10 Things You Should Take Care Of When Building An Intranet

Created: Feb 13, 2014

Updated: June 19, 2024

So you’ve finally decided to build your intranet. It’s exciting– you can incorporate so many features and designs and you’re all agog. Just hold on there – do you know what to be aware of, to avoid and to incorporate? If you’re not sure, we’ve got the entire goodie bag here for you. Read on!

1. Ensure User Profiles Are Complete

Set rules for populating user profiles. A nice headshot is mandatory, as are contact details, team details and job description. All user profiles should be error-free and up-to-date.  Insert reminders into your design code so that people are reminded to update their profiles periodically. Missing or incomplete profile information can be very annoying.

2. Include an Intelligent Search Feature

You want your users to find the right information each time, quickly and painlessly.  Incorporate a clever search feature that’s powerful enough to search based on keywords, first two or three letters input and so on. In order to make your search feature more effective, set up policies for content title and summary wording and keyword incorporation into content.

3. Create Dynamic Portal Homepages

Create separate login portals for each team, with dynamic homepages. The content should constantly refresh based on user’s previous searches and needs. Don’t allow users to see the same messages and images they saw the previous time they logged in. Observe sites such as YouTube, Yahoo.com and others to understand how to present ever-changing content.

4. Allow People To Add Feedback On Other Profiles

This is something similar to what LinkedIn does. Allow peers, managers and cross-team members to add feedback and recommendations to profiles. Everyone likes a good word now and then. Be sure to allow the profile owner to accept or reject the feedback.

5. Provide Tons Of Useful Tools

Do a survey of the tools that people use on a daily basis. Compile a set of tools for each team, and make sure they are available immediately upon logging in. For example, if your Quality Assurance team uses analytical tools on a regular basis, make sure they’re available from their login homepages.

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Find out what tasks each team performs regularly. For example, your admin team might be booking hotel rooms and travel tickets for traveling. Your HR team might be printing out various forms for employee use. Just place quick links on login homepages so that people can quickly perform these tasks. Also enable alerts so that people are able to manage their tasks within given timeframes.

7. Create A Template Repository

Your intranet should become a single source location for all kinds of regularly-used forms and templates.  Get all paper forms converted to editable soft copies and upload them under the proper categories. Also get various teams to contribute the templates and forms that they use. Enable easy downloading and printing of these forms and your staff will feel totally empowered.

8. Allow People To Customize Their Content

Incorporate functionality that allows people to customize their intranet pages. They should be able to mark and manage a list of Favorites, and customize content views and links to tasks. They should also be able to add (with governance) graphics and designs to their homepages so they don’t get bored. The point behind all this is to help them to get their work done easily while feeling that they’re a part of the intranet as well.

9. Incorporate Functionality For Inter-team Collaboration

Allow individuals to create discussion forums, to which they can invite the teams and individuals they choose. Enable complete user freedom with regard to these forums, as long as they adhere to company policies. Also incorporate a chat feature so that people can chat with others who are online. This will allow users to connect with other teams, discuss, collaborate, share ideas and become more productive in their own areas.

10. Incorporate a Q & A Feature

People are mostly afraid of asking direct questions of the management. Your intranet can make this process easier by allowing people to post questions to specific members of management. These questions and their answers should be visible to all employees. Over time, the stored Q&As will become a comprehensive FAQ, which will help guide users in their tasks.

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