Intranet satisfaction survey results

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


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.


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.

Intranet benchmark results

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…