Why Well-Designed Intranet Systems Matter

Each organisation is unique, and in turn, each intranet should be unique - with its own design and mixture of features and functionality. However, there is a common element found in the top intranet designs examples - they all improve collaboration, communication and connection for fellow employees and your organisation as a whole. This is crucial in a time when more employees are working away from the office. They also follow intranet design best practices and recommended guidelines.

If you’re currently creating or redesigning your intranet, it’s definitely recommended that you look for intranet design inspiration from businesses that have successfully implemented their own intranet systems.

Wanting to learn how to design a successful intranet? Check out our on-demand recording on 'How to Improve Intranet Design, UX & Engagement'. Otherwise, keep reading! 

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Here are 3 of the best intranet homepage designs that have successfully helped their organisation to craft a high performance culture and deliver significant business gains to inspire your intranet design or redesign. 

Northcott: Improving Critical Information Retrieval for a Disability Services Provider

Top intranet designs Northcott

Client description

Northcott is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability service organisations, providing services from 160 metropolitan and regional locations throughout NSW and the ACT.

Challenge: Retrieving critical information

The main driver for a new intranet came when their staff doubled overnight after Northcott acquired over 100 specialist disability accommodation services from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. These frontline staff members work remotely with customers and couldn’t find critical information. This was realistically affecting their ability to efficiently and safely support their customers.

Solution: A flexible taxonomy

Northcott engaged an external consultant to gather insights and pain points that would need to be addressed in the intranet design inspiration. The consultant conducted a comprehensive research process, which involved interviewing individuals from different areas and roles within the organisation. They then used these insights to form their intranet redesign project plan.

And so a new intranet was created - Nula. The new intranet page design is heavily driven by Elcom’s flexible taxonomy feature. They can upload content once and add metadata. This content is then dynamically displayed on relevant pages. For instance, as a high compliance organisation, policies and forms have been given their own area on the site. If you work in a centre, you will see policies related to that location. Relevant policies can also be found in other areas, such as the Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) workspace.

The ECEI team works in centres away from head office and workspaces gives them a dedicated area to collaborate. The new intranet page design features relevant policies and procedures, a calendar, key contacts, tools, related resources and a forum to share and request information from each other. Key metrics, such as the number of children seen and plans completed, are also prominently displayed on the page to highlight the positive work the team have done.

As a result of the acquisition of over 100 accommodation services, Northcott needed to efficiently manage the quoting process to request funds from NDIA for their SIL customers. Elcom’s online form and workflow tool enables them to automate this complex process. This workflow has numerous paths and touch points of approval through it, before it goes to the NDIA. Administrators can easily monitor all forms submitted and see where each form is in the workflow. It provides governance that the right people are approving these forms at different points along the way.

Key takeaways

  • Identify common pain points and opportunities where the intranet could provide value by undertaking extensive interviews and research gathering from end users.
  • You must understand your internal audience (end users). The top intranet designs are purpose-built for their user. Ask yourself how can the intranet deliver real value and address key pain points? What intranet features and functionality do they actually need?
  • Tie your intranet to real business objectives such as reducing the volume of calls customer service team (CST) frequently handles.

Taking Shape: Helping an Inclusive Fashion Brand Efficiently Manage Internal Documents

 Intranet design inspiration Taking Shape showcase

Client description

Taking Shape is Australia and New Zealand's leader in plus-size clothing, operating for over 28 years across Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom with over 100 standalone Boutique stores, 50+ Concession stores within Myer & globally online. This firm has more than 900 employees.

Challenge: Managing large quantities of documents and forms

Prior to using an intranet, supervisors primarily relied on email to distribute information, often sending large volumes of attachments containing various forms, updates on sales goals, and human resources documents.

Solution: Adopting an accessible intranet

Key representatives across various business functions were involved in the intranet design and development process to ensure it truly met their needs, and created a sense of ownership and shared commitment to the success of the intranet.

The new intranet page design was key to offering a single resource hub where employees could easily find all of the latest material.

