As promised in my previous article, we’re looking at intranet page quality and the four typical standards; perfect, good, good enough and poor.
I focus on quality a lot on this site and in my day job as an intranet manager, but regardless of our standards and goals we have to accept that sub-standard pages will get published on our intranets when we open up publishing access to more people than the Internal Communications team.
Everyone thinks they can write; they cannot. Some people are gracious enough to recognise their lack of experience and take help, support and guidance. Many people think they have a handle on communicating, and will genuinely feel your help and guidance is superfluous to requirements. These people will publish poor pages. On a more open, collaborative, decentralised intranet, such pages will get written and will even get approved by people who should know better.
Yes, you will even find yourself approving poor intranet pages in order to expedite processes and support business needs.
And that’s what we’re talking about; supporting the business. Poor pages will get online because, at times, we all have needs and no time. Look at this article; it’s poor. No image; no bullet list; no sub-headings; a spelling mistake; badly written over-long sentences and a topic that wanders over the page instead of being sharp and concise at the beginning. Yes, this is a poor page on my website, and the are poor pages on my intranet.
Poor pages, while inevitable, should not be left as poor. While it may be impossible to make them good enough at the time, they should be noted and the content owner or editor should return to them at a later point, in line with priorities. Poor pages should make up the smallest percentage of your intranet, and hopefully won’t be high-traffic spots.
We’ll take a look at good enough pages next. Listen to my little 4 minute rant about quality pages![Wedge]
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You are absolutely correct. We publish a lot of bad pages because we are understaffed. Unless the corporation is willing to pay for additional resources, I don’t see a way around it.