An A-Z of BT’s Intranet

In my last post ‘Great intranets help make efficient people’ I talked briefly about the BT A-Z.  BT Intranet users find this a very useful service helping them to quickly find a site.

Research of people in BT finds they navigate to what they need from the BT Homepage by using the search engine, deep linking from the many headings grouped functionally or use the BT A-Z.

People who use the BT A-Z have a reasonable idea they know the site exists and what its name could be.  Cross-referencing of sites helps people to find it under more than one letter.

I’ve shown what the BT A-Z is in these examples.

The BT Homepage sets out the BT A-Z in one horizontal line with plenty of space between each letter to save users one click if there was just a BT A-Z heading and be able to easily get the letter they need (slide 1).

For each link in the BT A-Z, there is a heading followed by a simple explanation of what it points to so people know before they click on it if it is likely to be what they are looking for (slide 2).

On the left hand side of every page of the BT A-Z are icons which help to show to users what to expect when they click on the link (slides 2-4).

As well as giving people a full list of sites, if you know it is just information or a service you need for that letter you can choose that option from right hand menu to reduce what you need to check (slides 3 and 4).

If you have mobile/PDA access, you can still use the BT A-Z and see a list of sites to click on with (most important!) a mobile icon against those which will support that type of access (slide 5).

5 responses to “An A-Z of BT’s Intranet

  1. Hi Mark – I like the additional option of an A-Z listing for navigation. This type of feature has been suggested in the past, but the thought of building and maintaining it is a little daunting so we haven’t pursued it (resources, you know). I’m curious to hear how this is managed at BT, whether it is a manual process or there is some automation involved. Do you use the A-Z for navigation to sites only, or do you also use it to point to other content, eg forms and tasks?


    PS: I tried to view the Slideshare content but get this message: ‘The slide did not convert properly and hence cannot be displayed.’ Not sure if this a problem at my end or with the upload.

    • Hi Judy,

      Thanks for the feedback. Our A-Z is managed by a person as it is to links across many different types of intranet sites (applications, content and collaboration) and some internet sites that people find useful.

      Our A-Z points to ‘stuff’ people across BT find useful – a form, application, policy, anything really that meets our standards.

      I have checked the link in my blog post and the Slideshare site and they work. It may have been a temporary technical hitch which prevented you seeing the slides. Try again because I think they’re worth seeing. 😉


  2. Pingback: IntranetLounge

  3. Hi Mark – the slides are working for me now. Thanks for sharing – they are very helpful. The A-Z is definitely something I’ll be thinking about.


  4. This is an interesting approach to additional navigation.

    I am suprised to hear that you have a person to maintain it. You should not have a problem to have this type of functionality work based on a good search engine and relevant metadata.

    Since SharePoint is my “gebiet” I have made a simple prototype using SharePoint Designer 2010. It took me about one hour to get an “A-Z” that returns sites from the intranet, people (users) and documents (Her I would prefer to limit results to documents of specific types, which requires me to do a little more work.)

    Interesting… thanks for sharing that…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s