Intranet design and reader-centred communications,
from Wedge in the UK
I also assist small orgs with content marketing and social media management.
You can hire me with very little fuss, for one afternoon or an extended project. I work around London and Birmingham, but I travel across the UK as needed; I generally work from my home office. You’ll see me on Twitter most days.
You might have read my blog for the past decade, when I was in ‘MarComms‘ for a couple of large companies – now you can get to know me better as a freelancer.
Beyond working for and with some smashing companies and people, I do my best to contribute to the intranet, comms, and digital workplace professions. I founded the Intranet Now (un)conference – the only independent intranet conference in the UK. I hope you’ll attend in September.
Design has a power that can be exploited for the benefit of business (not just consumers).
Consider Customer Success Teams that focus on everything in front of customers – from banks to web forms.
Intranets need a lot of design help! Many are ugly and difficult to use. Design means more than how it looks, design is about how it works. UI and UX.
Design Thinking can reshape an organisation. (Go see ‘Organisational Design’ on Wikipedia.)
Card sorting and tree testing are complementary tools. Use them in your design and testing phases.
Intranets can no longer only be useful! (See my intranet hierarchy of needs draft.)
The stronger your external brand and reputation, the greater the pressure to create an intranet that reflects your brand.
Does your intranet delight people? How?
Question: Do you ‘fix’ an archaic HR intranet section, or do you start from a blank sheet of paper?
James tells us about how Telstra addresses this question. Started with all the user testing and good practices, but we’re always unsure if they were doing enough.
James showed Telstra the pwc Australia HR site. Highlighted the the hard data people were visiting for – i.e. your actual number of holiday days you have left – live data.
Think about your objective – reduce calls to the HR centre. What calls? What topics? Make the intranet meet those needs!
This ‘design thinking’ has real-world business impact. Reduction of phone calls:
James now talks about how retail intranets often ignore staff in the stores. Solution is mobile access, and a decent mobile experience.
Reaching shop-floor employees is such a challenge; they may not even have email addresses. No opportunity to access work email anyway.
OK, so Coles (Australian store) allows employees to connect their company ID card to their personal email address. You know your people! Hook them up to your intranet – find a log-on solution, create a decent mobile experience. (This is more than investing in your digital workplace, it’s investing in your people.)
Homework: research ‘Design Thinking‘; get into user-testing, card sorting and tree testing. Don’t allow IT / design cost conversations to derail your objectives. Schools and pupils are delivering award winning SharePoint designs and functionality.
Update: James’ presentation is now on SlideShare.
I’m self-employed, attached to a couple of agencies, and I collaborate with a number of well-respected individuals. But what do I do all day?
“With Wedge’s help, our social media presence has greatly improved. He has a deep understanding of both the process and the topic.”
“Wedge looks after our social media accounts, writes our blog articles, and supports our client pitches and intranet design process.”
“Wedge is helping us revamp our website content, and has guided our social media strategy.”
Ten years' experience
From corporate comfort to independent hustler
My career progression has been logical and fairly smooth. As a corporate communicator I endeavoured to focus on internal communications and the intranet, but was often tasked with managing the company website as well. I also led a million pound SharePoint project; it’s true what they say — it’s not all about the technology (it’s about people).
Later, as a full-time intranet consultant, I helped a score of small to large organisations plan and launch their new intranets. Now, as an independent specialist, I’m fortunate enough to work with some well-known intranet consultancies and design agencies.
I work from my home office and travel around London and the Midlands to meet clients, and work in a team when needed.
I’m still hands-on with intranets, but a lot of my time is spent writing about intranets, collaboration, and communication.
Internal and external comms
Starting as the global intranet manager and intranet communications editor, I then took on the extranets and the main website in a combined role.
Intranet and internal comms
Revamped the ageing intranet, led the SharePoint adoption project, and then took on the website in a combined digital communications role.
Travelled the UK, helping new clients plan, design, and adopt their new intranet.
Now I support regular clients with their social marketing and with their corporate clients as needed.
Intranet Now conference founding
I created and launched the Intranet Now conference - the only independent intranet conference in the UK.
Just tweet, call, or mail me
I’m @Wedge on Twitter.
My phone number is 07950705258 – my name is Wedge, so just say ‘hi’.
Mail me on Wedge@kilobox.net
— Wedge ⬛️ (@Wedge) January 13, 2015