Usability, content, search and analytics on the corporate intranet

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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.

Google Analytics Realtime intranet statistics

8 Feb 2012

Since Google introduced realtime analytics, we have been heavily, almost addictively, using this new toy to gain new insights into how staff are using the intranet.

Could this be the start of a social intranet?

14 Dec 2011

It’s 5 o’clock on Friday afternoon, the day after our office Christmas party and I’m very much looking forward to going home. Just as I’m packing my things away I’m approached by one of the comms team… “The Director General is going on the road next week and wants to be able to tweet progress […]

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 […]

Intranet information flow (Prezi)

28 May 2011

My first Prezi that I did for fun while experimenting with new presentation techniques. Here I try to show how we can improve a flat content structure by integrating social functionality into the intranet information flow. Intranet information flow on Prezi – Graphics:

Intranet information design must follow staff culture

8 May 2011

Sometimes users don’t act as you’d expect. My recent analysis of search terms that staff use to find the online learning area of the intranet showed some unexpected results. A while back, our Human Resources department introduced an online learning area to the intranet. They wanted to label it as “JusticeAcademy.” I argued that we shouldn’t […]

Intranet publisher training course outline

7 May 2011

Learning the mechanics of pushing a piece of corporate content through a content management system and onto the intranet is only part of the skills required to be an intranet publisher. Creating quality material that is engaging, findable and useful to staff is equally essential so that the intranet does not become a place for […]

Related stories progress update 2011

25 Apr 2011

We introduced a related stories element to feature news in October last year. Following a comment on an older blog post, I decided to take another look at the figures. We introduced this new engagement element to encourage staff to visit back-issues of news stories. It is a simple box on the top right corner […]

Budget usability testing can be fun

12 Mar 2011

Where I work, we don’t have usability labs, eye tracking equipment or even webcams or screen capturing software to test information architecture designs with people. Resorting to budget user testing techniques can still provide valuable insights which in turn create recommendations for improvements. I’ve had two days of user testing this week, both in-house and […]

Collaborative working in the digital workplace

8 Feb 2011

I’ve been using collaborative documents quite heavily for the past few months of the website convergence project, working on documents with over 20 other people. For me, making changes to a document and seeing changes that other people are making at the same time is the height of collaboration. It’s the best that it gets […]

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