Collectively deciding the role of your intranet’s homepage can be a challenging aspect of deploying an company intranet. As it’s one of the most important pages on your intranet, there can be conflicting opinions surrounding its purpose and the elements is should contain.
The Intranet Homepage’s Importance
If you can imagine how important your corporate website’s homepage is in helping you fulfil your organisational goals; the same importance applies to your intranet’s homepage. The homepage is effectively the landing page for a large percentage of employees and a great design portrays a clear message to staff that the intranet is well designed, continuously being maintained and is worth their time. It therefore contributes to increased employee engagement and adoption – particularly during the initial launch phase.
Having established the importance of the intranet’s home page, it still leaves the question, what should the homepage contain?
It is important to note that there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ intranet design or purpose. Each organisation’s intranet homepage will be completely unique with tailored content, as it should reflect the organisation’s culture, branding and goals.
An intranet’s homepage should contain the following elements:
Useful Homepage Widgets and Tools
Rather than linking directly to applications and tools, homepage widgets can be applied, such as the ability for users to:
- Complete a poll or survey
- View an overview of upcoming events
- Vote for their employee of the month
- See geographically-disperses office times
- Pose a question, respond to comments, share a link, document or file
- Quick Links
On-Brand & Up-To-Date News
Organisations will invariably have different types of news – from departmental project updates to sharing future business goals and objectives. Deciding upon the type of internal communications you’d like to share should be a starting point and a key aspect of planning your intranet’s deployment.
Sourcing this news and assigning content creators will be an initial and on-going objective and having this defined early on will ensure content will regularly be added. Aligning news articles with your intranet and business objectives is also extremely important.
As mentioned in a previous blog post, the intranet acts a gateway to other applications and business processes – user-centered navigation on the homepage is therefore crucial in helping employees efficiently locate information.
Viewing the homepage as an entry point to the digital workplace and organisational information will bring navigation to the forefront during the intranet planning stages. Additionally, encouraging employees to make use of their personal links and asking for feedback on the Top Menu Bar will improve user navigation as the intranet starts to take shape.
Consider adopting a task or departmental-based navigation structure – if these aren’t suitable, a hybrid approach (below) may be necessary.
Important Business Information
We recently developed a management dashboard for a customer and it presented employees with key business metrics. It may not be necessary to have these prominently highlighted on your intranet homepage but enabling employees to navigate to them is helpful. Making it permission-based, if it’s applicable to only small percentage of employees may also be appropriate.
The organisation’s culture can be portrayed in many ways; from the style of writing on your intranet software homepage to the overall look and design.