Intranets and Design Thinking – James Robertson at IntraTeam Event Copenhagen

To understand UX you must undertake research, so you can deliver useful, delightful intranets. My notes from James Robertson’s talk at IntraTeam.

This is my live blog from Copenhagen; I’m writing and updating this as James Robertson speaks. Refresh this page to see updates every two minutes.

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.

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