Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Release the test tubes; time for more user experiments

7 November, 2010 – Luke Oatham

As part of our efforts to save money across all parts of our organisation, we are combining many of our human resources, finance and procurement services into one central place.


There are several intranets within our organisation. Currently, most staff come to the HQ intranet for their human resources content and services. But there are some parts of the organisation that do their own thing. The move towards a shared platform will simplify processes for staff as well as cut costs and improve efficiency in back-end processing and automation.

The move will be a staggered project, slowly introducing new ways of working with the ultimate goal of providing an online self-service platform for staff. We will kick off with human resources services such as updating bank details and sick absence records, and then bring in other services. We’ll move from paper-based and electronic, downloadable forms to online processing.

While the new applications are being designed and developed outside of the Digital Team (usually by technical developers with no user experience processes), and being housed outside of the core intranet as part of the greater digital workplace, I have to make sure that staff will be able to access the pages and find the services easily from the intranet. Much of the content and guidance already exists on the intranet but there will be some new guidance for specific front-line staff. So we’re giving it a little reshuffle and a bit of a rewrite.

Fortunately, I still have the test scripts from the information architecture phase of the intranet redesign project, last year. I just need to modify and add a selection of tasks and I’m ready to run the tests again.

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