Intranet and comms resources

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Creating intranet content: a guide for everyone

I worked with Sam Marshall to write this guide for intranet contributors. It’s the sort of thing you’d share with your extended team / network.

Page thumbnails of Creating Intranet Content

The guide covers ten common challenges:

  1. Effective headlines: help people choose what to read
  2. Images: attracting interest and conveying meaning
  3. Links: how to link to pages and files
  4. Layout: how to structure articles for scanability
  5. How to help people search for, and find, your content
  6. Content: write for your audience, not for your boss
  7. Documents vs pages: when to use PDF, Word, etc.
  8. Engage: writing to start a conversation
  9. Channels: reach the right audiences
  10. Mobile content.

Each subject is concisely tackled over one or two pages, and we’ve included a checklist at the back, so be sure to download the full guide from the ClearBox website.

[cta button_text=”Get the content guide” button_url=”” animation=”true” button_style=”transparent” button_color=”blue”]Download ‘Creating intranet content’ and share with your (internal) extended comms network[/cta]

Content tactics – executing your strategy on the page

I literally toured Europe with this presentation during 2014 / 2015 :) Whether you’ll get enough from the SlideShare, I don’t know – but I’d be happy to present this in person to your team.

[cta button_text=”Get the SlideShare” button_url=”” animation=”true” button_style=”transparent” button_color=”purple”]Download or bookmark ‘Content tactics’ in SlideShare[/cta] [icon color=”orange” type=”linecon-icon-doc”] Read the Intranätverk write-up of my content tactics presentation, artfully written by Kristian Norling and Tobias Skarhall.

Carousels and sliders

Quote marks

Perfectly practical articles

Below you’ll find links to specific guidance; for intranet and comms related websites, see my links page / blogroll.

Online tools – freakishly easy

If stakeholders pressure you to put a carousel / slider on your intranet’s home page, ‘just like on our website’ without at UX research, send them this infuriating arguement against such poor design choice: “Should I use a carousel?

Smaller Pictures – Maybe your intranet automatically optimises photographs for faster display, but really, you should control the optimisation so that details are not lost from the photo. This incredibly simple web-app let’s you judge by eye and save your image at a smaller file-size.

Compressor – Online tool to smush the file-size of your images down for faster display. You get to see if the quality of yout photo has degraded :)

[onehalf]Small PDF – do everything with Office files and PDFs that you ever wanted. Online.

FormSwift – create and sign documents. Online.

Zamzar – convert almost any file into any other file type.

Noun Project – icons.

Adobe Voice – Slideshows with voice-overs.

Adobe Slate – visual storytelling.

Citation machine – APA MLA references.

Readability score – how easy is your article to read?

Wordcounter – more than total words.[/onehalf] [onehalf last=”true”]Photoshop online – it’s Photoshop, free, and in your browser. Requires Flash.

Pixlr Editor – edit images in your browser. Wow. Requires Flash.

Vectr – create vector graphics in youe browser, or in the free app.

Canva – make ‘web posters’.

How Secure is My Password?

Password strength checker.

Jotform – online form design and processing.

Tip of my tongue – get that word you can’t think of.

Parts of a speech – will parse your sentences and try to identify nouns, verbs, and adjectives etc.


Content discovery tools and online collaboration tools – curated master lists.

Destination sites and pages

Y’know, places to go on purpose – they pull you in with great ideas and guidance.

  • [icon color=”orange” type=”icon-sort-amount-asc”] UX Checklist – 27 (currently) links to articles taking you through user-experience planning.
  • [icon color=”yellow” type=”icon-sort-amount-asc”] UX Myths – 33 user-experience myths.
  • [icon color=”green” type=”icon-qrcode”]Content Strategy for Website Projects – beautiful guide from Gather Content.
[onehalf][icon color=”orange” type=”icon-file-text-o”] Blind Write – keep drafting separate from editing; write blind.

[icon color=”aqua” type=”icon-file-text-o”] HemmingwayApp – helps you draft and edit communications to be clear.[/onehalf] [onehalf last=”true”][icon color=”mint” type=”icon-file-text-o”] Expresso-App – also helps draft comms via readability analysis.

