intranet design examples

Essential intranet design examples and templates

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Origami's mid-year update brings a new array of configurations for your intranet design to make every page stand out. You can do this if you already have an intranet and want to take advantage of a fresh new look on your pages. If you're starting with a brand new intranet, even more options are available to you.

We've put together a few of our favorite design configurations to help you come up with some amazing ideas.

Everything you see here has been put together with tools available in Origami and SharePoint. With a just little bit of content, you have a shiny new intranet design waiting for you.

Information Article Page

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.

Here are some common user cases for an information article page:

  • Who We Are

  • Delivery Processes

  • Guidelines & Procedures

  • Employee Benefits Information

  • Process Stages

  • Knowledge Base Article

Here are two examples of what an information page can look like:

  Intranet Information Landing Page - clear headings and sections describe groups of content on the page. Set of links [Popular Content] helps users identify forms, templates, and other articles they may want to read.

Intranet Information Landing Page - clear headings and sections describe groups of content on the page. Set of links [Popular Content] helps users identify forms, templates, and other articles they may want to read.

  Intranet Information Article Page - features content broken down into key sections helping users find areas they're looking for. Contacts allow users to ping relevant contributor if information is inaccurate or missing. FAQ allows authors to answer popular questions. Relevant Documents are handy for templates or forms relevant to the article.

Intranet Information Article Page - features content broken down into key sections helping users find areas they're looking for. Contacts allow users to ping relevant contributor if information is inaccurate or missing. FAQ allows authors to answer popular questions. Relevant Documents are handy for templates or forms relevant to the article.

Both pages are using 2 and 3 column layout. When we read text, our horizontal attention leans towards the left, that's why we recommend stacking key content in the left column while any supporting content (forms, templates, etc), to the right.

Resources or Department Site

The Resource site is there to provide references built by a specific team or a department for the rest of the organization.

Typical use cases for the [Resource] or [Outward Facing Department Site] include:

  • Marketing Resources Site

  • HR Information Site

  • New Employee (or Onboarding Information) Site

  • Department Initiatives Site

Here is how a landing page for this site could look like:

  Intranet Department or Resource Site Landing Page - a place for staff to find resources produced by a specific team or purpose. [Featured] content at the top helps draw attention to latest or most popular articles (see Information Page); followed by [In This Site] helping users to key content on the site. Contacts helps finding relevant site contributors; FAQ is also an easy way to answer popular questions.

Intranet Department or Resource Site Landing Page - a place for staff to find resources produced by a specific team or purpose. [Featured] content at the top helps draw attention to latest or most popular articles (see Information Page); followed by [In This Site] helping users to key content on the site. Contacts helps finding relevant site contributors; FAQ is also an easy way to answer popular questions.

This page uses the 2 column layout available in SharePoint out-of-the-box. It takes about 20 min to manually put together content on this page with combination of Origami and SharePoint tools.

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:

  Forms and Templates Center - helps staff find relevant samples and forms. On the left hand side - [Tags], allows to filter forms by relevant category. Search box and preview panel in a center allows to quickly read more about the form before opening or downloading it. Contact   person allows to quickly reach out in case relevant form doesn't exist. Finally, if there are any recently updated forms, they will automatically show up under [Latest Updates]

Forms and Templates Center - helps staff find relevant samples and forms. On the left hand side - [Tags], allows to filter forms by relevant category. Search box and preview panel in a center allows to quickly read more about the form before opening or downloading it. Contact person allows to quickly reach out in case relevant form doesn't exist. Finally, if there are any recently updated forms, they will automatically show up under [Latest Updates]

Here are the other types sites which can be served using Forms & Templates Center type layout:

  • Resources

  • Glossary Database

  • Policies and Procedures

  • Knowledgebase

Above template uses [Blogs] landing site in SharePoint online with Origami enhancements to show tags, search, and accordion-like list. The interface is connected to a document library allowing for approval of each template before it's published for everyone to see.

Projects & Workspaces

One of the primary objectives for any intranet is the ability to store documents and be able to find them easily. Documents are often grouped by a client, project, initiative, and other workspace sites. It's important to help your team find the relevant groups.

Project and Workspace template shown below allows staff to immediately search by their project and add them to individual favorites for quick access in a future.

  Project and Workspace Site Directory - allows to quickly search and access your staff cares about. Personal favorites are displayed at the top. Project managers and authorized staff can create new sites.

Project and Workspace Site Directory - allows to quickly search and access your staff cares about. Personal favorites are displayed at the top. Project managers and authorized staff can create new sites.

Here are few other use cases for the Project & Workspace site:

  • Document and Record Center

  • Team Site Landing

Employee Engagement and Communication

Having a place on your intranet for employees truly helps build the culture and connect, especially for new staff members. You can increase employee engagement by adding a few interactive tools where staff can comment and post ideas.

Here is an example of our employee landing page:

  Employee Engagement and Communication features distinct banner followed by the list of key links promoted by the company. [Ideas & Feedback] let's employees post ideas and others to comment or [like] them. [Quick Poll] will capture opinions on the latest hot topic and allow others to suggest a poll. [Classifieds] serve as an internal marketplace and fundraiser. [Recognitions] allow employees and management nominate others for the job well done.

