Having an essential set of templates for your intranet pages radically cuts down on time required to build new and maintain existing content. If those templates are well designed, modern and user friendly, and your content hierarchy is well designed, the adoption rates and user satisfaction increase exponentially.
We've put together several of our favorite design configurations all built using Origami to help you come up with some amazing ideas. With a just little bit of content, you have a shiny new intranet design waiting for you.
Home Page Intranet Template
The intranet home page design is essential and yet is often over-branded or under-branded.
Here are few important considerations for the intranet home page:
Ensure your intranet has a clear name and logo
Use corporate colors
Easily accessible search
No need to brand quick links, just make them prominent
Clear and well designed navigation
Access to [view more] details in tools and apps
Landing Page Intranet Template
Landing pages for some of the key areas of the site are a must for several reasons:
They provide a place for users to land as they navigate the breadcrumb
They group similar content and help new users not yet familiar with the hierarchy
They are the perfect area for KPI’s, apps and widgets which display summary of information on lower levels of the site
For example: systems availability widget can sit on a landing page for “Business Resources“ with a link to more details. Without this design pattern the intranet would be just full of links.
Below is an example of simple yet functional landing page for departments and projects where users can navigate to the department workspace or find the project they’re working on.
Resource Hub Intranet Template
One level below each landing page is in most cases an Intranet Resource Hub.
Here are some examples of what this intranet template is typically used for:
Who We Are page
Employee Benefits Information
New Employee Site
These are sub landing areas with content produced by one more departments serving a particular business function.
This simple yet common design makes up for the majority of intranet information pages. The main strength of this page design is the simplicity. Users expect to quickly scan the content for what they're looking for, and this design delivers just that very well.
This page uses the 2 column layout available in SharePoint out-of-the-box. It takes just few minutes to manually put together content on this page with combination of Origami and SharePoint tools.
Intranet Hub Content Page
Below each hub, of course are article pages delivering simple access to content whether it’s a set of document libraries or just a page with relevant information. Here is an example of this design.
Few things to note here: Contacts, and breadcrumb.
Contacts app will help with governance and allow the reader to contact relevant SME for this area instead of IT or Communications. Breadcrumb helps with context of this page.
Forms and Templates Center
If there is one area each intranet should have, it's some place where staff can access samples and templates. Samples are essential to knowledge management and retaining organizational knowledge. If more of your staff can find relevant samples, the less work they need to do from the scratch.
Here is an example of how a typical Forms and Templates site looks like:
Here are the other types sites which can be served using Forms & Templates Center type layout:
Policies and Procedures
Another variation of this intranet template design is employee directory tool.
Project sites are often an afterthought and put together as a rudimentary team site with few libraries. Often time for the team member to find a file they have to navigate through folder of arbitrary chosen structure dependent on the project manager who ran that project.
We recommend using a template for your project sites just as you’d use a template for everything else. Typical project site template contains a timeline and key project phases with pre-created repositories to drop off relevant documents. Our template also includes planner tasks and notes which are useful for projects with more than 5 team members.
Here is an example of how the project site looks like in Origami.
Thanks for making it this far. If you have an existing intranet needing an upgrade, be sure to get in touch with us to see how easy it is to apply these beautiful templates to your existing site.
Yaroslav Pentsarskyy is the Director of Product at Origami. He's also 8 time Microsoft MVP, speaker at many local and worldwide tech events, and a published author of several SharePoint related books.