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Presentation: How design is transforming modern intranets (World Usability Day 2012)

I was pleased to be able to present in Canberra today, as part of World Usability Day. My topic was “How design is transforming modern intranets”.

The key points I covered:

  • Intranets must be (and can be) much more than just a “dumping ground for boring documents”.
  • The nature of intranets is fundamentally shifting, due to collaborative and social tools, mobility, and changing working practices.
  • The starting point is to get the fundamental usability issues addressed, with good design for landing pages.
  • Classic UX techniques such as card sorting, tree testing and usability testing add a lot of value (all of which are described in Designing intranets: creating sites that work).
  • Design can go much further than just getting the right structure and page layouts. It can also deliver great business solutions that add strategic value.
  • Coca-Cola Enterprise has delivered a strategy-focused intranet homepage.
  • Framestore has reworked a key business system and process.
  • NSW Department of Education (NSW DEC) have re-imagined the idea of a “portal homepage”, applying the highest standard of research and design.
  • CRS Australia (a mid-sized government agency) has simplified access to key systems, and delivered a unique way of communicating policy changes.
  • (All these organisations are Intranet Innovation Award winners.)

The take-away message: focus on the next project, and make it simpler, smarter, more aligned with needs, and beautiful.

James Robertson
James Robertson is the Managing Director of Step Two Designs, the global thought leaders on intranets, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. James is the author of the best-selling books Essential intranets, Designing intranets and What every intranet team should know. He has keynoted conferences around the globe. (Follow him on Twitter or find him on Google+)