Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Category: Content

If I were an internal communicator…

29 Jul 2012

Across the whole organisation there is a massive transformation programme running to save money and improve services. It’s been cooking since before the spending review in various guises. Internal campaigns having come and gone and are making a comeback. How successful will they be this time? Previous campaigns have been lacking in real content but […]

12 signs of an untrained intranet publisher

16 Jun 2012

Here are some common signs that your site content has been written by someone who has never been trained how to write for an online audience and is unaware of search engine optimisation or visitors using accessible technology. 1) The page title of you homepage is “Home” The word home, on its own, as a […]

System status and vanity intranet pages

26 May 2012

One of my favourite metrics when measuring improvement on the intranet is the number of calls to the helpdesk. It’s a sure sign of success when you’ve done a few changes to an area of the intranet and the number of helpdesk calls goes down. Conversely, you know that something is wrong when the number […]

Mobile usability: Usability Week day 1

19 Mar 2012

Just got back from day 1 of Usability Week in Edinburgh. Thumbs up for todays session on designing websites for mobile usability, by Amy Schade, who got us through 188 slides and kept it fascinating all the way. I’ve been working in the field of usability and user experience for over 10 years now but […]

A/B tests on user group signup adverts

18 Mar 2012

To recruit people to our user group we ran a display advert on the website. I created an A/B test using 4 different adverts. One of them was a runaway winner.

GovDelivery email alerts and newsletter management

28 Sep 2011

Back in July we ditched using Google Feedburner in favour of GovDelivery to manage our website email alerts and group newsletters. Feedburner allowed us to manage subscriptions with automated email alerts based on RSS feeds. We could get basic stats on subscribers, views and clicks. But Feedburner didn’t do newsletters and it only monitored RSS […]

Content interaction vs content generation

20 Jul 2011

Terms like social intranet and intranet 2.0 used to make me think “Facebook at work” (or indeed Google+ these days.) And that could be cool. But I ask myself “how connected are the people who work in the very different parts of our organisation?” Silos do exist, and in a large department consisting of over […]

Intranet documents are not Russian dolls

18 Jul 2011

Embedding and interlinking documents within other documents on the intranet creates a doll-inside-a-doll effect making it difficult for people to find the information that they want. Documents are a necessary part of our intranet. They come in many shapes and sizes including policy documents, forms for downloading and printing, forms for completing on-screen, calculators and […]

Plain English content rewrite: July 2011

17 Jul 2011

We recently restructured some of our intranet sections and took the opportunity to do some plain English rewrites to the page content. This example is from one of the guidance pages dealing with security when moving offices. The original is filled with passive voice and is afraid to give instructions. I’ve marked up in red. […]

The horrors of devolved publishing

20 Jun 2011

I like the idea of allowing staff to create and post corporate content on the intranet. But, in my experience, the idea hardly ever works well. It’s essential that publishers know how to create effective online content. Devolved publishing makes it difficult to maintain consistent quality, structure and findability. Centralised publishing Communication professionals produce the […]


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