Helpful Tips for Building Intranet Applications

By Michelle Desmarais
March 14, 2016
4 min read
intranet applications

How to create intranet applications using pre-existing templates, or from scratch.

In working as a support technician for IC, I find many of our new customers come to me for guidance in creating intranet applications. To make this process easier for you, we have several pre-built intranet applications available. However, we also give you the option to create your own applications from scratch. Or to make it even easier, you can copy an existing intranet application but re-structure it to create your own application.

For example, one creative idea you can build from scratch, or from remodeling a current app, is the Share Your First Job Application. In this blog, I will cover how to build an intranet application for the ultimate intranet customization.

Getting Started with Intranet Applications

First things first; what kind of content are you looking to add to your intranet? Before choosing the right application for the job, consider what you are looking to accomplish first. Here are some general considerations to think about before choosing an app template:

  • How do you want to present your information?
  • Will the content need to be separated into folders?
  • Do you need to implement a workflow process of approval before items are added?

A majority of these requirements can be handled directly through the App Builder.

Choosing an Application Template

When creating your intranet application, once you have determined the above requirements, you can choose whether to build an application from scratch using the Blank App Builder template, or copy an existing template and change the content in it. We have a variety of templates that come pre-built into the software which makes it much easier to get started.

Below is an example of what the Intranet Application Builder screen looks like:
Intranet Application Screen

Intranet Application Examples

When it comes to building intranet applications, one of the most common questions I get is, “how do I decide which app template to use?”. You can create any application you want through the Blank App Builder template. However, if you’re just starting out, using a preexisting application template is easier. I have listed some common examples of the most popular intranet applications and how they can be used, but they are definitely not limited to these examples!

  • Buy and Sell: Classifieds for work
  • Storyboard: Highlight marketing or corporate announcements, emergency broadcasts, bulletins
  • Documents: Policies, soft copies (.PDF, .DOC(X), .XLS(X), etc.), procedures, documents for review
  • Knowledge Management Software: FAQs, how-to, walkthrough guides, knowledge share
  • Idea Share ExchangeEmployee feedback, suggestion box, employee recognition, ballots for internal events/contests

Designing Your Application

Lastly, when building an intranet application it is important to consider the overall design of the app and how it will appear to your users. Present the content in a way that is easy for users to view, otherwise, they often won’t realize that the content is even available at all.

The ‘app home’ is the first area of the application users will see when they click on it. Depending on how you would like to present the content within the application, you can choose different ways the content displays. For example, you can choose to display it as a list or as a folder tree. Generally, the folder tree is popular because it makes it easy to organize content within an app so that users simply select a folder that contains their desired content.

From there, content within a folder can then be displayed in a table or a list. In my experience, most customers prefer the table because it is so easy to organize.

Intranet Applications Put into Practice

With all the key elements discussed above, I hope you have a better understanding of creating intranet applications and can easily apply these tips to your own intranet! I would love to hear about any intranet applications you have created, please share by commenting in the comments section. If you’re on the market for intranet software, book a free demo here!

By Michelle Desmarais

Michelle Desmarais is a solutions expert at IC Thrive. With a background in quality assurance and product training, she is well-versed in making the technical sound easy. Working closely with clients on a daily basis to find solutions to their problems, she is the go-to person for practical advice on anything intranet and software-related.