Simplicity and ease-of-use are the cornerstones of our intranet software. It’s not uncommon to hear the phrase “keep it simple” thrown around our office a couple of times a week. Naturally we believe that the K.I.S.S principle should be applied to all areas of your intranet implementation and have put together the following tips to help you be a good KISS’er:
Keep your homepage simple
When employees access your intranet, it’s important that they’re able to locate new, important information quickly and efficiently. If your homepage is cluttered and crowded it’s much harder to filter relevant information. Use white space and padding on your homepage to prevent it from being too text-heavy. Make sure that the most important information is displayed at the top of the page to make it easier to access.
Keep your content simple
We believe that one measure of a successful intranet is how quickly employees can get in and out of your site to find answers to the questions they had. Users don’t go to the intranet wanting to read a book so keep the wording on your content tight and succinct. Get straight to the point. Your intranet content is no place for flowery language. Drop the corporate speak when developing content for your intranet. Using a more casual, conversational tone is more effective for online communication.
Keep your navigation simple
Help users to find information on your intranet quickly by keeping your information architecture intuitive and straightforward. By using plain language for labels on your menu, you avoid any confusion as to where information might reside. Find out what your users refer to departments or silos of information as and use the names they’re already using to label your site.
Don’t bury information too deep in your site as it’s harder for your employees to navigate to it. The harder content is to get to, the more frustrating your intranet experience will be. If you’re currently using a lot of depth in your folder structure to organize documents or policies, simplify your document repository and start tagging your documents to organize them instead.
Keeping your intranet simple might sound easy, but it takes careful consideration and planning. Simplicity takes time and practice to master but the payoffs for intranet usage can be phenomenal as users will be able to move through your site more efficiently.