact me?
Tags: benefit, best practice, collaboration, digital workplace, engagement, governance, intranet, Mark Morrell, standards, strategy, usability, value
I will be at the IntraTeam 2012 conference in Copenhagen this week presenting on 5 ‘Must Have’ Principles for a Great Digital Workplace and running a workshop on How to Build the Right Governance Model for the Digital Workplace. For Twitter users follow #IEC12.
The digital workplace is a phrase that I have written about before and is becoming more frequently used for intranets that are developing beyond being a traditional communications tool. For me a digital workplace can include:
- employees working from any location (or mobile) as their place of work
- IT infrastructure providing the same or similar experience wherever someone uses the digital workplace
- employees collaborating, searching, and completing tasks as well as reading the latest news
- employees choosing how to do ‘things’ – RSS, mobile, etc. – that help them
- organisations measuring the benefits and encouraging employees to use the digital workplace
I define a digital workplace as ‘work is what you do, not where you go to’. To have a successful digital workplace it is vital organisations have the right strategy, culture, environment and infrastructure to exploit the benefits fully. It needs to become the natural way of working so employees are more effective and productive and your organisation is more efficient and successful.
Tags: best practice, governance, intranet, plan, strategy, usability
The lifeblood of any intranet is the information that is available. The quality of it decides how useful it is to other people to help with their work.
You have an opportunity to find out how good Malcolm is for yourself as he’s running 1 day web content courses in London on 29 September and Edinburgh on 6 October.
I learnt a lot from my one hour meeting with Malcolm. You can learn far more by investing a day of your time with Malcolm.
Tags: best practice, digital workplace, intranet applications, usability, value
In my previous posts on the digital workplace I have covered ‘Must have digital workplace principles’, ‘5 steps to a great digital workplace strategy’, 7 ways to engage people in a digital workplace, 4 factors critical to good governance in a digital workplace and HR policies to encourage a digital workplace.
To have a successful digital workplace (my definition is ‘work is what you do, not where you go to’) organisations must have the right strategy, culture, environment and infrastructure to exploit the benefits fully. It becomes the natural way of working so everyone is more productive and your organisation more efficient with:
- people work from any location as well as their office workstation
- IT infrastructure for the same or similar experience
- everyone can read news, collaborate, search and complete tasks
- individuals choosing tools – RSS, mobile, etc. – that help them
- organisations measure benefits and encourages digital workplace
Follow these ‘must have’ principles including strategy, engagement, governance, HR policies and IT infrastructure and you will have a great digital workplace.
These digital workplace principles won’t work without the right IT infrastructure in place. This will include:
Making sure people have the right kit to take advantage of the opportunities digital working offers. Organisations need to fund and provide laptops, smart phones, broadband and/or wifi, tablets like iPads and monitor screens for homeworking. All these are needed for individuals to do their type of work effectively. The aim must be more productive workers who are happier because their work/life balance is better.
Access to the digital workplace when employees need it is the most critical thing to get right. Get it wrong and digital working won’t happen – simple as that. The network needs to be reliable for speed and availability. If it is frequently down for a hour or so people won’t trust it and be reluctant to change their behaviour so the digital workplace strategy works. If it is slow then people also will vote with their feet and stay in a physical office where the people they need can be contacted.
People must be confident they have secure access to the digital workplace and the organisation needs to be confident it will not be abused by anyone not in that organisation’s buildings. For example if you want to check your pay record online you want 100% confidence only you can do this. Likewise if you need to access sensitive information online the organisation also needs 100% reassurance only those with the right permissions, like you, can use it.
Organisation must have developed and have available the things people need to do their work. Research may be needed before digital workplace is implemented:
- What is the information needed?
- What applications are needed for their work?
- What collaborative tools for sharing?
- Are there mobile versions?
All of these need to be available when they are needed. And don’t guess what they are – invest the time, effort and money to research fully what is needed. It will be seen as an investment in the months afterwards when you see people using the digital workplace because it has all they need for their work.
Make sure these meet the needs of people using. THEY MUST BE USABLE! If not, you will waste a lot of potential benefits in time taken trying to use unsuitable tools.
All of these help create the confidence needed to encourage everyone who is able to, to move to a digital workplace. This may need up front investment but the business case should show the savings made in office space, travel costs, time saved quickly justify the costs.
More on the digital workplace in my next post.