Every so often, we need a refresh in the workplace. One way to achieve this is to redesign your Intranet. As time goes by, the needs of your organization may change, your brand evolves, and technology advances. A new layout for your portal is a great way to keep things as fresh, updated and intuitive as possible. This guide will walk you through the necessary steps the next time you need a new design.
Start with the assessment
Like any project you take on, when it comes to redesigning your Intranet, you should start by assessing the current design and structure. What’s working? What’s not working? Make sure that you consider any limitations you may have. From there, decide on what the “must-haves” or requirements are for your new design based on technology, staff, business, etc.
Take it a step further by auditing the content on your Intranet
To make the redesign run more smoothly, your Intranet might need to be cleaned up a little. Review all content, and delete what is unnecessary, update/edit or even archive what is older, and make sure all content is in the correct place. Additionally, run a full audit by measuring metrics to find out which pages are most viewed/visited, what is most commonly searched, etc. Focus groups and surveys will help better gauge employee opinion. These items will give you a more in-depth look at what needs stay and what needs to go when designing the new site.
Come up with a design strategy
While it’s fun to come up with design ideas, it’s important to come up with a plan that goes according to your specific needs, and to not change anything on a creative whim. Remember to stay true to your organization’s brand. When coming up with your design plan, keep everything in mind from the assessments and audits. What can you change in your layout to simplify tasks or make things more readable? What information needs to be emphasized or accessible? How can you utilize color, font, placement, etc. to draw users to that specific information? Here are some general rules of thumb to consider when it comes to Intranet design:
-2 column layouts are typically preferred for Intranets
-Use ample white space to keep your content from looking cluttered
-Have a banner, either across the top or down the left side of the page, containing the logo and navigation menu
-Include a footer with a disclaimer and corresponding sitemap links
-Utilize soft colors as they are easier on the eyes, especially on screen
-No scrolling should be required on the homepage, keep the home page clean and simple
-Use images throughout the Intranet for visual interest and a break from text
Apply the design strategy to the structure
One of the most important parts of your Intranet is having a clear, simple, and intuitive navigation system. A good way to go about this is to look at your organization’s needs, how the content on your site relates to each other, and how your needs relate to the content. Come up with the best way to organize your portal based on these criteria, and apply your design decisions to this structure.
As you can see, planning ahead is crucial when it comes to having a successful redesign. Knowing exactly what you need and want and designing based off of those necessities first and foremost is the most important part. From there, creating a new design for your Intranet is a fun way to keep things fresh!
Interested in redesigning your Intranet? Learn more about our Creative Design Refresh Package on the Academy, where we help you each step of the way.