Employee Engagement and Communication features distinct banner followed by the list of key links promoted by the company. [Ideas & Feedback] let's employees post ideas and others to comment or [like] them. [Quick Poll] will capture opinions on the latest hot topic and allow others to suggest a poll. [Classifieds] serve as an internal marketplace and fundraiser. [Recognitions] allow employees and management nominate others for the job well done.

All components on this page are built on a top of SharePoint existing framework, so you can always enable approval or alerts to manage content before it's published. Whether it's a new idea suggestion or shout out, managers can turn on auto approval or moderation depending on company policies.

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.

Turnkey, no-hassle intranet for your organization

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Yaroslav Pentsarskyy is the founder of OrigamiConnect, a rapidly growing service and product offering which enables organizations to get an intranet designed for them without starting from a blank page. He's also 8 time Microsoft MVP, speaker at many local and worldwide tech events, and a published author of several SharePoint related books.

@spentsarsky

Building Better Business Case for Employee Engagement and Communication

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Employee engagement is not a nice-to-have, but how do you measure it?
--Source: 15five

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is tightly connected with organizational culture and a key way of seeing what people think about the work climate.

Engaged employees result in increased organizational performance because they tend to care about how thing are running, resulting in process improvements, fresh ideas, better problem solving, and have more drive to succeed.

Measuring Employee Engagement

So what are the qualitative metrics involved?

According to Gallup, businesses with highly engaged teams experience a 20% lift in productivity. According to the Workforce Institute on Absenteeism, businesses saw a drop in absenteeism (unearned PTO) by 41% when teams were engaged in their work.  

On average, highly engaged teams will experience a 40% improvement in turnover. This improvement can vary from 24% in high-turnover organizations to 59% in low-turnover organizations. You can find more details about this in the Gallup Q12 Meta-Analysis Report.

Since engagement and communication go hand-in-hand, effective employee communication is a leading indicator of financial performance and a driver of employee engagement. Companies that are highly effective communicators had 47% higher total returns to shareholders over the last five years compared with firms that are the least effective communicators.

Being able to measure engagement in your organization is critical to building a convincing business case on how it's improving and in turn the impact brought to an organization. Measuring business metrics (unearned PTO, improvement in turnover etc) requires time since you need a good sample of data to be able to flag trends. Usually you need to wait 6 months to a year to be able to say how the organization is trending in terms of turnover etc.

There are far more immediate tools you can use today to capture measurable employee sentiment and engagement.

Tools

In many organizations, company intranet has become a main tool to share information and collaborate. It is also often used as a communication and engagement tool. By enabling some of these engagement features you can gain a relatively quick insight.

Here are some of the features we recommend to measure and improve your employee engagement through company intranet:

shout+outs.PNG

Staff recognition and new staff shout outs can serve as a broadcast to communicate new employees joining the team. You can also enable "likes" and  "comments" to see how many of the staff are actually reading new updates and actively "liking" the update. Higher likes in turn mean your staff is excited about new members joining the team and care about them being welcomed to the group.

Polls
Timely polls can gather valuable insight about what your staff thinks about various issues. It's an easy way to test ideas.

poll.PNG

Remember to keep things simple in terms of poll questions and answer options. We also recommend enabling the ability to suggest a new poll to give your staff an option to voice what is important to them. A time limit encourages interested parties to cast their votes. If they miss something they care about, they will check that area of the site more often. Naturally more votes mean better engagement, but make sure that questions are relevant and relatable.

Idea submissions
Just as polls, idea submission allows staff to describe an issue and their idea in detail. The key here is to collect the name with each idea and not making it anonymous. This promotes ownership of the content that's created. Additionally, we recommend enabling likes and comments so that others can vote up the idea or ask questions. Anyone who submitted an idea always wants to be recognized, we recommend including "resolution" or "outcome" section for each idea where management can comment on whether this idea is [In Works] or [More Detail Required]

ideas.PNG

Featured Staff News
Another great tool which is free in most intranets is the Featured Events tool. We recommend featuring spotlight articles on your employees to bring up interesting stories and spark a conversation. If available in your intranet, enable comments and likes to be able to see what kind of engagement you get on this content.

In summary

Measurement is critical. Companies that are less-effective communicators are much more likely than highly effective communicators to report having no formal measurements of communication effectiveness.
Build quick and concrete evidence of employee engagement by enabling social likes and comments features in your intranet. Take advantage of some of the built-in widgets such as polls, idea submissions, and shout outs.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Leave your comments on what are some of the things you're curious about and we'll try to get an expert insight on the topic

ypentsarskyy_2016_small.jpg

Yaroslav Pentsarskyy is the founder of OrigamiConnect, a rapidly growing service and product offering which enables organizations to get an intranet designed for them without starting from a blank page. He's also 8 time Microsoft MVP, speaker at many local and worldwide tech events, and a published author of several SharePoint related books.

@spentsarsky