The intranet integrates with the sales management system to graphically present sales targets and results unique to each store with an aggregate view for their Retail Support Centre (RSC). The combination of the Corporate Directory and Active Directory integration in their intranet page design also enables new stores and staff to quickly access systems and the intranet while reducing admin overhead.

Frequently updated goal data is delivered to stores and makes it simple for workers to access current documents. Office and store employees have increased productivity because they no longer need to organise email attachments.

Key takeaways

  • Turn intranets into a true resource hub for employees by integrating with key business systems.
  • Work closely with departments to scope and plan the intranet project to understand what is needed to support all the different business functions e.g. marketing, HR, retail operations etc.
  • Involve staff throughout the intranet design and development to embed a sense of intranet.

Vita Group: Adapting a Lifestyle Brand’s Intranet to Mobile

Vita Group Artisan View 

Client description

Vita is Latin for life. Vita Group is a publicly listed, leading Australian retailer that strives to enhance people’s way of life through expert consulting, creating value across a diverse network of brands: Telstra Retail, Telstra Business Technology Centres, SQDAthletica, Sprout, and Artisan Aesthetic Clinics.

Challenge: An outdated intranet

Vita Group’s intranet, Vita Pulse, was initially designed to provide relevant content across various customer-facing brands, as well as provide centralised content for shared service functions.

Since the original design in 2011, user behaviour had changed considerably: team members preferred search over navigation, different roles had different pathways, and many frontline team members were unable to access most pages on their preferred device: mobile.

Solution: Adapting intranet to mobile

Vita Pulse is Vita’s central communication portal, enabling the Vita team to provide a centralised repository of information to 1600 team members across Australia, over five brands – each with their own brand experience – with a heavy mix of frontline team members.

Vita Group engaged in a range of strategies to ensure high adoption rates of their intranet including:

  • Intuitive live search. This surfaces the top four articles viewed by team members in the same roles over a rolling 14 day period. These top four articles are presented as four buttons under the search bar in the intranet page design, which updates in real-time.
  • Pulling in data from external sources such as displaying Yammer Group feeds on homepages depending on the brand they work for. A more advanced application is pulling in the results of the Vita rewards program leaderboard.
  • Creating 'Topic to a page' micro-sites which present a range of content relating to a specific topic in a nicely formatted yet easy to use, maintainable and mobile responsive way.

Key takeaways

  • Avoid overloading busy staff with unrelated information. The best intranet homepage designs create personalised views for staff members based on their roles.
  • Regardless of how well you structure your navigation, some staff may not be able to find what they need or simply prefer to search for information. Accurate and filterable search results are key to helping them find information easily. Vita Group has taken this one step further by displaying the top four articles viewed by team members for staff, which has enabled them to find what they need much quicker.
  • Information and data will be spread across different systems within the business. The more you can bring this data into one central interface, the more seamless the experience will be for staff who no longer have to go searching for information.

The Value of a Successful Intranet Page Design

These impressive, top intranet designs show that high-quality systems can deliver a wide range of benefits. The same accurate data becomes available to authorised users in every office. A sophisticated search engine simplifies the process of finding this material. Employees can upload, edit or remove information with ease. They also use the system to offer feedback for managers and discuss ways to solve problems.

  • Consolidate vital data in one convenient, searchable place
  • Achieve greater productivity by making it simple to find files
  • Securely and easily distribute internal company news without email
  • Create an exclusive, work-focused social network for employees

When organisations lack intranets, workers often resort to holding discussions on social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook. Intranet communication tools provide a more efficient solution without the distractions of advertisements or non-work messages. Studies reveal that greater engagement and information substantially boost productivity and earnings.

Effective business communications and engaged employees increase performance by approximately 50% to 200%, according to Intuit. Staff members become more focused and less worker turnover occurs. People send and receive fewer email messages because they can simply search for the information they need and view it. 

The value of an intranet really does speak for itself.

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Intranet design is fundamental to the success of an intranet. But the same easily-made mistakes often end with an inadequate, expensive and cumbersome platform with low adoption rates.

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Document Management Best Practices

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