If it were a person, how would you describe its personality?
Intranets are boring because they are unambitious from a design perspective.
They have no soul. They have no identity.
“Our new intranet is great, it doesn’t look like SharePoint!”
I’m horrified when I hear things like this on industry forums, webinars and at conferences.
Is that the best we can do?
Intranets are b😴ring – Reason #3: Visuals and UX are poor. 👎
We’re often talking about large global organisations here, with tens of thousands of employees.
This is the visual user experience that we’re giving our employees on a daily basis. The central tool we have for disseminating information and collaboration.
Intranet design has barely changed in 20 years. And the best we can aspire to is that it doesn’t look like SharePoint?
I think we can do better.
I think we must do better!
Fix #1: Ditch the corporate branding
Take a look at the images you are using in your articles, in your news, in your blogs.
How constrained are you by keeping – or being kept – on brand?
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the images themselves. They’re well-curated image libraries that have been acquired. And expensive!
I understand the messaging that might be behind them. There is value in keeping things on brand.
Yet stories are far more powerful. Take off some of the makeup and be authentic.
The imagery that we choose is a powerful component in our communications. It helps establish the dynamic and shapes the perception of a message.
Stop playing it so safe!
The branding of the internet itself is often very vanilla. Very plain. Very safe.
I lost count long ago of the number of “Hub”s, “Connect”s and “Hive”s I’ve come across.
How about pushing the limits a little?
Create a vision. Something that inspires. An identity that creates engagement.
Some of the best success stories we’ve seen, are intranets launched or rebranded with a strong brand story behind them. But it’s not the corporate brand. It may incorporate elements, though not at the expense of creating a clear identity for the intranet.
Going beyond the colours and the fonts.
Beyond a name, create an avatar – a persona for the intranet itself. Build a personality that evokes curiosity and captivates. That represents the intranet’s unique character and purpose.
It becomes more than something. It becomes someone. Someone we can identify with.
We can talk about them, their actions, behaviours. Someone to interact with. Someone to be seen with.
The intranet takes on an identity. A place to go, a place to be at. It becomes a verb, as well as a noun.
Much more than just a web page.
Fix #2: Stop marketing at me – I’m an employee, not a prospect!
We’re under a firehose of branded corporate content.
It leads us to feel we’re just being marketed at.
As employees, we don’t want to be marketed at.
We want to be treated as human beings, with a voice. Whose opinion is valued.
Consistency in messaging may be crucial. Drenching us with corporate speak numbs us to it.
Instead, let’s focus on the power of human stories.
Incorporate authentic imagery that resonates on a personal level. Strip away the excessive branding and showcase the real faces making up the organisation.
Feature stories that give a snapshot of an employee’s work, or activities outside of work. Write them in the first person. Even better, empower employees to write and use their own words.
Relatable stories create lasting impressions, establish trust, and drive meaningful interactions.
We can do better. We can fix our b😴ring intranets.
If our aspirations are high enough. If we’re ambitious enough.
Get creative! Don’t fear the brand-police!
Embrace authenticity. Showcase human stories and relatable imagery.
Look to create connection. Transcend corporate-speak and marketing tactics.
Human-centred content will bring the intranet to life.
How big a shift would this mean for you on your intranet? Leave a comment and let us know!
If this is hold hat and you’re already doing most of it, let us know what is working!