According to James Robertson, these are typical development phases for intranets (notes from talk at BBC, 11.9.08):
- Being born
- Growing organically, i.e. creating a repository of documents and other content in a rather unstructured way (some common features: outdated content, incosnistent navigation, supported by poor technology, no effective search feature, team too small, no users)
- Repeated redesigns; similar problems as phase 2. Although number of users increase after relaunch(s), it bounces quickly back to pre-redesign level
- User-centred design; Designing with and for users. Good starting point, but struggles behind the scenes continue … “Successful design teams spend approx. 30% time of teh project with their users.
- Becoming Useful and not only Usable! The turning point of intranets. People only use applications if they have a benefit from using it
- Intranet as a business tool (the ultimate goal!); Intranet is not ionly useful for its users but increases business.
Some other thoughts:
The Four Key Purposes of an Intranet
- Content (repository of stuff)
- Communication Channel
- Activity (“Seamless environment for staff to get something done”)
Insight: 90-95% of staff will not personalize their homepage
In order top determin whether the collaboration approach makes sense or not, determine if there is a clear PURPOSE and a clear COMMUNITY
Collaboration approach: there is not THE one-fits-all application; choose from
- Discussion Group
- Team space
- Intant messaging
- File storing
- Mailing list
- Intranet Pages
Insight: Do not confuse COLLABORATION and the PUBLISHING approach!