3 Ways to Improve Internal Communication Through Intranet Redesign

By Lori Munro
August 20, 2018
3 min read
Ways to Improve Internal Communication Through Intranet Redesign

Make sure the most relevant and recent internal communication is easy to find on your intranet to improve user experience and boost employee morale.

Imagine you had a stack of newspapers from the past few months – and somewhere lost in the mix were the papers from yesterday and today. If the information wasn’t absolutely critical, how motivated would you be to dig through the pile for the relevant content?

Now imagine that stack of newspapers as your intranet homepage or navigation. How hard do users have to work to find recent, relevant content? Is it time to toss the old content and redesign?

What if you could also improve internal communication with staff as part of your redesign? Read our top three tips to increase effective communication with a redesign.

1. Navigation For Efficiency

In many organizations, items are added to the intranet navigation as requests are made. Eventually, any navigational plan or structure becomes lost in these additions. It becomes more and more difficult for users to locate content and to receive the information that is most pertinent to them.

Unfortunately, navigational chaos translates to inefficiency for users and lost productivity overall. As a quick example, if the members of a 10-person team spent 5 minutes daily hunting for information, based on an 8-hour work day they’d be losing about 27 days annually. Small problems can have big consequences.

Reworking your navigation is a key step in redesigning your intranet. Think of how your staff use the intranet (is it by task or department?). Use their insights to help rebuild the navigation. Our Help Center article, Create Navigation has some key advice, including the extremely useful card sorting task. While you’re working on improving the navigation, take the opportunity to clean up content by deleting, rewriting, and combining content where possible. Moving forward, we recommend putting governance in place so your new and improved intranet has an owner and associated rules.

2. Home Page Layout

As an intranet evolves and ages, the home page can gradually become cluttered and unfocused. Having many owners over the years and getting input from multiple sources can complicate order. Often, what’s lost is the ability to effectively communicate to users the most relevant or recent content.

An intranet’s home page is often compared to a front door or to the front page of a newspaper. In both cases, you want something visually appealing, and in the case of the newspaper you want readers to be guided to the most important content – both are great goals for your intranet home page.

Think through the type and frequency of information posted by your organization, and that will help guide the homepage layout. For example, if there are frequent policy or training updates, these belong in their own homepage widget rather than being grouped together with news or event announcements. Learn more about Home Page Design in our Help Center article.

3. Upgrading and Using New Features

A redesign often occurs after an intranet has been a bit neglected and has fallen behind in versions. Make sure to take advantage of the redesign project and get to the latest version so you can leverage enhanced and added features to up your communication game.

For example, Version 13.5 Policy Assist helps administrators keep track of the acceptance and review of important documents, Version 14.0 Insights’ enhanced stats function allows administrators to track engagement, and Version 14.5 Elevate Experience adds a Storyboard for visually engaging audio and visual storytelling.

14.5 Compact Header

Bonus Tip

Redesigning an intranet is an exciting improvement for an organization. Communicate that excitement to employees with some fanfare around the relaunch, and make it clear that there’s a shiny new work tool that’s going to make their lives easier!

By Lori Munro

Lori has worked with Intranet Connections as a client, consultant, and now employee, as the Customer Success Manager. In addition to her BA in psychology/economics and HR Management Certificate, she has a diversity of experience in technical writing, communications, and technology, which has led to an understanding and appreciation of the role that intranets can play in organizational and employee success. When not online, Lori can be found exploring the world via traveling, wine, or chocolate.