[icon color=”blue” type=”icon-file-text-o”] IBM’s Watson Bluemix User Modeling – stupid title, clever analysis of your writing’s personality.[/onehalf]

Incredibly practical resources from around the web

[icon color=”red” type=”icon-briefcase”] Ethnography, personas, journey mapping, interviews, by the Cabinet Office.

[icon color=”orange” type=”icon-briefcase”] Interviewing humans, by Erika Hall.

[icon color=”yellow” type=”icon-briefcase”] MoSCoW method 0f requirements rating – Must, Should, Could, Won’t.

[icon color=”green” type=”icon-briefcase”] Seeding content across the social intranet / enterprise social network, by Sacha Greif.

[icon color=”blue” type=”icon-briefcase”] Card sorting, by

[icon color=”purple” type=”icon-briefcase”] Content migration alone is not an effective content strategy, via NNGroup.

[icon color=”red” type=”icon-briefcase”] Innovation: explore; extract; exploit, by the 100% Open Toolkit.

[icon color=”orange” type=”icon-briefcase”] How to change the name and address of a SharePoint Site, by Ellen van Aken.

[icon color=”yellow” type=”icon-briefcase”] Embed Yammer into SharePoint (Video).

[icon color=”green” type=”icon-briefcase”] First steps in information management – new tools from CILIP.

[icon color=”blue” type=”icon-briefcase”] Search strategy A-Z [PDF; 400KB] – by Martin White, from his research notes page.

[icon color=”purple” type=”icon-briefcase”] Intranet metrics – discovery, satisfaction, and impact [PDF; 800KB] – by Martin White, from his research notes page.

[icon color=”red” type=”icon-briefcase”] Never ask what they want – three questions to ask in user intereviews – by Charles Liu.

[icon color=”orange” type=”icon-briefcase”] Focusing on top tasks – by Gerry McGovern, of course.

[icon color=”green” type=”icon-briefcase”] How to conduct a top task analysis – by Jeff Sauro.

[icon color=”blue” type=”icon-briefcase”] Content strategy – by Ben Grose.

[icon color=”purple” type=”icon-briefcase”] Measurement principles – for external comms, but relevant for anything.

[icon color: “red” type=”icon-briefcase”] When to provide an intranet to your small organisation – by Kara Pernice of NNG.

[icon color: “orange” type=”icon-briefcase”] Adobe Kickbox innovation toolkit.

[icon color: “yellow” type=”icon-briefcase”] UNICEF Knowledge Exchange Toolbox.

Annual awards

[onehalf] [/onehalf] [onehalf last=”true”] [/onehalf] [cta button_text=”Intranet and comms links” button_url=”/links” animation=”true” button_style=”transparent” button_color=”purple”]Want more inspiration?[/cta]


[onehalf]Design, web design, and UX books, via Five Simple Steps
I’ve got ‘Designing for conversion’, ‘Practical responsive images’, and ‘The craft of words’ (parts 1 and 2).

Web design, via A Book Apart
I’ve got ‘The elements of content strategy’.

The intranet management handbook‘ and ‘Enterprise search‘ via Facet and O’Reilly.

[/onehalf] [onehalf last=”true”]Collaboration and intranet books, via Intranätverk
I’ve got ‘Digital success or digital disaster?’ and ‘Collaborating in a social era’.

Intranet design, via Step Two Designs
I’ve got ‘Essential intranets’, ‘Designing intranets’, and ‘What every intranet team should know’.

Digital Workplace Trends 2015 – The Organization in the Digital Age by Jane McConnell
A massive research effort from Jane, providing insights and direction for enterprises of any size.


Small business intranet guide

I wrote this for Interact. A small intranet, perhaps cloud-based, can streamline processes and save time, frustration, and money.

Intranets for small businesses

Productivity is key to your bottom-line. This guide highlights 9 points to help you to increase your efficiency and effectiveness within your small business. These include:

  • How to combat growing pains
  • Reducing reliance on shared drives and email
  • Streamlining productivity
  • Using cloud to get up and running with minimal resource.
[cta button_text=”Get the SMB guide” button_url=”” animation=”true” button_style=”solid” button_color=”blue”]Download ‘Intranets for small businesses'[/cta]

Social networks / social media marketing

Intranet glossary – a work in progress

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