Improving your intranet, task by task.

The first of the two CM Briefings for August is written by Tina Calabria on improving your intranet, task by task. To quote: If a redesign is not feasible, what are the alternatives? There are a number of ways to incrementally improve an intranet, such as redesigning a particular section of the site, or adding a new 'killer application'. One method that is certain to provide immediate business benefit is to improve the way the intranet supports key tasks. In fact, by selecting only one task at a time, improvements can be made in a manageable and cost-effective manner.

User-centred redesign of the FaCS intranet.

Our KM Column article for this month is a case study written by Donna Maurer on the User-centred redesign of the FaCS intranet. To quote: Following a user-centred design process proved invaluable. Conducting extensive user research at the beginning of the project, and then involving staff in design and testing activities throughout the process ensured that by the final stages there were no major surprises. In many ways, this was a 'textbook' application of user-centred techniques to the redevelopment of a large Government intranet, and it serves as a useful model for other organisations looking to tackle the same issues.

Book review: Observing the User Experience.

Observing the User Experience Mike Kuniavsky This is a book I definitely enjoyed reading. More importantly, it provides a practical and pragmatic perspective on how to research user needs, in the context of a broader user-centred design process. I would certainly recommend it to anyone new to the field of usability techniques. The book focuses on a number of key user research techniques: user profiles focus groups usability testing surveys card sorting log file analysis For each of these techniques, details are provided on how to setup and conduct the activities, as then analyse the results. Tips and examples are

Final website recommendations.

Now that the intranet report for the Area Health Service has been reviewed and signed-off, I've had a chance to finish the report on the review of the website. This includes the following recommendations: Strategic recommendations Focus on depth, not breadth Comprehensively restructure the website Provide complete facility information Empower the website administrators Use the website to reduce call volumes Implement a new content management system Tactical recommendations Maximise the value of the homepage Eliminate duplication Eliminate

Card sorting completed.

The card sorting session yesterday with the Area Health Service went well, and generated some good results. The high-level structure of the intranet has already been identified as one of the two biggest barriers to usage (the other being the search engine), so all eyes were on the results of the session. Of course, this will hopefully be the first of several card sorting sessions, with additional sessions including other primary user groups: clinical staff, admin, etc. The main menu items they came up with were: About us Management systems Projects & reports News & events Procedures, policies, guidelines &