Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

Intranet satisfaction survey results

27 May, 2010 – Luke Oatham

Yesterday I blogged about our intranet benchmarking results which compared the intranet against other intranets and gave us an expert evaluation.  Today I’m going to look at survey results from our staff intranet satisfaction survey (run by Customer Carewords) which we ran alongside the benchmarking tests.


Survey format

We used Gerry McGovern’s “Customer Centric Index” method which is designed to get instant, gut-level responses about staff experience of using the intranet.  The survey is designed to report on 3 key areas:

  1. Content
  2. Social
  3. Visual/architectural

Results

We evaluated the intranet from both an expert viewpoint and a staff perspective.  Interestingly, both exercises show similar results.  Which means that we’ve got a good picture of the current “state of the nation.”

So how did we do?  Staff all agree that the new intranet has a great layout, is simple to read and visually appealing. They also said that the information is kept up to date and that the menus are clear and easy to use.  Good to learn that staff actually trust the content, stating it to be open and transparent.  But, (and no surprises here,) our people finder function is pants.

Curiously and annoyingly, it doesn’t look like staff are calling out for “social” functions, like being able to comment or vote on content or to collaborate with each other.  I guess I was hoping that they would.

Problems

One conflicting metric remains.  Staff say they have problems finding content on the intranet.  Conversely, our expert review scored us highly on “findability”, and I unbiasedly agree.  We spend loads of time checking metadata and page titles and formatting documents correctly so that Google can index our intranet content.  To the point of being obsessed.  I regularly tweak the Google Search Appliance based on the analysis I get from reports on users’ search patterns.  So what’s gone wrong?  Why are staff telling us that they can’t find anything?  I just don’t believe it!  Who can’t find stuff with Google when the content is well labelled?

Next steps

So the next project is to find out how staff use search and what their perception of it is.  I suspect the problem is having one HQ intranet and a handful of individual intranets.

Ending on a positive note, the survey results compliment the benchmarking results and confirm that the intranet team  have done a great job on the overhaul in terms of design, content and architecture.  Staff opinion, expert evaluations and comparison against other intranets worldwide show that there is a remarkable overall improvement and that we are making big steps in intranet design.

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