The glue between the intranet sections

08Mar12

If I’m going to talk about intranets, it is only fair that I start with my own intranet. Personally I like to see lots of screen shots—so I plan to be generous with them myself.

Let’s start with the home page on our intranet. Or, maby I sould say, one of our home pages. (I will explain further down.)

Screen shot from the intranet at City of Malmö

The home page on the intranet.

In this blog post I will concentrate on the masthead of the intranet. The masthead is an important part, perhaps the most important navigation part. It sits at the top in all sections. Thanks to the masthead, you can easily move between the different sections of the intranet.

Masthead on the intranet, City of Malmö.

Our masthead.

Things I’m pleased with

  • The tabs “Min förvaltning” (My business unit), “Mitt arbetsfält” (My job role) and “Vår kommun” (Our municipality) (global content). These three tabs are the most important top level menu items for every employee. And putting the business units and job roles in the top level navigation has become a success.
  • “Min profil” (My profile), where the intranet user personalizes the intranet. We have tried to make this personalization as simple as possible and I think we have succeded in this.

Things that are ok

  • The tabs “Forum” and “Blogg” contain all forum and blog posts on the intranet. If you understand these two words (understand what a blog is, what a forum is) and want to read a post, the tabs are quick and easy ways to the content. Problem is, many employees in the City of Malmö have no prior contact with a digital forum and believe that the word blog is only about leisure. I’m thinking about changing the names—maby “FAQ” and “Thoughts” could work better? The forum contains questions and answers, and the bloggers write about the work, issues they face and so on.

Problematic things

  • The tab “HRutan”. It’s the name of the HR system, its a joke in swedish (the correct spelling should be “HR-rutan”, which means “HR box”) Not so funny the 100th time you see it. Of course this tab should be named My job and contain anything related to my employment. This is a battle I have yet to win against the central HR department.

The rest

  • Rest of the things in the masthead raises no major emotions in me. The things are not in the way and some, like the links for the map (of the city) and controlling the phone, are actually used quite a lot. But this year we will introduce responsive web design, and most of this content will dissapear at lower resolutions. A problem or an opportunity?

What did I mean with one of our home pages? Truth is, today only 84% of the employees have “Vår kommun” (Our municipality) as the pre-set homepage in the web browser. The other 16% have their own business unit or job role as the pre-set home page. And that’s ok with me. I encourage my editors (one for each business unit and job role) to tell their taget group to change homepage—if the editor feels he/she has a sufficiently good main page which is updated and “alive”.

Why this? Because the business unit and the job role has a lot bigger chance to deliver support for the employee and make him/her effective than the page “Vår kommun”, that has an target group of 20,000.

Support and efficiency—that is exactly what our intranet is about. This will be the focus in my blog post Our intranet manifesto.

******

Feel like sharing your masthead? I would love to have some examples to explore. jesperbylund(at)me.com.

Any comments about our masthead and top level navigation? Share your thoughts below!



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