Filed under: Intranets
The fundamental question to ask for all intranets is: what is the intranet actually for? While this is an easy question to ask, answering it meaningfully involves gaining an in-depth understanding of staff and organisational needs.
While much has been written about the design of intranets, less is said about how to ensure that the intranet contains useful information and tools. At the end of the day, staff will use an intranet if it is useful. To ensure this, there are a range of practical ‘needs analysis’ techniques that can be used to identify staff (and organisational) requirements.
This article provides an overview of these techniques, as well as discussing how to analyse and use the results of the research.
Much effort is being put into ensuring that intranets are usable, that information is quick and easy to find. As discussed in the earlier article The difference between usable and useful, this is not enough. More than just being easy to use, the intranet must provide the information and tools that staff need.
These needs must be understood, beyond simply aiming to provide a “one-stop shop for information”. Instead, it is necessary to explore how staff work, and the information they need to do their jobs.