Things to Consider When Designing an Intranet

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It’s always been an interesting proposition for companies and businesses to define how much time, effort and resources they dedicate to the internal website component of the intranet.

Even in small or medium-sized businesses, an intranet can serve an important purpose when it comes to employee communication, process efficiency, human resources and making things run smoothly. For smart companies, the intranet is a productive and beneficial resource for the company where employees communicate, obtain updates, share resources and celebrate milestones. Ideally, all companies would like to have their intranet operate in this fashion.

The best way to think about your intranet is to think of it as an internal website. A site that is easy to navigate, update and share information. A site that is user friendly, in line with company branding and above all else, serves an interactive purpose. We have created a simple feature checklist to use when planning an internal website for a mid-sized company. Consider the following categories and sections and decide on which areas are important for your business.

Naturally, no two intranets are the same, but we believe that this is a great start to planning for a very useful internal communications tool.

Intranet Feature Checklist

Features Would you use it?
  Yes Maybe No
News & Announcements
  • System for approval prior to posting
  • Publishing scheduler (post-date news)
Document Manager for sharing PDF, DOC, XLS & PPT files
  • 1 to 100 documents
  • 100 to 500 documents
  • More than 500 documents
  • Search of titles and content
  • Filter under category types, dates, tags
Discussion Board/Blog
  • Enable commenting
  • Moderation capabilities
Meeting Room & Resource Booking
  • Resources booking system (rooms & equipment)
  • Show calendar, show when busy
Polls/employee surveys
  • Front-end results display
Digital Assets Gallery
  • 1 to 100 videos, photos, slideshows
  • More than 100 videos, photos, slideshows
Contacts/Directory Manager
  • Internal contact directory
  • External contact directory (suppliers, clients)
  • Search capabilities
  • Category types and view filter
  • Employee controlled profiles
  • Employee status updates
HR
  • Policy manuals in HTML format
  • Capability for employees to agree to terms
  • Job openings/postings
Remote Accessibility
  • Ability to login from outside
Platforms
  • Mobile capabilities, please note most common device
  • MS Internet Explorer 6/7 support (note: latest version is IE 9, supporting IE 6/7 adds costs)
Submission Forms
  • Vacation request submission form
  • Expense report submission formIdeas suggestion box
  • Capability for administrator to build new forms
I.T. Help Desk
  • Support ticket submissions
  • Ticket tracking/management
Company calendar
  • Show staff birthdays
  • Show statutory holidays
  • Show company events
  • Show company deadlines
  • Show individual vacation/personal days booked
  • Capability to add events to personal Outlook calendar
Widgets
  • Weather updates
  • Headline news or industry news feed
  • Stock ticker feed
  • Company quick links
Classified Ads
  • Staff-driven ads
Library/Reference/Training
  • Dynamic listing/links to external articles
  • Listing of internal training references
Other Needs?

We hope this helps and good luck with your intranet!

By Brad Pizem
Client Services Director
May 31st, 2012
Disclaimer: Our team members contribute to this blog in their own voices. As such, opinions expressed in this post are not necessarily shared by Upanup. If you are curious or concerned, please contact us.
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