Let us guess: your recent employee survey has indicated that people are deeply dissatisfied with the current intranet. Or maybe, you’ve just heard: “our intranet sucks”, passing by the watercooler. Don’t rush to depression! There is a “magic pill” to make the user experience better – usability. Understanding the principles of intranet usability, you can dramatically improve user perception of this essential part of your digital workplace.
Usability deals with all things that make our life easier. The more usable thing is the more people like it and “buy” it. This simple formula applies to digital workplace solutions as well. Doesn’t matter that your employees already your employees, you should make them happy with the internal communication, as you seek to make your customers happy with your products and services. What do we mean by this miraculous “usability” term?
The quality with which the product can be used
- by particular users
- for a particular usage context
- for achieving particular goals
- ease & pleasure
Digital workplace usability principles
Now, let’s talk about general usability principles which apply to your employee collaboration space. They are:
There is a golden rule for every piece of site navigation. It says that every important page/function should be available with 3 clicks, no more. When you have a complicated digital workplace with many features it is almost impossible to follow this rule always. However, remembering this rule will keep closer to simplicity. Try keeping a similar style and structure for all navigation within your community, this will help users to easily learn and remember the community, and like it more.
Have ever noticed that we are so used to Google that we expect to see the same behavior of the search on every site? The same happens to users in your community. They expect to see a high level of understanding of their search requests. There are a lot of ways to improve the search experience in your community. Follow our blog for more details.
The modern digital workplace is not just a network that contains a set of important documents. It is a living organism, like a self-developing system. According to this, you will have to keep your community alive and fill it with interesting information. Pay special attention to develop a set of topics to post regularly. A separate concern is the structure and design of the posts. They should be pretty and interesting to read. Use the rich text editor to make text easy to read, and tags, categories to make the content easy to find.
This principle claims to be at the top of the usability list. The design includes not just the beauty part but the comfort part too. Follow the latest trends in design to improve your community with some new useful trending functional details. Every digital workplace should change to be in time, to be interesting, Let your users feel excitement while waiting to see what is new in the community.
This tricky word contains three dimensions of requirements for a good digital workplace.
1) Digital workplace should be available through the desktop (at least 3-4 browsers), mobile browsers (Android, iOS), mobile app (Android, iOS).
2) Digital workplace should be available from any location and computer. The access should be easy and quick. This requirement is closely connected to security issues, so you will need to work on this with your launch team.
3) The most important information should be available for every user in your community. Add all the needed documents before launching your digital workplace.
The more complicated functional elements you have on the page, the slower this page will be. Remember some important tips to keep your community fit and fast.
1) Revise your community and clean up all useless content and functional pieces (texts, images, widgets, etc.) regularly.
2) Revise all custom development elements and improve them regularly (like you regularly have the OS updated or you get the new versions of your favorite apps).
3) Use the browsers that work faster with your community platform.
4) If you have an on-premise type of community, allocate enough space for its hosting and operation.
The community should have a lot of functional possibilities but not too many. Give your users what they need, not what fashion imposes. Be in trend is good but it not worth killing your community with useless elements. Read more about choosing functionality in our blog.