Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Intranet benchmark results

26 May, 2010 – Luke Oatham

Our core intranet team spent the last 2 years working on a project to overhaul and improve the intranet (in addition to publishing daily content and building other sites.)

Project outline (2008-2010)

  1. Research
  2. Information architecture and cardsorting
  3. Wireframe designs and user testing
  4. HTML and CMS build
  5. Content audit and migration
  6. Comms & launch
  7. Evaluation

Benchmark results

We launched in the new year and last month we had our annual benchmarking review. Results are in.

We use IBF as our benchmarking company and we’re members of the Europe group. The MoJ intranet 2010 was benchmarked on “design and usability”.  Our expert evaluation score elevated us into the top 20% of  Europe group members. We also managed to produce the highest score of all IBF members on the expert evaluation of our “design” metric (so, so proud of that one!)

We got some great advice at our feedback session with IBF earlier this week. There are several areas to improve. Some areas we can get to grips with immediately by making quick incremental tweaks. One particular page layout problem brought our usability testing score down – but at least we know what is wrong now and can fix it. Others are going to take time and careful planning and overcoming of obstacles.

Moving forward, we need to tackle intranet strategy and governance and look at ways of introducing collaboration, staff engagement, knowledge sharing, peer to peer and staff to management communication and customisation/personalisation on the intranet. Also a call from stakeholders for intranet stats and analytics.

I’m over the moon that the efforts of the intranet team have paid off and that we’ve been recognised as achieving major steps in improving overall design, findability and accessibility.

The project involved users from the start in research and testing and a lot of the groundwork, in terms of information architecture and site wireframe designs, was in place before we started building HTML prototypes and got the paintbrush out. (I hate working on projects when, at the first meeting, someone says “So, what colour do we want?”) Our coders managed to make the best use of our limited *flat* HTML platform with jQuery and javascript. And our in-house CMS experts developed the news delivery section of the intranet (which was a miracle based on my quirky design specifications and the limited functionality of the CMS platform).

Looking forward to the next phase of evolution…

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